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Christmas Braising Recipes

The most wonderful time of the year is here, with plenty of holiday parties, shopping, and other errands to tend to. Leave more time for the fun side of the season with my secret weapon for holiday cooking: Christmas braising recipes!

Braising has long been a favorite form of cooking meat and vegetables, particularly in the winter, with delicious results. This set-and-forget technique similar to using a crockpot involves early preparation and cooking ingredients at low temperatures for long periods of time. The result: warm, tender comfort food infused with flavor.

If you’ve been tasked with hosting a holiday meal this year, take a stab at these easy, appetizing Christmas braising recipes so you can spend less time in the kitchen and more time picking out the perfect party dress.

Braised Country Style Kurobuta Pork Ribs – Serves 4

Ingredients:

5 ½ Country Style Kurobuta Pork Ribs

1 Tsp. Black Peppercorns

3 Cups Chicken Stock     

1 Large Garlic Head - Peeled, Chopped

6 Large Shallots - Chopped

1 Large Carrot - Peeled, Chopped            

1 Fennel Bulb - Chopped

2 Bay Leaves

1 Sprig of Thyme

1 Tbsp. Kosher Salt

1 Tbsp. Olive Oil

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 400° F. Pour olive oil into a large ovenproof pot, and set on medium high heat. Season pork ribs with salt and pepper and sear ribs on all sides. Remove from the pot and let the ribs rest on a plate at room temperature.

In the meantime, sauté garlic, shallots, carrots, and fennel in the fat remaining from searing the ribs for about 5 minutes (or just until the vegetables are translucent). Add the pork ribs back to the pot on top of the sautéed vegetables, add stock, thyme, bay leaves and place lid on pot or cover tightly and bake until pork is very tender, about 2 hours. Transfer pork to bowl or platter once done, and place pot onto the stove top on medium high heat. Boil liquid in pot until reduced to 1 ½ cups, about 30 minutes. Return pork to pot; simmer until heated through, about 5 minutes.

San Angelo Plum Preserves

Ingredients:

3 lbs Dried San Angelo Plums

1 Cup Water

1 Cup Ginger Liquor

Sugar (see preparation)

1 ½ Tbsp. Lemon Juice

Preparation:

Combine the cut plums and water in a heavy, non-reactive 5-quart saucepan. Bring it to a boil then reduce the heat to a steady simmer. Cover and cook for 20 minutes.

Pour the fruit and water through a strainer with a bowl to catch the juices, letting it drain 15 minutes. Measure the drained liquid, and then measure out the same amount of sugar. Return the juices to the saucepan and bring them to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon lemon juice and begin adding the sugar 1/2 cup at a time, allowing the mixture to return to a boil before adding the next 1/2 cup sugar. Continue cooking until the liquid reaches its gel point (generally 8 degrees above the boiling point measured on a thermometer). This takes about 5 or 10 minutes. Once reached, turn off the heat and stir in the plum pieces, letting them steep together for 15 minutes.

Return the preserves to a boil. Stir in the remaining 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice and 1/2 cup more sugar. Boil for 10 minutes stirring frequently until the temperature rises to 215° F. Turn off the heat and skim off any foam. Brush it on the cooked ribs.

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