Roasted Marinated Onions and Shallots

½ pound cipolline onions, peeled
½ pound shallots, peeled and separated into cloves
2 C balsamic vinegar
1 stick cinnamon
6 cloves garlic

Combine ingredients in a large plastic bag. Refrigerate and marinate at least 24 hours and up to a week. To roast, heat oven to 375. Remove onions and shallots from marinade, place in roasting pan and sprinkle with olive oil. Roast 30-40 minutes until nicely brown and crisp-tender. Serve with roasted or grilled meat or other roasted vegetables. Discard or roast garlic; remaining marinade can be used in salad dressing, or re-used as marinade.

Harvest Braise

photo Fine Cooking

This recipe calls for pork. Chuck roast may be substituted. Six hearty servings.

3# boneless country-style pork ribs, trimmed
salt and pepper
2 T oil
½ C dry red wine
1 can (14.5 oz) beef broth
2 C yellow onions, diced
5 fresh sage leaves, minced, or 1 t. dried
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T oil
3 T all-purpose flour
8 oz button mushrooms, halved if whole, or sliced
8 oz. Shitakes, stems removed, large pieces torn
3 T oil
1 can (14.5 oz.) Diced tomatoes
2 C pearl onions, blanched & peeled, or one bag frozen
salt & pepper to taste

Remove bone & excess fat from rib; cut meat into1-inch, finger-length pieces; you’ll have about 2½ pounds of meat. Season meat with salt and pepper. In a large saucepan, heat 2 T oil until almost smoking; add meat in batches and sear until browned on all sides, about 15 minutes. Remove meat and reserve.  Reduce heat to medium and add wine; deglaze until wine is nearly evaporated,  about 5 minutes. Put meat back into pan and pour in beef broth halfway up the meat; you may not use all the beef broth. Cover pan with tight-fitting lid and simmer over very low heat, 30 minutes.

While meat simmers, in another pan saute onions, garlic and sage over medium heat in 1 T oil. Cook until onions become translucent, but do not permit them to brown, 8 minutes. Remove pan from heat and add flour, blend thoroughly.
Remove onion mixture and reserve. Heat reaming 2 T oil in pan and add mushrooms; saute until golden brown.

After braising pork 30 minutes, remove cover, stir in diced tomatoes & their juice and replace lid. Continue braising another 30 minutes. Add mushrooms, pearl onions and the onion-flour mixture. Stir to mix well, add salt and pepper and replace lid. Continue braising 30 minutes. Check meat for doneness – it should be very tender. Turn off heat and adjust seasonings.

Serve over noodles or boiled potatoes, with fresh Tomato Relish on the side.

Roasted Roots

Photo Deborah Mele

Using a colorful combination makes this dish as appealing in appearance as it does in flavor. Four servings

1 bunch carrots
1 bunch parsley root
2-3 large parsnips
1 sweet potato (optional)
½ C olive oil
½ t kosher salt
sprinkling of mace (optional)
chili powder (optional)
pumpkin seed oil or walnut oil for garnish (optional)

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Remove to tops of carrots and parsley root. Wash and peel all roots. If the carrots are small, leave them whole; otherwise slice lengthwise into quarters. Repeat for parsley root. Parsnips should be trimmed of the long slender part, which can be quartered lengthwise to match the parsley and carrots; the larger portion can be sliced into medallions. The sweet potato can be sliced into medallions or sticks, whichever is preferred. Place roots into a plastic bag and add olive oil to coat; this will have to be done in several batches for proper coating of olive oil. Add a pinch of kosher salt to each batch. Cover two rimmed baking sheets with aluminum foil; spread roots out on foil in one layer. Roast until golden, 15-30 minutes. Remove and sprinkle with your choice of mace or chili powder, or both. Drizzle with pumpkin seed or walnut oil and serve hot. Makes a wonderful accompaniment to roast chicken or beef.