Braised Rutabaga: Fearless Friday Recipe #31

Heather says:

Rutabaga

Fearless Fridays are about pushing our culinary boundaries, lately I’ve done well with purchasing seasonal vegetables, but the actually cooking the produce in a recipe part has been kicking my butt. I suppose I should cut myself a little slack, as I have been out of town. What have you done fearlessly in the kitchen? Please share your adventures in the comments and feel free to link to your own sites.

The mashed rutabaga I prepared a few weeks ago inspired me to purchase a couple more and continue the experimentation. This week I turned to my favorite ingredient, bacon. It would be possible to make a vegetarian version of this recipe with butter or olive oil (2 – 3 TBSP of either) and vegetable stock, but rendered bacon plays exceptionally well off of the apple and onion. Unless bacon is verboten, try the recipe as written.

For those unfamiliar with the term to braise means to brown and then cooking slowly in a wet heat. Braising is similar to how a crockpot is used, but for the best results the browning step should not be skipped. There is a magic, known as the Maillard reaction that occurs when amino acids and sugars are exposed to heat, it’s nearly impossible to recreate this flavor without browning; some things can’t be rushed.

Braised Rutabaga Recipe

Braised Rutabaga Recipe Ingredients:

  • 1 rutabaga
  • 1 tart apple
  • 1 medium yellow or sweet onion, sliced thin
  • 2 strips of bacon
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • salt and pepper to taste

Braised Rutabaga Recipe Instructions:

In a heavy, oven-proof pot or dutch oven, cook the bacon over medium heat until the fat has rendered. Remove the bacon, chop, and set aside. Preheat the oven to 350F.

While the bacon is cooking, peel and dice the rutabaga and apple. The diced rutabaga should be no more than 1/2″ cubes or the baking time should be extended.

Add the onion to the rendered fat and cook until soft. Add the apples and cook for an additional minute. Add the stock, but begin with approximately 1/4 cup and use your spoon or spatula to scrape the browned bits from the bottom of the pot. NEVER use a metal utensil to scrape your cookware, unless you particularly enjoy scratching the finish and spending a lot of time scrubbing the food that gets caught in the scratches. Even then I suggest a more productive hobby.

Bringing those browned bits of goodness into the stock greatly increases the flavor of your dish, even if you plan on finishing in a slow cooker.

Add the rest of the stock, the diced rutabaga, the bacon crumbles, and salt and pepper to the pot. Cover tightly and bake for 1 hour.

If you would like to make this in a slow cooker, place the diced rutabaga in the cooker and pour all of the other ingredients over top. Cover and cook on low for at least 4 hours or on high for 1.5 to 2.

Enjoy!

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Comments

  1. I LOVE rutabagas! They are kind of like a broccoli-flavored potato. I usually just cut them into sticks, toss them with olive oil & sea salt, and roast them for oven "fries". But I will definitely try this recipe! Yum!

  2. Looks yummy! I loved mashed. The rutabega is also called swede in much of the world — so search that if you you want some yummy recipes. http://www.cookitsimply.com/category-0020-0k272.h

  3. I, too, have been pushing my seasonal vegetable boundaries. The adults in my house have had sauteed cabbage for our dinner veggies two nights in a row.
    I've made this a few times before, with Savoy cabbage, and it was good, but hubby wasn't overly excited to have it again, until I made it with purple cabbage. Now he's a convert!
    Night #1, I sauteed the cabbage with olive oil, butter, salt and pepper. Night #2 I got a bit more creative, I added a bit of celery, bok choy and green onion into the mix, and I also sprinkled some lime juice and some Louisiana hot sauce just at the end of the cooking process. It was delicious!

  4. Oh! I thought a Swede was a turnip, depending on which part of UK you were from???

  5. That looks really tasty, but I'm a little embarrassed to admit: I have no idea what a rutabaga even tastes like…

    This week I discovered making soup without a recipe is totally easy: I even bought and soaked dried beans for the first time! :)

  6. Our seasonal vegetable boundary-pusher has been Kale. Turns out, my kids loved it. I tried the kale last year… and we have been eating it ever since.

    I made a soup with diced potatoes, chicken broth, onions and a little garlic. When the potatoes were half done, I added roughly chopped kale (lots) and cooked for about 15 minutes. When it started getting tender, I used my stick blender and whizzed it up (not until it was smooth but not big chunks). I stirred in some shredded chicken and lemon sage (you can use a dash of lemon juice along with some regular sage instead) along with more salt and pepper. Serve.

    The verdict (from a family that never had any kind of greens before) was OUTSTANDING! I have served it 2 more times and the kids could barely contain themselves with glee when the saw the kale unpacked from the grocery bags.

    Then I really took a leap on the wild side; I used dandilion. I harvested it from the yard and cooked it up the same way and it was a hit, too.

  7. I tried the mashed rutabaga and my family loved it! I will have to try this recipe. Thanks for sharing!
    My recent post I Can Do It!

  8. I love mashed rutabaga, but this sounds divine. Must try it!