Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Platter of Figs: The braise goes on

David Tanis's "Slow Beef" menu from Platter of Figs:

-watercress, beet, and egg  salad

-braised beef

-mashed celery root and potatoes

-roasted apples

A few thoughts:

1. Beets. Why do they scare people? No, the juice does not look like blood. It doesn't! My beet-hating husband saw the salad -- beets on a bed of fluffy watercress -- and started to make a "humorous" remark. I silenced him. Jokes are not helpful in the culinary education of our children, both of whom remain surprisingly open to the beet.

2. Braised beef = pot roast. Is there something new to be said on this subject by an august chef like David Tanis? If so, he didn't say it here. In my experience, the only thing you can do to screw up a pot roast is to undercook it.

3. Celery root is one of the few really positive additions to mashed potatoes, probably because you can barely taste it. Isabel had seconds. Also: I bought creme fraiche to make these potatoes, but don't like the extra expense and didn't think it made an appreciable difference.

4. Roasted apples. Just a more appetizing name for baked apples? Seems to be. These were handsome and austere, just apples and sugar (no butter) baked/roasted for 45 minutes until the skins split and the fruit exuded its own lovely, fragrant sauce. Mark said he'd rather eat a fresh apple, but Isabel and I were both kind of charmed.

Have so far braised pork and beef from this book with good, if not dazzling, results. Tonight: lamb. 


  1. Tipsy, regarding your love for Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle -- did you hear that there is going to be a White House Farm??

    How cool is that?

    Amy in Berkeley

  2. Aack! Hey wait! You started without me! Give me a couple of days to catch up...

  3. Oops - turns out the White House Farm thing is currently just a movement. Nothing official. Would be very cool, though!

    A. in B.