Posts Tagged 'parsnip'

Slow-Cooker Buffalo Pot Roast with Wine and Vegetables

This recipe, originally from Cooking Light, was supposed to be a pot roast with turnip greens.  But I became ill in July (the reason for no posts for a while), and the turnip greens grew old and tough.  Besides, the one dish I made with turnip greens made me conclude that I did not really like them.  So I eliminated them from the recipe and made this delicious dish which is more like a stew.  This dish is so hearty that I didn’t even serve it with rice or noodles, although I think it would be good with a brown and wild rice mix. It also froze well for reheating on later chilly fall days.

This is a slow-cooker recipe, so cut your vegetables in reasonably even pieces.  These are the parsnips:

Also, use a decent red wine. This is the red wine I usually use for cooking, unless the recipe calls for something more specific. It is reasonably priced and has a hearty flavor that is good with meats.

Slow-Cooker Buffalo Pot Roast with Wine and Vegetables

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 (3-pound) boneless buffalo chuck roast, trimmed of all fat (I had to use two smaller roasts)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon olive oil
3 cups (2-inch) diagonally cut parsnips (about 1 pound)
3 cups cubed peeled Yukon gold potatoes (about 1 pound)
2 cups cipollini onions, peeled and quartered (my grocery never heard of cipollini onions. I used a bag of frozen pearl onions)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup dry red wine
1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, lower-sodium beef broth
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
4 thyme sprigs
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 bay leaves
1 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley

The vegetables

Place flour in a shallow dish. Sprinkle buffalo evenly with salt and pepper; dredge in flour.

Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add buffalo; sauté 10 minutes, turning to brown on all sides.

Place parsnips, potatoes, and onions in a slow cooker. Transfer buffalo to slow cooker. Add tomato paste to skillet; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Stir in wine and broth; bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Pour broth mixture into slow cooker.

Place peppercorns and next 4 ingredients (through parsley) on a double layer of cheesecloth.

Gather edges of cheesecloth together; secure with twine. Add cheesecloth bundle to slow cooker.

Cover and cook on LOW 8 hours or until buffalo and vegetables are tender. Discard cheesecloth bundle. Remove roast from slow cooker; slice. Serve with vegetable mixture and cooking liquid.  Makes 6 generous servings at about 7 grams of fat/serving.

Moroccan Vegetable Stew

Has this ever happened to you – you have the big holiday meal planned down to the dessert, and then your Aunt Bea calls to let you know that your Cousin Lynn is now a strict vegetarian and is rather upset when she has to eat around the edges of meat-based meals.  Now what do you do? Your Passover dinner focuses on brisket or lamb; your planned Easter dinner has a ham centerpiece.

This Moroccan Vegetable Stew is a meal centerpiece in itself. I created it from a combination of similar stews when the caterer for our congregation’s community Passover seder needed to come up with a main dish to serve alongside the roast chicken.  We needed a dish to meet both the needs of our several vegetarians, plus the rules of Passover, which in our congregation means no flour, naturally (and thus no pasta), no mixing of milk and meat on the table, and no beans or grains.  It also had to be capable of being made ahead, and not too difficult to prepare. A tall order!

The beauty of this stew is that it meets all the criteria and is absolutely delicious.  You can also improvise a bit on the vegetables and use what you have at hand, although I recommend keeping the carrots and eggplant. I have substituted green beans, zucchini, and squash for the parsnips with great results.  The trick is to cut all the vegetables to about the same size.  It cooks in the slow cooker, so it is no fuss. The stew is mysteriously sweet, given that it has no added sugar, and has a little kick to it because of the cayenne pepper. If you want to have a bit less kick, reduce the amount of pepper.

You can serve it over couscous (but not for Passover) or rice, or serve sour cream or yogurt with it to dollop on top (no, not for Passover).  I made a big cooker full this morning before I went out for a meeting.  When I came home late in the evening, the house smelled sweet and spicy.  The weather had turned to a cold rain, but I had a big bowl of this stew to warm me.

So go out, get some vegetables, throw them in the slow cooker, and by the time Cousin Lynn shows up she’ll think you slaved all day to make a special dish for her.  But don’t be surprised if all the other relatives polish off bowls of it – at our community seder it is almost more popular than the chicken.

