Niche's Braised Carrots with Rice

Elevate the humble root vegetable with these tasty touches created by Gerard Craft, chef of Niche restaurant in St. Louis.



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For the carrots:

10 large carrots, peeled
1 quart carrot juice
1 quart water
Salt, to taste

Preheat an oven to 300°F. Place all the ingredients in a Dutch oven.  On the stove top bring mixture to a light simmer, wrap with aluminum foil, and cook in the oven until fork tender, about three hours.

Preheat a grill with coals. Once coals are hot, move the coals to one side of the grill. Place the carrots on the opposite side of the grill, so they cook over the lowest heat possible. Once the carrots have gained some texture and heat from the grilling process, approximately 15-30 minutes, remove.  Keep warm.

For the carrot barigoule sauce:

3 ½ pounds carrots, peeled and chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
4 sprigs thyme
3 cups olive oil
3 cups white wine
Lemon juice, to taste

Simmer the onions and carrots in the olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat until mostly tender, about 45 minutes. Add the white wine and thyme sprigs and simmer for another 30-40 min.

In a blender, puree the carrots with about half of the liquid until smooth. Adjust the seasoning with a little lemon juice if the white wine needs some pop.

For the yeast froth:

3½  cups milk
1/3 cups dry yeast
1 tablespoon salt

Combine milk, yeast and salt in a small saucepot and warm for 20-30 minutes. Mix with a hand blender, keep warm, and froth when ready for use.

For rice:

1 cup Uncle Ben’s converted instant rice
2 quarts soy oil
Salt, to taste

In a 6 quart sauce pot, heat oil to 375°F degrees and place 1/8 of the rice in at a time, and cook until the rice puffs (which should happen in a few seconds). Using a mesh strainer, carefully remove the rice. Place on a dry towel, season with salt. Repeat until the whole cup of rice is fried. 

To finish: 

2 tablespoons minced chives
2 tablespoons dill fronds, picked
1 tablespoons chive spears, 1” long
1 teaspoon chive blossoms

Drizzle the carrot barigoule sauce on each plate. Place the grill carrot on top, decorate with the puffed rice, chives, dill and blossoms.  Spoon some of the yeast froth around the base of the carrots. Serves 5

Wine Recommendation:

Beverage Director Michael David Murphy looks to Maximin Grünhäuser Riesling ‘Abtsberg Superior’ 2011 Mosel to match with the braised carrot dish. “This pairing offers practically everything: sweet, salty, earthy, a play on textures, lifting aromatics, and delicacy,” says Murphy. “Fragrant herbs such as dill generally match well with Riesling. In the case of the Grünhäuser Abtsberg Superior, it is a subtle fresh herb presence that complements and lifts the aromatics of the dish.”
 

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