Braised Celery

from Gourmet, December, 1979

Trim and remove the strings from 1 pound celery hearts, arrange the celery in a gratin dish, and add 3 cups chicken stock or tinned chicken broth, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) butter, cut into bits, and salt and white pepper to taste. Remove and discard the rind from 1/4 pound lean salt pork, cut the salt pork into 1/4-inch lardoons, and in a saucepan of boiling water blanch it for 1 minute. Drain the salt pork and pat it dry with paper towels. In a skillet saute the salt pork in 1 tablespoon oil over moderately high heat for 3 minutes, or until golden, and transfer it with a slotted spoon to the dish. Bring the liquid to a boil over moderately high heat, bake the mixture, covered, in a preheated moderately slow oven (325 degrees F.) for 45 minutes, or until the celery is tender, and bake it, uncovered, for 15 minutes more. Transfer the celery with a slotted spoon to a heated serving dish.

Serves 6.


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