Thursday, August 26, 2010


Also known as celery root, this is a vegetable I've seen used in many sources. When you first look at it, you'll find it kind of ugly looking, verging on the grotesque. But don't be fooled. It's a staple in french cooking in simple dishes such as shredded celeriac-mayonnaise salads to being using as a root vegetable in stews. It has a taste and aroma very much like celery but deeper and more mellow. It also works as a great element to add to mashed potatoes, giving it a nice mellow sweetness that gives great contrast to a nicely roasted joint of meat.

Celeriac has a very rough outer layer that has to be cut off... it's too thick of a skin to peel. On the inside, you'll find the edible mass of the vegetable. Be careful, though, as it browns fairly quickly. so if you don't return it to a ziplock bag as soon as possible, just rub with some lemon slices. It's got the consistency of a potato, but a bit more stringy. As soon as it's cooked, the stringy quality goes away. However, it can be eaten raw or cooked.

This is a simple beef stew I tried to make with the celeriac. I put the mirepoix, i guess, with the celeriac substituting for celery. I braised the stewing meat cubes along with the vegetables for a couple of hours and this is the stew I got. I may have put in some potatoes, since the celeriac, carrots and onions all became sweet after cooking in juices for a while, caramalizing nicely. I did offset with thyme and some cayenne pepper. It was a satisfying meal.

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