KP 005| How To Clean, Blanch & Prep Baby Carrots

This video will teach you how to properly prepare baby carrots.

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There are 8 Comments

mrdecoy1's picture

Jacob if I am going to braise a pot roast, should I even bother blanching carrots, garlic, or pearl onions? thank you. 

jacob burton's picture

When serving vegetables with braised dishes I prefer to cook them separately as they will for sure be overcooked if started with the short ribs. My normal procedure at the restaurant is I'll braise the meat with mirepoix and then strain the braising liquid when the process is finished. I will then reduce the braising liquid to make a glaze, and use that to reheat/glaze the short rib. The blanched vegetables can be added in during the glazing step or sauted and served separately.

 

So in short, yes, I would still recommend blanching the vegetables first, because this will give you better control over their texture.

mrdecoy1's picture

Jacob I must have missed something? then what do you do with the mirepoix? can you break this down a little more? step by step. Sorry I hope you don't roll your eyes, LOL I'm such a beginner. I have a roast in the refrigerator and vegetables ready to go tomorrow. Last time I made it, I threw all the vegetables in at the beginning and it ended up a mushy mess, but still good. Thanks. 

jacob burton's picture

The mirepoix gets tossed because at the end of the cooking cycle it has given up it's flavor and will be mushy. The braising liquid is strained, and only the liquid is saved (at least this is how I do it at the restaurant).

 

You can add the mirepoix 45 minutes before the braising is finished, but you won't get the same results. Add the mirepoix at the beginning of the cooking process to give your braising liquid flavor, and then have a separate batch of root vegetables (carrots, pearl onions, etc) blanched off and ready to go. That way when you're ready to serve the braised meat, you can heat the carrots up in the braising liquid or saute in a separate pan. This will allow you to serve a complete dish where both the meat and vegetables are cooked perfectly.

 

Let me know if you have any other questions. I'll check this thread tomorrow morning and try and answer any follow ups before you have to start the cooking.

 

Good Luck.

mrdecoy1's picture

Ok I get it now. Only other questions are: 1. I've seen varying opinions, what temp in the oven you think? 200 F for a long time? 2. I bought some baby red potatoes, how should I cook them? I think if I drop them in the braise liquid they might release too much water? thank you, this time I'll approach it with much more confidence due to your professional help. 

jacob burton's picture

Usually, the slower the better, but for what you're trying to do, 250-300F will be sufficient. For the potatoes, I have the best way to do this and it's full proof.

 

Cut the potatoes in half, toss with oil, salt and pepper and place them cut side down on a sheet tray (making sure they're cut side down is very important). When you're braise is about 45 minutes from being done, place the sheet tray of potatoes in your oven. When you pull the braise, leave the potatoes in the oven and crank it to 450F. In the meantime, allow your braise to rest at room temp for a little bit (maybe 10 mintues), after which you want to strain the liquid into a tall, preferably clear container. Allow the liquid to rest for about 5 minutes, and skim off any fat that rise to the surface. After skimming, start reducing the liquid to make a glaze.

 

Continue to cook potatoes for another 20 minutes, or until the cut side is golden brown. Place a pat of butter along with some fresh cut herbs in the largest mixing bowl you have, put the potatoes in the mixing bowl and toss with the butter and herbs right before serving. If done correctly, the potatoes will be fluffy on the inside while the cut side is a caramelized, chewy golden brown.

 

Place the potatoes in the center of the plate with a piece of the braised meat right on top, and sauce with your glaze made from your braising liquid.

 

To make the glaze, you want to reduce the braising liquid by at least 3/4s in a large saute pan, bonus points if you start with some shallots and deglaze with red wine. You're essentially making a pan sauce; you even want to finish it with some butter and acid (read lemon juice), but when the "pan sauce" or glaze is almost done, add the braised meat back into the pan to both re-heat (because it's been resting at room temp while making the glaze) and to actually coat it with the delicious sauce.

 

If you haven't watched it already, check out this video on how to make a pan reduction sauce, but instead of using the roasted veal stock, use you're braising liquid: http://www.stellaculinary.com/podcasts/video/sns-5-pan-reduction-sauce

 

Let me know how it turns out!

 

mrdecoy1's picture

Jacob this sounds killer man thank you. One more "newb" question: when you say "reduce by 3/4" what does that mean? does that mean let 1/4 of total liquid evaporate? or 1/4 of what I started with should be all that is left ?? sorry but I'm still learning the basics. Thanks so much!

jacob burton's picture

No problem, questions are how your learn.

 

When a recipe says "reduce by 3/4s," it means evaporate away 3/4s of the liquid, leaving you with 1/4 of what you started with.

 

Cheers!