I have this friend Beef who thinks that I am obsessed with carrots. I have no idea where this assumption came from; perhaps because I’m a carrot top she figured that I must really like carrots? Sure, I like carrots as much as any other kid, but not nearly as much as Beef thinks I should.
I suppose you’re probably wondering why this poor friend’s name is Beef. It’s a funny story, really. I was on the rowing team in college, and she was the recruit who showed up for her first day of varsity practice her freshman year wearing a t-shirt that had nothing but the word BEEF on it. You want everyone to call you BEEF? Done. And the rest is history. She kind of ran with the whole alter-ego; by the end of fall semester, she could out-leg press pretty much any guy in the varsity weight room, and had perfected a game face that caused small children to spontaneously burst into tears.
Luckily (?) Beef’s Beef days are behind her, and everyone (most of all her mother who everyone started calling MA BEEF) is glad that she’s back to going by her given name. And instead she’s always cooking carrots for me. Steamed, pureed, sautéed, roasted, braised, boiled, fried, creamed, or microwaved – well, probably never microwaved – I think she’s made them all for me. So now every time I eat carrots, I think of my dear friend Beef, Gourmet Carrot Chef.
She’s going to go nuts for this carrot recipe. I think she may have met her match. I found this gem while testing Thanksgiving side dish recipes a few weeks ago and I think I’ve made it three times since. The carrots are cloaked in a wonderfully tangy balsamic (but not too sweet) pomegranate sauce. The viscous glaze hits your taste buds hard, but mellows as your molars sink into the earthy carrots. The last layer of flavor is a vibrant kick of mint chiffonade. You can conveniently prep the carrots and sauce ahead of time, then assemble and cook the dish minutes before dinner is served. Enjoy!
Pomegranate Balsamic Glazed Carrots
Click here to print this recipe.
From: Fine Cooking Magazine, October/November 2009
Time to prepare: 20 minutes
¼ cup pomegranate juice
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 pounds carrots, trimmed, peeled and cut into sticks about 2 inches long and 3/8 inch wide
1/3 cup chicken broth
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
2 tablespoons lightly packed thinly sliced fresh mint
Combine the juice, vinegar, and honey, and whisk.
In a 12-inch skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of butter with the olive oil over medium-high heat. When the butter has melted, add the carrots and 1½ teaspoon salt and toss well.
Cook without stirring until the bottom layer of carrots is lightly browned in spots – 4 to 5 minutes.
Stir and flip the carrots until most of the carrots are a bit browned and starting to feel tender, about 5 – 7 minutes. (Watch the heat and reduce if the carrots are browning too much.)
Add the chicken stock, cover quickly and cook until all but about 1 tablespoon of the broth is evaporated – about 2 minutes.
Uncover, reduce the heat to medium low and add the pomegranate mixture (re-whisk if necessary) and cayenne.
Cook, stirring gently, until the mixture reduces and becomes slightly glazey, about 1 minute.
Take the pan off the heat and stir in the remaining butter (cut into smaller pieces). Season to taste with salt, and stir in the mint.