Monday, January 24, 2011

Recipe #59 - Stirring the Pot: Veal Braised in Milk and Honey with Buttered Turnips

In effort to continue cooking my way through Tyler's Stirring the Pot, I will have two recipes from the book to share with you this week.  I've been trying to work my way through Tyler's book for two years now and one of the constant problems I have is finding all the specialty ingredients.  Take this recipe for instance, veal shoulder?  Have you ever seen it in your market?  I've searched high and low for about 2 years now and never found it.

I decided just to bite the bullet and use beef shoulder.  I'm sure veal shoulder is great, if you can find it.  Also, let's talk about turnips.  I've had them.  I like them.  I couldn't find them in my local market, so I subbed yukon gold potatoes.  So basically, instead of having Veal Braised in Milk and Honey with Buttered Turnips, we really had Beef Braised in Milk and Honey with Buttered Potatoes.  How's that for a stretch?

 I'd like to think the main point of this particular recipe is the unique use of milk and honey as a braising liquid, not necessarily the focus on whether or not you use beef or veal and/or turnips and potatoes.  I have to say that I was somewhat reluctant about braising anything in milk as I'd never done it before.  This was yet another dish that really surprised me, in a very pleasant way.  The milk and honey braising liquid turns into a rather creamy gravy with a savory and slightly sweet taste that enhances the richness of the meat.  I would definitely use this method again when braising.
Beef Braised in Milk and Honey with Buttered Potatoes
Adapted from Tyler Florence's Stirring the Pot
Serves 6-8

Extra virgin olive oil
4 pounds beef shoulder (or veal)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 garlic cloves, peeled
1/4 bunch fresh thyme sprigs (about 4 sprigs)
4-5 dried porcini mushrooms
1/2 gallon milk
3 tablespoons honey
1 recipe Buttered Potatoes (or turnips)*recipe follows

Preheat oven to 350F.  In a large heavy pot or Dutch oven heat a 3-count of olive oil (about 3 tablespoons) over medium-high heat.  Season beef (or veal) with plenty of salt and pepper.  Add beef (or veal) to pot, cook and turn  until brown all over and a crust forms.  Add garlic, thyme, and mushrooms.  Pour in the milk and stir in the honey.  Cover and braise about 3 hours, until the beef (or veal) is fork-tender.

Remove beef (or veal) from pot and set aside.  Carefully pour small batches of the braising liquid, along with garlic and mushrooms, into a blender.  Tightly hold the lid in place with a kitchen towel and puree until slightly thickened and silky smooth.  Continue with the rest of the braising liquid, mushrooms, and garlic.  Season to taste with pepper and pour over meat.  Serve with Buttered Potatoes (or Turnips).

Buttered Potatoes (Turnips): Preheat oven to 350F.  Peel and quarter 6 medium potatoes.  Place potatoes on a roasting tray; drizzle with EVOO and season with kosher salt.  Roast for 25-30 minutes until just tender.  Toss roasted potatoes in a large bowl with 2 tablespoons unsalted butter and 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley so they are evenly coated and glossy.  Season with kosher salt. 

Notes/Results:  We really enjoyed this recipe.  I will probably still keep my eye out for a veal shoulder, just because I'm sure the veal is much more tender, and a little more sweet, than the beef.  Also, I like that this was a really quick and easy recipe that took little to no time to prepare.  

I do have some notes to share.  Braising liquid is suppose to cover the meat by 2/3rds.  You should be able to see the top half of the meat peeking out.  With this recipe, using a Dutch oven and 1/2 gallon of milk, the meat would be completely covered.  I made the mistake of using only 1/4 gallon of milk (so as not to cover the meat completely) and all the braising liquid evaporated out of the pan.  I caught my mistake in time and was able to pour the other half of the milk in the pan.   Next time I would just pour all the milk into the pan, even if it completely covered the meat.  I guess it pays to follow directions sometimes. 

