Long, cold New England winters would be unbearable if it weren’t for braises. There’s a solid six months between picking the last of the summer’s tomatoes and trimming the first spear of asparagus, and during that time I turn to sturdy long-cooked recipes like these short ribs, which have the added benefit of warming your kitchen as they cook. This is a recipe intended for a cold day, when the wind is blowing sideways and the snow shoveling feels never-ending.
Milk may not seem a likely braising liquid, but it works beautifully, tenderizing the meat and combining with the chicken juices and spices to create the sauce. You can brown the meat in advance, assemble the braise and refrigerate it, then pop it into the oven just before you want to eat; in under an hour you’ll have a comforting main course that’s perfect for a snowy evening.
The same way I save the chicken carcass after a chicken dinner to make stock, I save lobster shells all summer long and turn them into broth. You can do this with shrimp shells, too. What do the shells add to the broth? A beautiful brininess. It’s the essence of the sea.
A homemade fish stock can make the difference between a good chowder and a great chowder. It’s worth asking your fish monger to save leftover fish bones for this.
Beef-bone broth has become all the rage in recent years, due to the popularity of the Paleo diet, one that promotes eating lots of meat as well as this type of rich, nourishing broth. It is said to have all kinds of health benefits, since it’s rich in protein, gelatin, and anti-oxidants.