Blueberry Glazed Flanken

Blueberry season may be long gone, but this winter weather that is upon us is perfect for spending time in a kitchen warmed by multiple pots burbling away on your stove. This chilly weather compelled me to recall a typically summer favorite – Blueberry glazed flanken/short ribs. I usually put together this blueberry and meat dish in the summer when local blueberries are abundant – but then I really loathe the time I have to spend in a warm kitchen. So buy yourself a bag of frozen blueberries and get ready to get cozy in the kitchen.

This recipe does require that you use a total of three pots and one broiler pan but you will fall in love with the taste of this recipe. Now, if you’re like my mother, you don’t like the sound of fruit with meat and you may be sick of me with my peach chicken and such. But I’d urge you to still give the recipe a go since there is a definite savory note to the dish. Onions and sage are in the sauce and the flanken get coated with paprika, onion powder and pepper before being glazed. So strap your apron on, break out three pots and get your broiler going.
In one pot you’ll mash the blueberries with water, in another you’ll mix water, sugar and lemon zest and in the third you’ll saute onions with garlic, olive oil, sage and vinegar. Soon these three individual projects will come together to form a perfectly balanced sauce – the sugar giving the meat wonderfully crisp edges and the onion-sage bringing out the earthy flavor of pasture raised meat.

Blueberry Glazed Flanken
I adapted a recipe from Food and Wine Magazine and was able cut the prep and cooking time down to about an hour.

2 lbs of Grow and Behold Flanken
½ tsp pepper
½ tsp paprika
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp garlic powder
1 pint of blueberries, fresh or frozen
1/2 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
2 sprigs of fresh (or dried) sage
1/4 cup of vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cups water
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp lemon zest

Slice the Flanken into pieces so that you have strips of meat attached to sections of bone. Set the cut flanken on a plate and sprinkle lightly and evenly with pepper, paprika, onion powder and garlic powder on one side. Set aside while you make the sauce.

The sauce is made in three parts, and in three separate pots. One pot will bring the blueberries together, another will make a sugar syrup and the third will make a savory onion sautee. At the end of the three step process, the contents of each of these pots will be combined to make the final sauce, which will go on the meat.

In your first pot (a small one will do), combine the blueberries with 1/2 cup of water. Mash the blueberries with a potato masher or slotted spoon to combine with the water. Bring the crushed berries and water to a simmer and let it simmer over medium low heat for 10 minutes. Then strain the blueberry water mixture through a fine mesh sieve over a bowl to catch all the solids in the sieve. Discard the solids and keep the blueberry water.

In the mean time start your second pot. This too can be small. Bring 1.5 cups of water mixed with 1 cup of sugar and lemon zest to a boil. Continue to boil until the mixture reaches 225 degrees – this should take about 10 minutes.

While the sugar water boils, start your third pot, this time using a medium-sized pot. Warm 2 tbsps of olive oil over a medium flame and then add the onion, garlic and sage. Let these soften for about 4 minutes while stirring. Add the vinegar and bring to a boil. Now it’s time to add the contents of the other two pots.

Make sure that the sugar water has reached the correct temperature. Then add the strained blueberry water and the sugar water to the onion, garlic and sage pot. Stir this all together and let it simmer over medium-high heat for 5-10 minutes.

Brush or spoon the final blueberry, onion, sugar sauce generously over the flanken. Put the flanken under the broiler for 10 minutes, turning once half way through, and then turn the broiler off and let them rest in the warm oven for 10 more minutes. Serve warm with more blueberry sauce spooned over the top or serve the blueberry sauce in a gravy boat on the side.

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