Braised Flat Iron Steak with Parsnip Fondant (Draadjesvlees)

Braised beef is known as “draadjesvlees” in the Netherlands. This literally means “thread meat”, referring to the flaky structure of the meat. Good draadjesvlees should be juicy and tender, not tough and dry. This means braising it over low heat for a long time. One of the most common cuts that is used for this “sucadelappen”, which in the US is called flat iron steak. The difference is that in the Netherlands the tendon is in the middle is left in and after long braising is eaten. The braised tendon looks like candied peel, which is “sucade” in Dutch. Hence the name.

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The ‘threads’ in the draadjesvlees are clearly visible

The dish I prepared can be made with or without sous-vide. With sous-vide cooking, a flat iron steak or other types of beef that are usually braised, can be cooked for 24-72 hours at 55-57ºC/131-135ºF to obtain the texture of a tender steak cooked to medium rare. I’ve very rarely used sous-vide to get the texture of a traditional braise. Exceptions have been duck confit and pulled pork. This is the first time I’ve prepared draadjesvlees sous-vide. I cooked it for 5 hours at 88ºC/190ºF. The result was comparable to a good traditional braise on the stovetop. The advantage is that there is less margin of error.

The advantage of cooking the beef sous-vide at 88ºC/190ºF is that that is also a fitting temperature for cooking the potatoes and parsnips sous-vide. Continue reading “Braised Flat Iron Steak with Parsnip Fondant (Draadjesvlees)”

Roasted Parsnips

Roasting is one of my favorite ways to prepare vegetables because it concentrates the flavor and makes the outside nice and crispy. Getting the texture of roasted parsnips right can be tricky, so I use them most often to make puree. As PutneyFarm pointed out, roasted parsnips with excellent texture can be made by parcooking them first. Steaming is better than (par)boiling, because boiling will dilute the flavor rather than concentrating it. This is less of an issue with steaming, but I thought of a different solution if you have enough time. Since roasted parsnips are great as a side to a … Continue reading Roasted Parsnips

Scallops and Shrimp with a Vanilla Sauce, Pea Puree and Parsnip Puree

Wine is often paired with food, but it can be inspiring to take a bottle of wine as the starting point and try to cook something that will go well with it. Oak barrels can give a hint of vanilla to wines, and so I thought it would be fun to make a vanilla cream sauce to go with a creamy oaked chardonnay. It worked out really well, and the pairing was outstanding. The wine went well with the vanilla creaminess of the sauce as well as with the seafood. The combination of scallops with parsnip and peas is something … Continue reading Scallops and Shrimp with a Vanilla Sauce, Pea Puree and Parsnip Puree

35aweek’s Beef & parsnip ragù (Ragù di manzo e pastinaca)

I saw the recipe for Wine-braised beef & parsnip ragù on 35aweek‘s blog and thought it could be good, even though I had never tasted or heard of this combination. So I decided to give it a try, sticking mostly to her recipe. Cooking beef and vegetables in the same stew is always a challenge since the temperature needed to cook the vegetables is too high to cook meat without drying it out, but this recipe works around that by shredding the beef. The good thing about drying out the beef is that the flavor doesn’t just disappear but ends … Continue reading 35aweek’s Beef & parsnip ragù (Ragù di manzo e pastinaca)