From Warming Winter Foods
(Rutabaga stew with short ribs)
This recipe for slow-cooked short ribs and bacon with rutabaga, carrot, onion, and potato is typical of Northern German cuisine. Chef Anja’s mother often made this dish for her family. Recipe courtesy of Gaumenkitzel.
Serves 4 to 5
3 pounds pork spare ribs or beef short ribs, cut into serving sections
¾ pound slab bacon (or soft beef salami) sliced to ¾ inch to 2 inches thick (Pre-sliced bacon is not recommended as it is too thin and will fall apart while cooking.)
4 twigs fresh marjoram
Filtered water, as needed
1–2 teaspoons salt
1 pound rutabagas, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
¾ pound carrots, peeled and cut into ¾-inch cubes or ½-inch thick slices
¾ pound firm waxy type potatoes (such as red, yellow, or Yukon gold), peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes. (Submerging the cut potatoes in water before use will keep them from turning brown.)
1 small yellow onion, halved and cut into thin slices
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns*
A few whole dry juniper berries (optional)*
Chopped parsley, as desired, for garnish
* Grind the peppercorns to medium fine (along with the optional juniper berries). If using a mortar and pestle, adding some salt will help with grinding.
Place the ribs, bacon slices (or salami), salt, and marjoram in a large, wide cooking pot with a lid. Gently pour in filtered water to barely cover the meat. Cover pot and slowly bring to a boil over medium-high heat, about 20 to 25 minutes. Don’t rush: High heat will cause the protein to coagulate and make white flakes in your stew. When water reaches a boil, reduce heat to low and let simmer for 15 minutes.
Turn off heat and place all the vegetables in the pot on top of the meat. (To prevent breaking up of vegetables during cooking, resist the urge to stir the pot from this point onward.) Add the ground black pepper and (optional) juniper berries. Cover, turn heat to medium-high, bring to a boil, then turn heat to low and let simmer for another 20 to 25 minutes until vegetables are soft but not mushy. Test doneness of each vegetable individually to determine if they are cooked. Taste broth, adding more salt and pepper as needed.
Serve in soup bowls, ladling in some vegetables first, then placing meat portions on top. Add more broth and vegetables as desired, removing any remaining marjoram stems. Garnish with chopped parsley, as desired.