March Madness, with Corned Beef Brisket, Cabbage, and Potatoes

The month of March is jam-packed with rituals of revelry and piety around the world, always with food and drink. On the American calendar is “March Madness,” a month-long college basketball playoff season with an accompanying nationwide frenzy over bouncing a large ball and tossing it into a 10-foot high net just barely wide enough for … Continue reading March Madness, with Corned Beef Brisket, Cabbage, and Potatoes

Mysteries of Pork Butchery, and a Recipe for Ham Hock/Shanks with Belgian Endive, White Beans, and Mustard Cream

When writing up this recipe, I had to hesitate over how to describe the main ingredient. Confusion reigns about its proper name: ham shanks, ham hocks, foreleg, hind leg, smoked, not smoked? In the pursuit of clarifying, I found that sometimes “shank” refers to the meaty part just below the shoulder (picnic ham) or the … Continue reading Mysteries of Pork Butchery, and a Recipe for Ham Hock/Shanks with Belgian Endive, White Beans, and Mustard Cream

Pork Meatballs with Prunes and Sage in Dill Yogurt Sauce

I think of meatballs as fun food, family food, including large gatherings with lots of relatives and friends. They appeal for their easy-to-chew texture. They invite never-ending ways of seasoning, shaping, and saucing. And, they are economical, carrying a power pack of flavor in but a few bites. One sort or another meatball, of meat or seafood, or, extending the concept, even of vegetable, can be found in almost every cuisine around the globe. Here’s one that plays with tastes a world away from America, Georgia, in the southwest of the former Soviet Union, right above Armenia, close to Turkey, but still in the Caucasus. Continue reading “Pork Meatballs with Prunes and Sage in Dill Yogurt Sauce”

A Festive Winter Meal: Beef and Parsnip Stew with Cranberry Conserve

Cold weather makes me wish for companions around the table to share warmth and comfort from each other as well as from the food. Beef stew is a natural selection for such an occasion. Parsnips, with their celery-like flavor and hint of sweet potato, are a fitting companion in the pot. The stew is cooked … Continue reading A Festive Winter Meal: Beef and Parsnip Stew with Cranberry Conserve

Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherd’s pie, a recently popular topic in food articles and new cookbooks, is a Northern Isles kind of meat and potatoes concoction that’s a classic pub dish in England and Ireland. The meat is usually lamb, but sometimes it’s beef, in which case it’s called cottage pie. Whether lamb or beef, the idea is the same: … Continue reading Shepherd’s Pie

Sausage: the Cookbook

My latest cookbook, Sausage: Recipes for Making and Cooking with Homemade Sausage (Ten Speed Press, April, 2010), is hot off the press and available in bookstores and online. It includes 75 do-able recipes, no casing required! With flavors from around the world, the recipes showcase sausage as an easy focus for a meal, morning, noon, … Continue reading Sausage: the Cookbook