Moroccan Vegetable Stew

1 Tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
5  cups vegetable (or chicken) broth (about 3 cans)
4 large carrots peeled and cut into 1/2-inch lengths
2½ cups eggplant, peeled and diced into 1 inch pieces (about 1 medium eggplant)
2½ cups parsnips peeled and cut into 1/2-inch lengths
2 cups cauliflower broken into small florets
1 cup diced onion
2 cans (14 1/2 oz. each) stewed tomatoes (be sure to get the original and not Mexican or Italian)
¾ cup dried currants
1½ teaspoons kosher salt

Pour olive oil into a small frying pan over medium-low heat. Add garlic and spices and cook, stirring often until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes, being careful not to scorch the garlic. Set aside.

Add broth, carrots, eggplant, parsnips, cauliflower, onion, stewed tomatoes (with juices), currants, salt, and the garlic spice mixture to a slow cooker (at least 5 quart) and stir to combine.  I mixed a bit of the broth into the spice mixture so I could scrape every bit of it  out of the pan.

Vegetables waiting to be diced

Cover slow-cooker and cook on high until vegetables are tender to bite and flavors are blended, 8 to 9 hours. Makes 6 servings (more as a side dish) at about 3 grams of fat/serving.


Variation: Some recipes called for ladling about 3 cups of the vegetable mixture into a blender, holding the lid down with a towel and whirling until smooth. Return purée to slow cooker and stir to blend. This makes a somewhat thicker gravy, but it is not necessary

Parsnip Mashed Potatoes

Who would’ve thunk it? Parsnips were the star of the buffet!  I was making two juicy main dishes (the French Honey-Baked Chicken was one of them) and I needed something starchy to hold the juices. I originally planned on wild rice, but it wasn’t exactly right, so I made these parsnip mashed potatoes.  They were kind of an afterthought – I figured they would be okay, and that most people wouldn’t really eat much of them.  So I didn’t even make a double recipe.  Hah!! Who would have known there were that many avid parsnip lovers? Before the end of the dinner the bowl was scraped clean!  Oh no – my mother’s nightmare.  I ran out of a dish instead of having leftovers.

Parsnips are a rather humble root vegetable which, to be honest, I’d only tossed into soup or veggie curry before.  The parsnip (Pastinaca sativa) is a relative of the carrot, and resembles it in shape, although parsnips are tan in color. It originated in the Mediterranean region and originally was the size of a baby carrot when full grown. When the Roman Empire expanded north through Europe the Romans brought the parsnip with them. They found that the parsnip grew bigger the further north they went. In Roman times, parsnips were believed to be an aphrodisiac – hmmm, does this explain their rapid disappearance from the buffet?  Parsnips are high in potassium and, if they have experienced a frost, have a mildly sweet flavor.

parsnips-1

When purchasing parsnips, choose the smallest ones you can find.  Large parsnips tend to be tough, although they work out well enough if cooked for a long time in a soup or stew.  If, when you cut them up, they have a large core, I recommend that for this dish you cut it out.  I was picking parsnip cores out of the mashed potatoes for quite a while.  A version of this recipe appeared in Sunset magazine.

Parsnip Mashed Potatoes

2 pounds each of parsnips and Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon salt (or to taste)
¼ teaspoon black pepper
Fat free chicken or vegetable broth

Put parsnips and potatoes in a medium pot. Add enough broth to cover by one inch.  Bring to a boil over high heat, then cover and reduce heat, simmering 8-12 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Remove vegetables from pan and drain, reserving broth. Place vegetables in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add olive oil, salt, and pepper. Beat on low speed, gradually adding about ½ cup of the hot reserved broth until the vegetables are smooth and are the consistency that you want them to be.  This makes 12 servings at about 2.4 grams of fat/serving

Parsnip Mashed Potatoes

See, they’re not very glamorous.

You can make these ahead and refrigerate in an airtight container for a day. Reheat in the microwave, stirring occasionally.

Variation: Instead of adding the reserved broth, heat fat free half and half and add it gradually as you mix the vegetables.


ABOUT KAREN

I have lost 200 pounds. I did not do it through surgery – I don’t like knives and needles – or by joining a club, vigorous exercise, or rigorous dieting. I did it by gourmet cooking. To be precise, by cooking low fat, really delicious food. I love to cook as much as I love to eat. Food magazines are some of my favorite reading. I would feel deprived if I couldn’t have the sensuous experience of good food crossing my lips. This blog is about my perpetual feast, my passionate love of food, with recipes, photos, and occasional advice and principles that I have learned along the way.

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