Juniper berries have been used for hundreds of years; they’ve been found in Egyptian tombs, and were used during the first Olympic games as they were believed to enhance stamina. Today, the deep blue berries are mainly used to season meat and game dishes, vegetable dishes, sauces and various herbal and alcoholic beverages like gins and genevers, as well as some Scandinavian spirits. The spicy, aromatic, dark berries of the medicinal juniper tree can be used fresh or dried, crushed or whole.
Juniper berries are harvested in early autumn for culinary and medicinal use. A juniper berry is the female seed cone produced by the various species of junipers. Although it is not truly a berry but rather a cone with unusually fleshy scales, it is sweet, juicy, and has a berry-like appearance. The cones from a handful of species are often used as spices, particularly in French and Scandinavian cuisines; perhaps most notably, juniper berries give gin its distinguishing flavor.
Juniper berries act as anti-inflammatory agents and have antiseptic properties. They’re also natural diuretics, and relieve excess water. Most importantly, juniper berries contain essential oils, as well as significant levels of potassium, fiber, and vitamin C.
Source: www.dlc.fi, en.wikipedia.org, www.health-care-clinic.org
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Garlic Potatoes With Juniper Berries
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons dried juniper berries, lightly crushed
8 large garlic cloves
1 1/2 lbs tiny new potatoes
1 lemon, juice of, small
coarse-grain sea salt and black pepper, to taste
finely chopped fresh oregano
triangles of toasted whole wheat bread (optional)
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr
Total Time: 1 hr 20 mins
1. Heat the oven to 350*F.
2. Pour the olive oil into a heavy shallow baking dish large enough to hold the potatoes in a single layer.
3. Sprinkle the juniper berries over the oil and place the dish in an oven for a few minutes to warm.
4. Trim off the stem ends of the garlic cloves and rub off any feathery outer skin.
5. Place the potatoes and garlic in the warm dish and roll them in the olive oil to lightly coat.
6. Bake 10 minutes and roll the potatoes and garlic in the olive oil once more.
7. Reduce the oven temperature to 300˚F and bake uncovered for 50 minutes or until the potatoes are just tender.
8. Roll the potatoes in the olive oil to coat once more and transfer to a warm platter.
9. Sprinkle with the lemon juice, salt and pepper, and oregano.
10. Serve hot or warm, with toast, if desired.
Chicken With Ale and Juniper Berries
1 (4 lb) broiler-fryer chickens, cut into 8 pieces
salt & freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, 3 tablespoons cut into small dice
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 shallots, minced
1/2 cup dark beer, plus
2 tablespoons dark beer, such as Maredsous Abbey Ale
1 teaspoon juniper berries, coarsely crushed
1 teaspoon pink peppercorns, coarsely crushed
2 tablespoons finely chopped flat leaf parsley
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 40 mins
Total Time: 1 hr
1. Season the chicken generously with salt and pepper.
2. In a large skillet, melt the 1 tablespoon of uncut butter in the oil.
3. Add the chicken in batches and cook over moderately high heat until browned, about 5 minutes per side; remove to a plate.
4. Reduce the heat to moderate, add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 1 minute.
5. Add 1/2 cup of the ale and bring to a boil, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom.
6. Return the chicken to the skillet, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Turn and baste the chicken with the pan juices, then cover and simmer until cooked through, about 15 minutes longer.
7. Remove the chicken from the skillet and keep warm.
8. Boil the pan juices over high heat until syrupy, about 5 minutes.
9. Reduce the heat to moderate.
10. Add the juniper berries, pink peppercorns and the remaining 2 tablespoons of ale, then whisk in the remaining 3 tablespoons of cold butter, a few pieces at a time. Season with salt and pepper.
11. Remove from the heat.
12. Return the chicken to the skillet and spoon the sauce over it to coat. Serve the chicken on a platter or dinner plates, sprinkled with the parsley.
Roast Goose With Juniper Sauce
14 lbs goose, washed and patted dry
3 medium onions, peeled and sliced in thick segments
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 glasses dry marsala
3 cups stock or 3 cups water
1 1/4 teaspoons English mustard powder
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
12 crushed juniper berries
2 tablespoons red currant jam
Cook Time: 2 hrs
Total Time: 2 hrs
1. Preheat the oven to 425°F
2. Remove the lumps of fat from the inside cavity and prick the goose all over with a fork.
3. Rub salt thoroughly on the inside and outside of the goose, and wrap aluminum foil around the legs.
4. Place in a roasting pan upside down and place pan in oven to roast for twenty five minutes.
5. Turn the oven temperature down to 350°F Roast 1 hour, then remove the bird to pour out the fat that has accumulated in the pan and take the foil off the legs.
