Braised Kale with Bacon

Braised Kale with Bacon

Braised Kale with Bacon served in a shallow white bowl resting on a wooden trivel and blue checkered kitchen towel.

Braised Kale with Bacon

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Bacon has its own food group for a reason, it makes people actually want to eat Kale, LOL! At least in my world it does, and autumn is the perfect season to enjoy plenty of robust braised greens. While this recipe has been made with kale, other greens like Swiss chard, beet greens or collards will work very well also. Braised Kale with Bacon is a great side dish with roasted meats, and if by chance you have any leftovers, it’s perfect to add to a frittata, baked pasta or simply topped with a runny egg. The latter being my personal favourite because I’m a firm believer that a runny egg makes the world a tastier place and the bacon is already included, so it’s a win-win scenario.

Ingredients for Braised Kale with Bacon nestled in a shallow white tray.
Sauteed onions in an off white dutch oven in preparation of Braised Kale with Bacon.

Eating kale doesn’t have to mean you’re on a diet. The ratio of bacon and parmesan cheese in this recipe tips the healthy scale a little, but it’s also the reason it’s so tasty. Don’t be skimpy on the cheese my friends. Enjoy!

Can’t eat kale, even with bacon? Here’s a few more veggie sides to choose from.

Cranberry Almond Roasted Broccoli

Garlicky Buttered Beans

Honey Garlic Carrots and Parsnips

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Braised Kale with Bacon

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 6 1/2 cup servings

Ingredients

  • 10 ounces kale about 6 ounces trimmed
  • 4 ounces bacon, 3-4 slices, diced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp chili flakes
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 medium juice of 1/2 a lemon

Instructions

  • Trim kale of ribs and stems and tear them into bite-size pieces.
  • Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add chopped bacon and cook until rendered and crisp. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate.
  • Add enough olive oil to the remaining bacon fat to equal 2 tbsp (you may not need it).
  • Add sliced onions and cook over medium heat until soft, about 5-7 minutes. Add sliced garlic and chili flakes and continue to cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  • Toss in trimmed kale and salt and pepper and cook, stirring often until kale is starting to wilt 3-5 minutes.
  • Pour in broth and water, cover and cook for 12-15 minutes, stirring once or twice until kale is soft. Remove lid and continue to cook for 3-5 minutes until most of the liquid has cooked out.
  • Add parmesan cheese and bacon and toss to combine. Add a generous squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Serve immediately.

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Braised Celery and White Beans

Braised Celery and White Beans

Don’t be fooled by the humble celery! Look beyond what is thought to be boring, and used only for mirepoix and stuffing myth.  What lies there is an irresistible crunch and distinctive yet mild flavour. Braised Celery and White Beans lets this veggie take centre stage along side white beans to show off its best assets, the crunch. Even after cooking, the celery retains some of its inherent firmness which gives the otherwise soft ingredients a bit of character.

The tomatoey sauce provides the perfect bath for everything to soak and simmer together in. The melty and gooey cheese makes the dish homey and comforting. Served with crusty bread, Braised Celery and White Beans is a healthy yet rustic and satisfying meal.

Recipe source for Braised Celery and White Beans:  Compelled To Cook

 

Braised Celery and White Beans
Print Recipe
    Servings Prep Time
    4 servings 20 minutes
    Cook Time Passive Time
    75 minutes 45 minutes
    Servings Prep Time
    4 servings 20 minutes
    Cook Time Passive Time
    75 minutes 45 minutes
    Braised Celery and White Beans
    Print Recipe
      Servings Prep Time
      4 servings 20 minutes
      Cook Time Passive Time
      75 minutes 45 minutes
      Servings Prep Time
      4 servings 20 minutes
      Cook Time Passive Time
      75 minutes 45 minutes
      Ingredients
      Servings: servings
      Instructions
      1. Preheat oven to 350℉. In a large sauté pan, cook bacon until just starting to crisp and most of the fat has rendered. Remove bacon to a paper towel lined plate using a slotted spatula. Reserve approximately 2 tbsp of bacon fat in pan.
      2. Over medium heat, add sliced shallots and garlic to bacon fat and sauté for 1-2 minutes until the shallots are starting to soften. Add celery and sauté for an additional 2 minutes.
      3. Stir in broth and allow to simmer over medium low heat for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Whisk cornstarch into canned tomato juice until dissolved. Add to pan along with canned tomatoes. Heat until mixture comes to a simmer and thickens. Stir in cannelloni beans, smoked paprika, fresh herbs, salt and pepper.
      4. Divide equally between 4 individual coquette dishes or ramekins. Place on a large baking sheet and cover with foil. Bake for 45 minutes. Top each with 1/4 cup of grated cheese and broil until cheese has melted and is golden. Serve with crusty bread if desired.
      Braised Lamb Shoulder

      Braised Lamb Shoulder

      Are you planning on serving lamb for Easter? Braised Lamb Shoulder is tender and smothered with a creamy mushroom thyme sauce. A wonderful main dish to share with your family and friends this Easter.

