meat-flavored greens

greens with yogurt

We eat a lot of greens around here, especially this time of year. Usually, just sauteed with olive oil and some slivered garlic, but occasionally done more elaborately with bean broth. I may once have tried simmering some kale with chicken broth, but it didn’t seem to add much. However, I recently obtained a copy of Paula Wolfert’s cookbook, The Cooking of the Eastern Mediterranean, and the first recipe I really looked at was the intriguing meat-braised greens. It called for beef bones, and -hello!- I have a lot of beef bones in my freezer. Definitely worth trying.

beef bones

beef bones

The technique here is to sear beef or lamb bones in butter (with the pan covered), then add a cup of water, salt and pepper and simmer until the resulting broth is reduced down to just a few tablespoons. The bones removed, you cook mixed greens in the rich broth. You could certainly obtain a similar result by starting with pre-made beef broth and simmering it down, but I have a feeling that starting with bones gives a particularly tasty result.

beet greens & spinach

You can use any dark leafy greens for this. I often buy lacinato kale or rainbow chard, but for this recipe I settled on a mix of beet greens and spinach. The recipe directs you to blanch the greens first, but I like the bitterness of unblanched greens, so I just wash them and chop them before the final cooking. I don’t cook them too long (maybe ten minutes), although if you were using something tougher like collards you might want to give them a longer simmer.

meat-braised greens

As suggested, I served the greens with a good dollop of Greek yogurt blended with raw garlic, salt and dried mint. The greens were delicious, with a definite beefy flavor, and the yogurt was the perfect complement. We also threw in some lamb chops and a bit of cooked buttered orzo. And I threw the cooked bones into a pot with some water and simmered them again to make a light beef broth for the freezer.

dinner

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