You'll Love These One-Dish Late-Winter Favorites
From corned beef to a crazy potpie piccata mashup
Here’s a collection of some of our favorite one-dish late winter meals. We’re starting with corned beef and cabbage with potatoes; then we’re visiting Mark’s pasta go-to — broccoli with sausage and variations on meatless versions; a chicken stew Mark went back to for days, and a wild mashup from Daniel Meyer, a chicken piccata pot pie. — Melissa
Corned Beef and Cabbage with Potatoes
St. Patrick’s Day is the occasion to make the most underrated of one-pot meals: Corned beef with cabbage and potatoes. Under everyday circumstances, it’s a very easy dish, as it’s an exercise in boiling — provided you’re not making your own corned beef and buying it from a butcher or a market. Once that meat is tender, in about two hours, you’ll boil the potatoes, carrots, and cabbage in the broth.
This recipe is a model, a guide. You can follow it precisely, and I can tell you it’s wonderful. But you can also use it as a template with room to improvise.
Makes: 8–12 servings
Time: 3 hours, largely unattended
1 flat end piece corned beef (3 to 5 pounds)
1 bay leaf
1 head garlic, root end trimmed
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds
3 whole cloves
5 allspice berries or a pinch or 2 ground allspice
2 large onions, peeled and halved top to bottom
2 pounds small waxy potatoes
4 carrots, whole or cut into 1-inch chunks
1 small head green cabbage, cut into 8 to 12 wedges
1. Drain any liquid from the package of corned beef and put the meat in a large pot with the bay leaf, garlic, peppercorns, mustard seeds, cloves, allspice, and onions. Add enough water to cover by about 2 inches. Bring to a boil and skim off the foam that rises to the surface.
2. Lower the heat so that it bubbles gently. Cover and cook, turning the meat every 30 minutes or so, for about 2 hours. Pierce the thickest part with a thin-bladed knife; the meat is ready when the knife can be inserted into the middle without much resistance. If the meat is not done, continue cooking it, checking every 15 minutes. Heat the oven to 300°F.
3. Transfer the meat to a rimmed baking sheet, fat side up, and put it in the oven while the vegetables cook in the seasoned broth. Or wrap it in foil, put the broth into an airtight container, and refrigerate both for up to 2 days. Reheat the foil-wrapped meat at 300°F for about 30 minutes; unwrap and heat for about 15 minutes more. Skim any fat off the broth and pour the broth back into the pot (you can strain it if you’d like and discard the solids).
4. Add the potatoes to the broth in the pot along with about 2 cups water, and bring to a boil. Cook for about 5 minutes, then add the carrots and cabbage. Adjust the heat so the broth bubbles steadily, cover, and cook until the vegetables are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Slice the corned beef thin against the grain, and serve in shallow bowls with the vegetables and broth.
Pasta with Broccoli and Sausage — Plus 5 Vegetarian Variations
(At one point, Mark said the sauce he makes most often is pasta with broccoli and sausage — along with its variations, which you’ll find below the recipe. )
A few notes on prepping this dish:
Trimming the broccoli: After cutting off the dried-out end and pulling off any leaves, peel the stalk’s tough skin with a sharp knife or vegetable peeler.
Cutting the broccoli stalks: Now, cut the stalk into roughly equivalent-sized pieces so they’ll cook evenly.
Cutting the broccoli florets: Break or cut the head into bite-sized florets.
Finishing the sauce: As you mash the broccoli until it breaks down into a sauce, stir in some of the boiling water from the stockpot to keep the pan from drying out.
Makes: 4 servings
Time: 40 minutes
1 pound broccoli
1/4 cup olive oil or more as needed
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 pound Italian sausages (2 to 3 sausages) chopped
1 pound cut pasta like orecchiette, penne, ziti, or farfalle
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
1. Bring a stockpot of water to a boil and salt it. Trim the broccoli and cut it into pieces. Add the broccoli to the pot and return the water to a boil.
2. Meanwhile, put the oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and the sausage. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is fragrant and the sausage is well browned, about 5 minutes. Remove it from the skillet and turn the heat off.
3. Start checking the broccoli after 5 minutes. You want it fully tender but not mushy; this could take up to 10 minutes. Use a slotted spoon or small strainer to scoop up the broccoli, drain excess water, and transfer it to the skillet (keep the water boiling).
4. Cook the broccoli over medium-high heat, stirring and mashing it slightly with a potato masher until it is quite soft and breaks apart. If you need to, add a tablespoon or two of the boiling water to help soften the broccoli. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in the boiling water until it is tender but not mushy; start tasting after 5 minutes.
5. When the pasta is done, scoop out and reserve at least 1 cup of the cooking water, then drain it. Add the pasta, sausage, and a splash of the cooking water to the broccoli; toss until combined, adding a little more water or olive oil if necessary to make a slightly creamy sauce. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding lots of black pepper and parmesan cheese. Toss again and serve, passing more cheese at the table.
Tips: Don’t skimp on the olive oil since it adds body and flavor to the sauce. In fact, I add another tablespoon or two when tossing the pasta for richness, moisture, and flavor.
Pasta with broccoli: Skip the sausage and go directly from step 1 to step 3.
5 pastas with vegetables, with or without sausage: Use the same recipe with these vegetables instead of broccoli; you’ll need to vary the boiling time.
Kale, collards, or cabbage will take 5 to 10 minutes.
Cauliflower will take 10 to 12 minutes.
Broccoli rabe and asparagus will take 3 to 5 minutes.
Chopped escarole, spinach, or arugula will take about a minute.
Mushrooms require no boiling: Just trim and slice them, then cook them with the garlic and browned sausage until they shrink and their liquid evaporates, 5 to 10 minutes.
— Recipes from Mark Bittman