      Not sure if you’re a lamb lover or not? It’s definitely a stronger meat and most people either really like it or can do without it. I rather like it, and grilled lamb chops are my personal favourite. Braised lamb is my second favourite because the long braising time helps to mellow the stronger lamb taste. To make it even better, this fork tender Braised Lamb Shoulder is generously hugged by a flavourful sauce made with sherry, mushrooms, thyme and cream.

      My thoughts for this dish came from having brunch at the Banff Springs Hotel. There, they just happened to serve three separate braised lamb dishes. The one that took me back for seconds was a braised lamb in a creamy mushroom sauce. While this Braised Lamb Shoulder is not exactly what I had, it is similar in many ways and just as delicious. I always love it when dining out generates motivation and inspiration for creating great food.

      Don’t be a slave to the kitchen either, with a little prep you don’t need to worry much about this roast for 4 hours. So you can spend most of the afternoon with your guests. The final dish can also be left to sit in a low oven, giving you time to enjoy an appetizer or mingle over a glass of wine, or both. Enjoy!

      Recipe Source for Braised Lamb Shoulder:  Compelled To Cook

       

      Braised Lamb Shoulder
      Print Recipe
        Servings Prep Time
        6-8 people 15 minutes
        Cook Time Passive Time
        4 1/2 hours 4 hours
        Servings Prep Time
        6-8 people 15 minutes
        Cook Time Passive Time
        4 1/2 hours 4 hours
        Braised Lamb Shoulder
        Print Recipe
          Servings Prep Time
          6-8 people 15 minutes
          Cook Time Passive Time
          4 1/2 hours 4 hours
          Servings Prep Time
          6-8 people 15 minutes
          Cook Time Passive Time
          4 1/2 hours 4 hours
          Ingredients
          Servings: people
          Instructions
          1. Preheat oven to 325℉. Season lamb shoulder generously with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large braiser or dutch oven over medium high heat. Sear roast until browned on all sides. Remove roast to a plate and add mushrooms, sautéing until browned and starting to give off their liquid. Add garlic and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring often.
          2. Add sherry and reduce over medium high heat for 2 minutes. Stir in chicken stock and heat to a simmer. Add roast back into pan, along with a bay leaf and about 5 sprigs of fresh thyme. Cover and cook in oven for 2 hours. Turn roast over and replace lid, continue to cook for an additional 2 hours.
          3. Remove from oven and carefully lift roast out of pan onto a plate. Cover with foil and allow to rest while completing sauce. Remove bay leaf and thyme sprigs and discard. Skim any excess fat from liquid and simmer over high heat to reduce liquid to about 2 cups, approximately 15 minutes. Whisk together heavy cream and cornstarch. Whisk into sauce along with the chopped thyme and bring back to a simmer. If sauce is not thick enough, continue to reduce for 2-3 minutes until a desired consistency is reached. The sauce will thicken slightly as it cools so be careful not to reduce too much. If you do, simply add a splash of heavy cream to adjust. Adjust final sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
          4. Remove butcher string from roast and slice against the grain into 1/4" slices. Arrange slices in desired serving dish and ladle with sauce. Serve immediately or cover with foil and keep warm in a low oven for up to 1 hour.
          Recipe Notes

          If your boneless lamb shoulder comes with a netting, cut it off and retie with butcher string so the roast can be seared prior to braising.

          Braised Fennel Chicken

          Braised Fennel Chicken

          Let yourself be seduced by your dinner!  Braised Fennel Chicken is an aromatic, warming, and silky dish that is inviting and succulent.  Chicken braised with cream, fennel, wine and stock until just starting to fall of the bone is why this dish begs to be made.  Maybe not your everyday weeknight meal, but certainly perfect for the weekend. Enjoy a glass of wine and let the braise work its magic and fill the house with a subtle savoury aroma.

