Saturday, April 3, 2010

Boiled Beef with Stappa (Mashed Rutabagas)

Since this dish is from Minnesota, I'm guessing that stappa is the Norwegian word for rutabagas. If you know better, weigh in with the ethnic derivation of stappa. Rutabagas may have gotten a bad rap. They're not bad. This book contains a very good cream soup which I foisted off as potato soup one Thanksgiving. My son, who at that point was 22, informed me graciously that he wouldn't not eat it, meaning that he would eat it. Somebody must cook the things. They continue to sell them in the grocery store along with parsnips. Now, I can tell you about them. The British are very fond of parsnips, and french fry them, which actually renders them tasty.
Actually, there are three more rutabaga recipes in this book, which theoretically will be passed on to you lucky readers in time. To whit, rutabaga pie, crisp rutabaga salad and cheese scalloped rutabagas. So, perhaps in time, the rutabaga mystery will unfold.
This dish was not a hit with my family. The general consensus was, why did I want to mess up perfectly good mashed potatoes with rutabagas.
"I don't like this much," Son said, laying down the law as usual. (Isn't it lucky for him he's going to be a lawyer?)
The meat was a challenge . The book called it beef shin. The butcher at the grocery store knew not of shin. "It's for boiled beef," I said.
"You're not giving me much to work with," he said.
Finally I said brisket.
"Do you have brisket that isn't corned?" He indicated it in the meat case.
A caution. The recipe says simmer for two hours and a half. Make sure you do. That may have been part of the problem, since the meat was tough. Probably horseradish sauce would be a good idea too.

Boiled Beef with Stappa

1 large beef shin (brisket)
3 carrots, quartered
2 ribs of celery
salt to taste
20 peppercorns
2 rutabagas, peeled and thickly sliced
3 large potatoes scrubbed
Fresh ground pepper to taste
1/4 tablespoon ground ginger
4 tablespoons butter

1. Place the beef shin in a kettle and add water to cover. Add the carrots, celery, salt and peppercorns. Bring to a boil, skim the surface to remove foam and scum and partly cover. Simmer about two hours.
2. Add the rutabagas and potatoes and cook until tender, thirty minutes or longer. When the rutabagas and potatoes are tender, remove them. Peel the potatoes and put both vegetables through a food ricer. Season with salt, pepper and ginger and stir in the butter. Serve with beef shin, sliced.

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