Serves a Crowd

Sweet and SourĀ Flanken

January  4, 2011
0 Ratings
  • Serves 10 or so
Author Notes

My grandmother made a dish she called "chicken fricassee" which was basically just a little flanken and more bones, with chicken gizzards, necks and wings in a sweet and sour sauce. Every once in a while I make it this way. Everyone loves the sauce but not all family members like eating the gizzards and little bones. This is the version the meat eaters in my family now prefer, especially if I add in little meatballs for last part of the cooking time. The recipe moved from the tenement to the suburbs and the amount of meat to bits, as we call them, has changed. We eat meat rarely now, but this is a once in a while exception. This dish gets better with time, so if possible, make it a day ahead and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight. This way you can also skim off some or all of the fat before reheating. —healthierkitchen

What You'll Need
  • 3 -4 pounds lean, first cut flanken (also called top rib at a kosher butcher - which is basically short rib but cut across the bone), trimmed of large pieces of fat and cut between each piece of bone into bite sized pieces. Leave some meat attached to each bone, but
  • 1.5 pounds boneless flanken (top rib), trimmed of large pieces of fat and cut into bite sized pieces
  • 48 - 53 ounces strained tomatoes (I use either 2 jars of 24 oz. Bionaturae or 2 boxes of 26.46 Pomi). Either way I use two and throw about a half cup of water into the jars or boxes after emptying them into the pot, swish it around and add that too.
  • 1/4 cup sugar (I use natural cane sugar), more to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon salt, more to taste (since I use unsalted strained tomatoes, I generally do have to add a little more salt)
  • fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  1. Brown the flanken pieces in a large heavy pot or Dutch oven, over medium-high heat. Do not crowd the pieces - brown in batches if necessary. After each batch is finished, remove the pieces to a bowl and set aside.
  2. When all the meat is browned, put it all back into the pot. Add the strained tomatoes, sugar, lemon juice, salt and pepper. The liquid (including the little extra water to "clean out" the tomato jars or boxes) should cover the meat. If it doesn't, add a little more water.
  3. Let the contents come to a boil and then lower the light to keep the contents on a steady simmer. Scrape up the bits that might have gotten stuck to the bottom of the pot while browning the meat. Cover the pot, leaving the lid ajar. Simmer for about an hour.
  4. After the hour, taste the sauce and add sugar, lemon juice and/or salt as needed. The flavor should be a little tart and a little sweet. *(if you want to add some little meatballs or chicken wings or thighs you can do so here!)
  5. Simmer for a second hour with the lid ajar and then taste once again, both for flavor and to see if the meat is tender enough. It might even need to simmer another half an hour.
  6. If possible, let cool and refrigerate overnight. Reheat over a medium-low heat, stirring often so the bottom doesn't burn. Serve over rice or with challah, unless it's Passover, in which case serve with farfel.

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