Wine-“braised” shortribs, glazed Japanese turnips and French radishes, and turnip greens salad


The CSA box this week came with Japanese turnips and French radishes. Alone, neither were enough to be THE vegetable in a meal for three adults. But I found a recipe for Glazed Hakurei Turnips, which also said you could substitute radishes. And I thought, if this recipe will work for either, it will work for both at the same time. I used two tablespoons of sesame oil instead of 1/4 cup of butter, but other than that I followed it pretty closely. 

Note that Japanese turnips are milder, and more delicately flavored than purple turnips. You can get a similar flavor from purple turnips, however, by choosing ones that are small and smell sweet. 

French radishes are long and narrow, and also milder than the round radishes you usually find in grocery stores, which have a harsh sort of bite. I am not sure I would have liked regular radishes in this recipe; their biteyness might overwhelm the mild sweetness of the glaze. 

The recipe also tells how to wilt the turnip greens in the leftover glaze. It was a lot like steamed spinach, which I have always liked. I only wilted them for 2 minutes, because I liked them less soggy. If you want them really soft, wilt them for three minutes. 

I had three frozen shortrib steaks in the freezer, which I thawed in hot water in the sink. I sliced them very thinly, plunked them in a pot with some oil, and seared them. Then I added garlic and  and whatever other seasoning I felt like at the time. Salt and pepper, basil and oregano. Possibly some cumin? See, I need to write these down right away or I forget the details. Four days is apparently long enough for this to escape me. 

Almost certainly cumin. I like cumin. 

Anyway, I sauteed the meat and seasonings for a while, then added some red wine- just enough Edenbrook cabernet sauvignon to not quite cover the meat- covered the pot, and let them simmer a while. Well, a long time, actually. Probably about an hour. I kept checking, and when the liquid got a little low, I added more wine. I used about half a bottle. 

TIP: You can make any cut of meat tender if you cook it wet enough and for long enough. If you are cooking meat quickly or without liquid, then yo have to worry about whether or not the cut lends itself to that style of cooking. If you are making stew, however, get something cheap and simmer the heck out of it. 

Vocabulary: Braised. Braising means to cook something slowly, in fat and/or a little liquid. As such, I probably didn’t technically braise the short ribs. There was a larger amount of liquid in my pot, which I allowed to reduce into a sauce. Braising is usually done in the oven at a lower temperature, say, about 300 or 350 degrees, in a closed container to prevent the smaller amount of liquid from boiling off.