Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Slow-braised kale

Oh Lord, Lord winter is really here and everyone is sick, dying, just trying to make it through the long dark afternoons to bedtime.

Tuberculosis lite? Cough cough cough couughghghgghghghggh *GAG* [pause] waaaail [pause] cough cough cough; or actual norovirus (please please God not noro, anything but noro); non-descript colds, going on and on, merging seamlessly into each other. Maybe one day in every fornight you feel alright, you wake up not all puffed up, stuffed up like your head is full of packing polystyrene.

Or is it just me.

But I should be pleased!! Because mass illness allows me to dispense to everyone my miracle cures! I am such a bore with my miracle cures, especially for coughs in the under 5. "You must STEAM him" I will bellow at perfect strangers at Talacre baby gym. "You must SIT in a STEAMY BATHROOM for TEN MINUTES MINIMUM three times per day! Put Karvol in the water! It's the regularity that does it. Three times a day! I know it's boring! But it's a miracle cure! When someone first told me I said 'Oh fuck off with your hippy shit - give me amoxycillin!' But it really works!"

I am making fun of myself, but I really do think this IS a miracle cure. Kitty had a cold that went feral last week and I had NOT been steaming her, (because it is so tedious), and she got a cough and last week one night was awake from midnight until 5am, coughing. Every time she was about to nod off, she coughed herself awake. It was awful! Not very nice for her, either. By about 0430am she was wailing "Sleepy-byes! Sleepy-byes!" it was terribly sad. Anyway the next day I steamed her to within an inch of her life and that night she only coughed from 9pm - 11pm. Miracle cure!

Are you still with me?
Are you with me or against me?

I also boast how I have bought a huge pack of latex gloves and surgical masks (mad!!) in order to prevent the inter-house spread of the inevitable noro.

What can be done?! How are we going to survive until spring? I can't imagine how in the world vegetables can possibly help but maybe, like steaming, they are the simple answer right under our noses, which we ignore because we just want to eat macaroni cheese and mince pies right now, thanks.

But allow me to introduce you to the idea of slow-braised kale, which is a way of making kale edible. I know! Who would have thought?

My husband made this the other night and it was genuinely a very delicious thing and I really can't imagine any scenario in the world that would make me think that about kale.

Slow-braised kale

2 bags kale - any sort
1 carrot
2 sticks celery
1 clove garlic
1 small onion
1 turnip if you have it
1 glass shitty white wine
1 organic chicken stock cube
1 chilli, deseeded and sliced (you can leave this out if you don't want it spicy)
salt and pepper
some thyme leaves if you have them

1 Make a mirepoix with the carrot, celery, onion, garlic, turnip and chilli. A mirepoix, if you have forgotten, is all of these things very, very finely chopped together.

2 Cook this down for 10 or so minutes in a pan in some groundnut oil, then throw over your glass of shitty wine and turn up the heat to bubble this down. Crumble your stock cube and sprinkle it over.

3 Rinse the kale and without bothering to dry it too much, put it in the pan and snip at it viciously with a pair of kitchen scissors, like a seagull attacking a bag of chips until it has sort of flattened itself out in the pan (but you do not want to obliterate it).

4 Now cook this on your smallest burner on the lowest heat for 1.5 hours. I know it is a long time.

We ate this with some Dover Sole and it was DELICIOUS. Cooked like this, kale magially takes on the taste of red cabbage, which is very strange but I think they are the same brassica-ish family so I suppose that makes sense.

Then we each took and Actifed and went to bed at 9.30pm.


  1. I'm with you, I'm with you! Enough already. Any recipe that renders that jaw muscle-exhausting cattle fodder edible is fine by me.

  2. I coughed loads when I was a kid. Croup, I think it was. Do they still have that, or is it a thing that's gone, or that never existed?

    Anyway, steaming was the answer.

  3. The steaming. Do you do only if they're sick, or just as a miracle cure? When my toddler was coughing for 27 hours a day last week I plugged litres of honey / lemon in her. Couple of tablespoons of honey, juice of a lemon, melt down with a bit of boiling water, and top up with cold / lukewarm water. Give about 2oz at a time, to minimise coughing-induced vomiting. Which really is the icing on the cake at 3am.

  4. I have braised cabbage in the oven - could you not do the same as well and then you wouldn't have to leave it on stovetop?

    Kale chips are really good (made with the curly kale) - have you ever tried making them? I give my dog the rib part of the kale - for some reason she loves them and makes light work of them in a few seconds.

    1. My doggies love kale stems too! They wait for them in the kitchen when they see me cooking.

  5. Fab! Just fab!

    Oh. Word to the wise though - Actifed gives you hideous nightmares. Says so on the leaflet. Maybe not the actual word 'hideous', but having had them I can attest to their hideousness.

    1. yes I have heard some people get that. luckily it just knocks me out... we are big fans here...

  6. When you say to snip at it with kitchen scissors it reminds me of something I've seen Nigella do on one of her shows. I think it was with chicken. I hope you and your family feel better soon. And I hope you keep well this winter. xxx

  7. Am halfway through cooking this to go with lamb, dauphinoise potatoes and, erm, red cabbage tomorrow. And only just read your last bit that it's like red cabbage. Oops!