(The nineteen amazing Honorable Mentions in our Braising Contest will each receive an Apartment Therapy T-Shirt. We are methodically and swiftly presenting them all to you with the winning photos and recipes. Another cold week here in NYC: braise on!)
Best Less-Is-More Braise
Read on for the recipe...
Being vegetarian, I was not planning to enter your braising contest because - let's face it - most vegetables turn mushy when braised, reminding us of that sad school cafeteria veg we love to hate. But as I was perusing the contents of my fridge tonight, trying to decide what to make for dinner, I thought, what the heck - just braise something. And the only braise-able thing in this vegetarian house was carrots. I started with this recipe because the amount of carrots seemed right, but quickly abandoned it in an attempt to use up some ingredients in my pantry. I hope you enjoy the carrots!
Kristina's Braised Carrots
1 1/2 pounds carrots (exact weight of the 3 bunches I had in the fridge)
1 3/4 cup ginger ale (this was one bottle)
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup seed style mustard
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoons sea salt
Few sprigs of fresh thyme
Lots of black pepper
Preheat oven to 375ºF. Scrub and trim carrots, but do not peel. In a big pot, heat the olive oil. Add carrots, thyme, salt, and fresh cracked pepper to taste. Cook on medium heat, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes. Add the ginger ale, maple syrup, and mustard; bring to a boil and remove from the heat. Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid. Braise the carrots in the oven for 30 minutes.
When carrots are tender (but please, not mushy!) remove from the oven and transfer the carrots to a serving dish. Discard the sprigs of thyme. Place the big pot back on the stove and reduce the braising liquid over high heat until it has thickened to a syrupy consistency. Pour the reduced sauce over the carrots. Serve warm with a salad and fresh bread for mopping up the sauce.