          While raw fennel is crisp and bright with an anise taste, braised fennel is mild and tender with just a hint of anise.  Simmered with all the good things like wine and cream it’s down right delicious!  Cooking the fennel softens the anise taste and the end result is mild and rich.

          I love this recipe because the chicken meat just falls off the bone and the sauce is luscious and creamy while the fennel adds a little texture.  The reality is….I could eat this every night of the week.  My waistline however will caution me otherwise!

          Recipe Source:  Compelled To Cook

          Braised Fennel Chicken is aromatic and warming with a silky cream sauce.
          Braised Fennel Chicken
          Print Recipe
            Servings Prep Time
            4 people 10 minutes
            Cook Time
            82 minutes
            Servings Prep Time
            4 people 10 minutes
            Cook Time
            82 minutes
            Braised Fennel Chicken is aromatic and warming with a silky cream sauce.
            Braised Fennel Chicken
            Print Recipe
              Servings Prep Time
              4 people 10 minutes
              Cook Time
              82 minutes
              Servings Prep Time
              4 people 10 minutes
              Cook Time
              82 minutes
              Ingredients
              Servings: people
              Instructions
              1. Preheat oven to 350℉. Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper. In a large skillet heat oil over medium high heat. Once hot add chicken pieces and sear on all sides until nicely browned, approximately 12 minutes. Remove chicken and cover with foil. Remove all but 2 tbsp of oil from skillet. Add fennel and garlic and sauté 2-3 minutes over medium heat. Deglaze pan by adding wine and scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen any browned bits. Allow to reduce for 2 minutes. Stir in mustard, stock and cream and reduce for an additional 2 minutes. Return chicken to the pan, cover and bake for 1 hour.
              2. Remove chicken from pan to a serving dish and cover. Over medium high heat reduce sauce for about 3 minutes until thickened. Spoon sauce with the fennel over chicken. Garnish with fennel fronds and serve immediately.
              Braised Boneless Short Ribs

              Braised Boneless Short Ribs

              Today I am compelled to stay warm in May! Yes, here in Alberta Canada we have snow on our May long weekend. While this event isn’t that shocking it does give cause to make a warm, deeply simmered pot of boneless short ribs usually saved for the fall and winter months.

              While I prefer bone in short ribs I just couldn’t pass up on these nicely marbled and very thick boneless short ribs that I came across. In this recipe the beef is seared to help seal in moisture and to give extra flavour and colour to the sauce. The port and long braising time give depth to the sauce and creates super tender pieces of meat.

              So even though I am disappointed with the weather, I can definitely say these short ribs made me forget the snow by filling the house with rich aroma, forcing me to be cozy all day knowing a warm satisfying meal awaited me.

               

              Braised Boneless Short Ribs
              Print Recipe
                Servings Prep Time
                4 people 20 minutes
                Cook Time Passive Time
                40 minutes 150 minutes
                Servings Prep Time
                4 people 20 minutes
                Cook Time Passive Time
                40 minutes 150 minutes
                Braised Boneless Short Ribs
                Print Recipe
                  Servings Prep Time
                  4 people 20 minutes
                  Cook Time Passive Time
                  40 minutes 150 minutes
                  Servings Prep Time
                  4 people 20 minutes
                  Cook Time Passive Time
                  40 minutes 150 minutes
                  Ingredients
                  Servings: people
                  Instructions
                  1. Preheat oven to 325℉. Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a large dutch oven over medium high heat. Saute quartered mushrooms until golden and most of the liquid has evaporated. Remove from pan and set aside.
                  2. Combine 1/4 cup of flour with salt and pepper. Dredge each piece of meat in flour mixture, shaking off excess. Add enough oil to the dutch oven to cover the bottom. Heat to medium high and only when pan is hot add meat pieces and sear on all sides until well browned being careful not to overcrowd the pan. Do two patches if required. Remove meat from pan as they are finished and set aside.
                  3. Reduce heat to medium and add onions and garlic, sautéing 2-3 minutes until soft. Add port and stir to scrape up all the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring to a simmer and reduce liquid for 5 minutes. Add broth, tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, rosemary and bay leaf. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer. Cover and braise in oven for approximately 2 hours or until meat is tender.
                  4. Remove from oven and mix remaining flour with 2-3 Tbsp of cold water to make a slurry. Add mushrooms and slurry to the braise and stir to combine. Return to oven and continue braising for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and skim any visible fat from the top. Serve immediately with mashed potatoes.
                  Recipe Notes

                  Recipe Source:  Compelled To Cook