Boulud’s Braise

Two braises served with rice

I made two recipes from Daniel Boulud’s Braise (2006) today, the tripe with spicy yellow peppers and watercress (pg. 100) and Southern-style black-eyed peas with bacon (pg. 181).  Let’s talk tripe.  I love it, and this dish sounded so damned good I thought I’d go through all the prep and the zillion ingredients to prepare it.  I used what he said and did what he said and it turned out good.  It was complex – a bit spicy with a sweetish backdrop – but I think I’d like a little more peanut butter and a higher PTT (potato-to-tripe) ratio.  The extra PB would make it a bit more comforting and provide more body to the sauce, and the potatoes make the dish a meal while serving as a foil for the flavor parade that is the sauce, so more of them would be a plus.  I’d also reduce the stock slightly.  I can’t see myself making this dish all that often, not so much because it is quite a bit of work, but for the same reason I only order Singapore chow fun one time for every thirty orders of “regular” chow fun:  it has a very distinctive flavor and, as a matter of personal taste, it’s not something I want more than a few times a year. 

Briased tripe dish from boulud's book Braise

I took a couple of liberties with the black-eyed peas and bacon dish:  I used canned black-eyed peas and substituted 2/3 of the slab bacon with pork belly, which is basically slab bacon that has not had anything done to it.  If you like a pronounced smokey flavor, then you should use all slab bacon, but I like it in small doses.  I also used slightly over a pound of meat, which is way more than the recipe calls for, but I had a piece of pork belly in a “use it or lose it” situation.  Finally, I substituted plain old yellow onion for the red.  This was excellent – so savory and rib-sticking.  Next time I make this pork and beans super deluxe I’ll serve it with some crusty rolls and a green salad.  I cooked it so long it was like a confit – and a little goes a long way.

pork belly braise inspired by Boulud's book Braise

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