Saturday, November 27, 2010

Parsnip Puree (with Braised Short Ribs)

The closest relative to the parsnip is the carrot but it often gets overlooked compared to its more popular orange cousin. Not only does the parsnip's sweetness rivals the carrot's, its starchiness adds a potato-like characteristic to any dish. Flavor-wise, it is like a mild turnip, only sweeter and better. A root vegetable, parsnip can be prepared in many ways. When raw, it can be shredded into a salad or if you like your parsnip cooked, you can roast, boil, braise, steam or sauté. I have found parsnip to be a great compliment to braised short ribs and the best preparation for it is in puree form. Here's the recipe:

1lb. parsnip
1 1/2 cups light cream
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 onion (rough chop)
2 cloves garlic (rough chop)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste

First, peel the parsnip and cut them into 1-inch logs. Next, boil them in salted water until they are tender to the touch. This usually takes about 30 minutes or so. In another pot, heat up the cream and butter, bring to a simmer and shut it off. Sauté the onions until tender, add the garlic and cook until slightly brown. Get it off the heat immediately so as the garlic won't burn.

Add everything into a food processor and puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper and you are done. Easy, right? To serve, scoop some of the puree onto a plate and top it off with some braised short ribs plus a little of the sauce. Garnish with scallions. For my braised short ribs recipe, look here.

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