Glazed Parsnips

IMG_6204This time of year, it’s all about root vegetables.  The more of them we eat, the better we’ll be able to handle spring when it comes.  Which is not today. winter day 2014 02 24

This is how Mom used to cook parsnips, glazed in a cast iron frying pan.  It is still my favourite way to eat them.

Parsnips have a flavour that is so different from any other root veg, sweet and earthy.  They’re an old historic vegetable, used as both a sweetener and sustenance.  They add depth to mixed vegetable dishes, such as roasted roots or a good bordelaise mirepoix.

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Oxtail Soup


IMG_5318 The first time we went in to pick up beef from the butcher, he asked if we’d like the licker, the flicker, or the ticker.  We stood looking at him like a couple of newbies.  I’m not sure if he actually rolled his eyes, but probably somewhere in his head he was.

The tongue, the tail, or the heart.  Not having had much experience with any of them, we opted for the least embarassing, and said, “yes please.”

So started my fascination with slow braising of the most intensely flavoured muscle meat that a beef animal has to offer.  These aren’t actually organs, they are constantly used muscles, tough because of their use.  They pump, lick, help to swallow, and flick away flies.

The more a muscle is used, the more flavour it has.  The trick is how to get that flavour in an accessible way. In other words, without much chewing!

This soup is one of my all time favourites.  I think I was first introduced to it in a red & white labelled can.  Now it is made once or twice a year (there’s only one tail per animal).  Cook the meat, creating the stock, one day; put together the soup the next.  Take your time, no one is expecting you to rush while making a pot of soup.  Continue reading