Use a slow cooker for Rosh Hashanah meals

 


Laura Frankel, auther of “Jewish Slow Cooker Recipes,” suggests this Veal Ragout as the main course after services on the High Holidays.

Each fall, when the first cold snap hits, I start looking for hearty dishes with big flavor like this homey bit of French peasant artistry, named with the French term ragouter, or “revive the taste.” The delicate veal is complemented by the flavorful herbs and cipollini onions. Recipes like this are perfect for the slow cooker—all the way through early spring. The longer the ingredients “hang out” together, the better the flavor. Each ingredient has the time it needs to flavor and perfume the entire mix. I like to serve ragout with a mix of seasonal squashes, which soak up the veal’s sauce without overpowering the dish.

The veal can be made three days ahead of the servings and can be stored, covered, in the refrigerator, or frozen for up to one month. To reheat gently, preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Place the ragout in a casserole and cover. Reheat for 15 to 20 minutes.


Veal Ragout

Ingredients:

Olive oil

3 lbs. Veal shoulder, cut into 2-inch cubes

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons Herbes de Provence (see recipe)

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

10 cipollini onions, peeled

4 medium shallots, cut in half

2 medium carrots, peeled and diced

1 medium fennel bulb, trimmed, cored and diced

4 garlic cloves, chopped

2 cups chicken stock

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 ounces (1/2 cup) dried porcini mushrooms

1 bay leaf

1 cup dry white wine

Directions:

Preheat slow cooker to Low. Place a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Lightly coat the bottom of the pan with oil.

Season veal with salt and pepper. Mix the Herbs de Provence and flour together in a medium bowl. Dredge the veal in the flour mixture. Brown the veal in the sauté pan on all sides, in batches, adding more oil if necessary to prevent the veal from sticking, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the veal to the slow cooker.

Add the onions and shallots to the sauté pan. Cook until they are quite brown and fragrant, about 15 minutes. Transfer the onions to the cooker.

Add the carrots and fennel to the sauté pan and cook until they are lightly colored, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 3 minutes more, until the garlic is very fragrant and slightly softened. Transfer the carrots, fennel and garlic to the cooker.


Raise the heat under the sauté pan, pour in the chicken stock and bring to a simmer, scraping up with a wooden spatula any browned bits that have stuck to the pan. Transfer the liquid to the cooker.

Add the tomato paste, dried mushrooms, bay leaf and wine to the cooker. Cover and cook on Low for 6 hours or on High for 4 hours until the meat is tender.

Ladle the veal and the braising liquid into a large bowl or deep platter Sprinkle with sage and parsley.

Herbes de Provence

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons dried marjoram

3 tablespoons dried thyme

1 tablespoon dried summer savory

1 tablespoon dried lavender

1 tablespoon dried basil

1/2 teaspoon crushed dried rosemary

1/2 teaspoon dried crumbled sage

1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds

Directions:

Mix together all the ingredients in a small bowl. Store in a tightly covered container away from the light for up to 3 months.

Laura Frankel is the executive chef and head of food services at the Wolfgang Puck Kosher Catering and Café at the Spertus Institute for Jewish Studies in Chicago. She is the former chef and founder of Shallots, a kosher fine-dining restaurant in both Chicago and New York. Chef Laura has training and extensive experience in both savory and pastry kitchens, and has cooked for such dignitaries as Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Rahm Emanuel, Michael Bloomberg, Al Gore, Mikhail Gorbachev, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Steven Spielberg, and many more.

 

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