6. Be very careful, because the fat is dangerously hot.
7. He also suggests adding parboiled potatoes to the pan now.
8. Turn the bird right side up and put it back in the oven for another 30 minutes to an hour.
9. While the goose is in the oven, prepare the juniper sauce by cooking the onion in the olive oil on low heat about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
10. Stir in the flour and cook a few more minutes.
11. Now stir in the marsala, stock, and juniper berries.
12. Season with salt, pepper, and mustard powder, and simmer gently 20 minutes.
13. Then stir in the grain mustard and simmer 5 more minutes.
14. When the thigh meat on the goose is pierced and the juices run clear, the bird is done.
15. Let the meat rest about 10 minutes, then carve.
16. Just before serving, stir redcurrant jam into sauce.
Sauerkraut and Apples
2 lbs sauerkraut
2 tablespoons margarine
1 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 cup apple cider
1 cup chicken broth
3 large tart apples, peeled,cored,and chopped
6 juniper berries, crushed
salt and pepper
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 40 mins
Total Time: 50 mins
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Rinse sauerkraut and wring dry.
3. Heat margarine in a large skillet; saute onion and garlic until onion is tender.
4. Add kraut, cider, stock, apples, and juniper; season to taste with salt and pepper; bring to a boil.
5. Transfer to casserole dish; cover with lid or foil and bake at 350 degrees F for 35-40 minutes.
Zinfandel-Braised Leg of Lamb (Slow Cooker)
2 1/2 lbs boneless leg of lamb
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper, divided
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 tablespoon juniper berries, crushed
1 teaspoon whole allspice, crushed
6 garlic cloves, sliced
1 cup zinfandel
1 teaspoon dried basil
2 bay leaves
6 cups hot cooked egg noodles (about 4-3/4 cups uncooked pasta)
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 8 hrs
Total Time: 8 hrs 15 mins
1. Unroll lamb; trim fat. Sprinkle evenly with1/2 t. salt and 1/2 t. pepper. Reroll lamb; secure at 1-inch intervals with kitchen twine. Sprinkle evenly with flour.
2. Heat oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add lamb to pan; cook 6 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Place lamb in electric slow cooker.
3. Add juniper berries, allspice, and garlic to skillet; cook over medium heat 2 minutes or until garlic is lightly browned. Add wine to pan, scraping pan to loosen browned bits; cook until reduced to 1/2 cup (about 3 minutes). Scrape wine mixture into cooker; add basil and bay leaves. Cover and cook on LOW 8 hours or until lamb is tender.
4. Remove lamb from cooker; keep warm. Strain cooking liquid through a sieve into a small bowl; discard solics. Add remaining 1/2 t. salt and remaining 1/2 t. pepper to cooking liquid; stir. Remove twine from lamb, and discard. Break lamb into chunks with 2 forks. Serve lamb with cooking liquid over egg noodles.
10 onions, cut into wedges
1 cup vegetable oil
4 cloves garlic, crushed
7 dried juniper berries, crushed
1 tablespoon German stone ground mustard
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
8 (8 ounce) boneless pork loin chops
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 1 day 35 mins
1. Place the onion wedges in a bowl. Use a large spoon to gently press the onions until they release some of their juices. Combine the oil, garlic, juniper berries, mustard, thyme, oregano, paprika, curry powder, cayenne pepper, and black pepper with the onions and mix to combine.
2. Arrange the steaks in a large baking pan. Pour the marinade evenly over top of the pork. Cover and refrigerate for at least 24 hours.
3. Remove pork from marinade and allow to come to room temperature as you preheat the grill. Wrap the onions separately with foil to create a pouch. Discard marinade.
4. Preheat grill for medium heat.
5. Grill the pork steaks and onions until the pork is no longer pink in the center, about 10 minutes per side.
Romanian Grilled Minced Meat Rolls
2 pounds ground beef
8 ounces chopped suet
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
3 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon finely ground juniper berries
2 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons beef broth
Prep Time: 40 mins
Cook Time: 5 mins
Total Time: 45 mins
1. In a medium bowl, mix together the ground beef, suet, baking soda, caraway seeds, garlic, salt, pepper and juniper berries using your hands. Mix with your hands for about 15 minutes, adding a little bit of the water at a time. This part can be made a few hours ahead of time if you like.
2. Preheat a grill for high heat. With wet hands form the meat into rolls about 3 inches long and 1 inch thick. Brush lightly with oil.
3. Grill the meat for 5 to 10 minutes, basting frequently with a mixture of beef broth and any remaining oil, until well done.
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