Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Beef Soup with Greens and Homemade Egg Noodles

Looking for a meal that uses some spring greens but can also fortify you through an evening of thunderstorms? I have the soup for you! I'm basically on a quest to Re-Master the Art of Jewish Cooking by Jennie Grossinger (a la Julie Powell's Mastering the Art of French Cooking in Julie/Julia), but not quite as ambitiously or confessionally as Julie. I intend to haphazardly work my way through the cookbook, updating the recipes for modern palettes and throwing Kosher-ness to the wind. I started this project a while back (though I didn't announce it), so I'll go back and label the recipes: AoJC. I don't intend to hijack the blog with this venture, but I thought I'd let you know why I'm making so many recipes from The AoJC. Carry on posting as usual.

Beef Soup with Greens

In the AoJC, this recipe is known as flanken soup. Flanken-style short ribs are beef short ribs cut against the bone, similar to what you'd find in a Korean restaurant. More commonly you'll find short ribs cut with the ribs, known as English style. You can use any kind of meaty beef bone for this recipe, such as oxtails, or a combination of stew bones and meat. The end result will be beef broth with small bits of beef and lots of greens, so you don't need a lot of meat. For the greens, pick something with body (I used curly endive), and if you're concerned about bitterness, blanch them first. This makes enough for 2 people with leftovers--feel free to scale it up.

~3/4 lb. flanken-style short ribs (1 pack.)
1 onion, sliced thin
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 rib celery
1 carrot
3 cloves garlic
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp. allspice
1 tsp. sugar
1 large bunch hearty greens, blanched if necessary
3 Tbsp. chopped parsley
Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper

In a heavy bottomed pot, heat some oil to very hot. Pat the meat dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sear the meat quickly so that it has a crispy brown exterior and remove from the pot. Lower the heat and saute the onions with red pepper flakes and a pinch of salt until they begin to caramelize. Add the carrot and celery (roughly chopped), 2 cloves garlic, and spices and cover with water . Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 1.5 hrs or more.

Strain the soup and get rid of the onions, carrots, and celery. Cut the meat from the bone and return it to the pot. Chop up the greens and place them in the pot. Bring back to a low boil and cook the greens 10 minutes. Stir in the parsley and the remaining garlic clove (minced) and adjust the flavor with sugar, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper. Serve with fresh or homemade egg noodles.

Homemade Egg Noodles

These are soooo worth the effort of making them. If you have a pasta maker, all the better. I don't have one so I just use a rolling pin and a lot of patience.

2 c. all-purpose flour
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. salt
1-3 Tbsp. cold water

Start some pasta water a-boiling and salt it well. Place the flour in a mound on the countertop and make a well in it. Break the eggs into the well and add the water and salt to it. Begin mixing the dough with one hand (leaving the other free to add more water or flour the board). Knead until it combines to make a smooth and elastic dough that is stiff enough that it doesn't stick to the counter. Roll it as thin as possible with a pasta maker or rolling pin. Cut into any shape you like, tossing the noodles with flour when they're cut so that they don't stick together.

When the water is at a rolling boil, add the noodles and cook for 5 minutes. I recommend doing 2-3 batches for better texture. Drain the noodles and toss them in melted butter to set aside until you're ready to use them. Heck, just eat them with the butter if you like. Pasta dough can also be frozen before it is boiled (be sure to flour well). If you want the noodles to look funky, you can substitute the water and/or one of the eggs with something colorful, like beet water or spinach puree.

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