One more recipe down!


  1. Looks super fantastic, I love the beef especially.

  2. That sounds so sophisticated. I love the flavours, and it looks amazing.
    *kisses* HH

  3. God I love Tyler, I mean his recipes, well of course know what I mean. This looks so good and I have never braised anything with milk, how interesting. Certainly sounds good enough to give it a try. And really, has Tyler ever made any bad food??? YUMMY (I mean his food too) ~Leslie

  4. This looks delicious....sounds wonderful with all those flavors,Kim!!!

  5. This looks really fantastic! It is such a unique idea :)

  6. Hmmm I wonder if this would work on the pheasant I have to cook tonight....

  7. This really looks great. come to think of it i never have seen veal shoulder in my grocery store travels. but this looks like a great alternative.

  8. looks great i so admire the way you are adventurous and work through cookbooks

  9. I love that you used beef since it's more readily available:)

  10. Not gonna lie, I've never heard of veal shoulder either nor would I hold my breath on ever finding it...even here in NYC. This dish definitely intrigues me though. I've heard of braising beef and pork in milk before but have never done it myself. Now I'm definitely going to need to try it!

  11. what a fun dish! i get bugged sometimes when cookbooks make it so hard to get all the ingredients easily, but i love the substitutions you made. what a fun way to braise your meat, i'll definitely have to give it a try.

    hope you're having a good monday, stay warm!

  12. Your dish looks absolutely wonderful. I know what you mean about finding ingredients. I've been searching for veal breast to make a stuffed dish my mother used to make. I don't know the Italian spelling, but it sounds like "bon-zet." You were very creative in your substitutions.

  13. You did a great job with the recipe. Its tough when cookbooks use ingredients that can generally only be found in large coastal cities. Ever a thorn in the side, I write the publisher and author when this happens. I am able to find veal shoulder in the supermakets at certain times of year, but I live in an area where beef is raised. Your photos of the dish are wonderful. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  14. I've never braised in milk and honey, but you've certainly intrigued me to try it. You know I'm a big fan of Tyler, so I can imagine how great this tasted. I never think to cook with turnips. I have no idea why... I'm bookmarking this one, since I love braising so mucy.

  15. I agree with everyone else on this post - it looks good - milk and honey is a great combination and I bet with the veal it was absolutely delicious!

  16. Thank you! I had to buy a whole bag of turnips (only needed 2) for a soup. Have been wondering what to do with the rest. And I'm not a huge fan to begin with.

    I've never seen veal shoulder either...even at the butcher shop! I agree that you got the gist of the recipe. Plus, the substitutions made it yours!

    My husband tried a Bourdain recipe for pork loin braised in milk and I could have slurped up bowls of the braising liquid. I can't imagine how good Tyler's milk and honey combo must have been!

  17. I haven't cooked too much with Tyler, but now you've got me thinking. What an interesting recipe I never would have thought of a milk and honey braise but I'm dying to try this now. I think the beef and potatoes were great substitutions. Veal is very difficult to get here too (or when you can you nearly need to take out a mortgage to buy it), so I think I would probably opt for beef too.

    Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving me the recipe for the Creole seasoning - I have all of those ingredients on hand, so I'm definitely going to try that.


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  19. Lovely dinner! I don't think I've braised in milk and honey before. I find veal cuts hard to find too. But turnips I guess are Northern fare, lots of root veggies up here.

  20. Nah, who follows directions? I think the veal would be better but even when you can find it around here, it is $$$$$. When I last made osso bucco I realized I could have bought a complete beef tenderloin for what I paid for the 4 veal cuts.

  21. I actually like your switches on the recipe!! One of the key points for me to liking a cookbook is that it has to have everyday ingredients so I don't have to go out hunting for something special.

  22. Mmm... this looks great--I love how creamy the sauce looks. I bet it would be wonderful too with veal shanks like osso buco. ;-)


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