Cold weather is settling in, so we turn our hymnals to those slow-cooked, warm-you-from-the-inside-out recipes that fuel us during the fall and winter. The type of recipe that you start at 1 or 2 p.m. and let roll until 5 or 6 p.m. The type of recipe that involves braising. The first thing I toss in the braising pan each fall are short ribs, simply because they are so good and so easy to make. Sear them, cook the veg, toss in some liquid and move to the oven for the afternoon.
The problem is that I like my short ribs with bones. The bone’s marrow adds a lot of flavor and richness to sauce and they are typically cheaper than the boneless variety. Yes, you spend more money to get the quantity of meat you want, but it’s worth it for the flavor. According to the moustached man in the Wegmans Fairmount meat department, they stopped getting short ribs with bones weeks ago. While grocers charge more for the boneless variety, Mr. Moustache told me that wholesalers can get more for the bone-in variety from restaurants, who like the bone for presentation purposes. So, instead of $7.49/lb., I was left with $9.99/lb. for meat that was once considered a throwaway cut of beef.
“I remember when we used to just grind short ribs for hamburger,” said Mr. Moustache. “Some joker went on TV, made them famous, and now we charge $10 a pound.”
He’s absolutely right.
Continue reading Saturday Dinner: Chocolate Stout Braised Short Ribs
“I want comfort food.”
The Wife makes this pronouncement frequently during the winter, a statement that typically results in my braising something. Short ribs. Pot roast. Chicken. Short ribs.
“I think I want Mexican.”
She took an interesting turn. Mexican comfort food usually results in Chipotle or a trip to The Mission. I wasn’t really interested making a messy enchilada or cooking all day to make a burrito. I thought maybe posole, a rich stew made with hominy, might work but time was going to be an issue and, from what I can tell, a good posole needs a solid six hours to simmer. I would have half that.
I came across this recipe at one of those aggregators that pop up at the top of the Google results when you search for something. Booze works for me, as does pork shoulder. I mean, you can never go wrong with pork shoulder.
Continue reading Saturday Dinner: Shot-And-A-Beer Pork
The In Laws came over for pizza on Friday night, so we did dinner solo on Saturday. Ideally, we were looking at something quick in order to finish, wash dishes and be on the couch for the Syracuse-Duke game at 6:30 p.m. Well, kinda. The Kid is going to bed around 7 p.m. right now, so the last half hour of her day is spent viewing a Doc McStuffins stored on the DVR. So, we lost the first 30 minutes of the game, but were back for the fireworks in the second half and overtime.
Ideally, I wanted to roast something during the day and beef is as good a choice as anything. While I enjoy a nice roast beef and haven’t done one recently, an all-day braised roast is just as good. Robyn Stone’s recipe at Add a Pinch was my guide for ingredients and heat. Rather than think for myself, I decided to let her do the heavy lifting. Typical Jared move…make the women do the work and I come in later to grab the glory at dinnertime. Ha! Continue reading Saturday Dinner: Oven-Braised Roast Beef
Although not every topic can be illustrated, we believe most blog posts can and should have a visual element.
— Joy Victory, WordPress.com
Funny. See, I meant to take photos of Sunday’s pot roast. I really did. I ran into a little problem. (Here come the excuses.) The battery in my camera was dead and apparently some moron didn’t seat the backup battery correctly in the charger. This is the same moron who let his iPhone battery go dead on Sunday as well.
So, no photos of the preparation process. Or the end result. Or anything really. The best I have is the map of the cow to illustrate where a chuck roast comes from:
Continue reading Sunday Dinner: Pot Roast
Sometimes when I go shopping, I will grab a package of meat (heh heh) with absolutely no plan. Typically, I do this with chicken thighs. They’re easy to cook, versatile and taste good no matter what you do to them.
I was gathering my stuff — glasses, wallet, iPhone, lunch container — to go home when it occurred to me that I had no idea what I was going to do with dinner. I went through the mental list of ingredient possibilities:
I’m a Mac guy.
I’m currently writing on a MacBook Pro. I have an iPhone and iPad. I’ve converted probably a half-dozen friends and more students than I can count to the Cult of Mac. That said, Google is one of those stories that intrigues me greatly, from their products to their corporate culture.
Catching my eye recently was an article in the March 2013 edition of Bon Appetit that focused on Google’s commitment to providing their staff healthy dining options. The underpinning was the idea that they demand a great deal from their employees and healthy foods in the cafeteria reduces absenteeism and maintains productivity. From the article:
Though the cafeterias feature their share of decadent offerings (like crispy pork carnitas and butterscotch-pecan-cookie pie), they’re also strategically designed to “make it really easy for people to make healthy choices,” says Scott Giambastiani, Google’s head chef. Borrowing from the field of behavioral economics, Google’s tactics specifically encourage healthy eating.
Continue reading Wednesday dinner: Google’s braised chicken and kale
Last week got away from me.
Had it not, this would have been posted some time Thursday. It might have even been written the evening that I cooked it. But a combination of factors kept me away from the keyboard:
- Sleep. I haven’t been doing a lot of it lately.
- Real Racing 3 for the iPad. I have been doing a lot of that.
- Work. We had an event last Thursday night. With the considerable lack of number one during the previous nights, I was pretty disinterested in concentrating on, well, anything.
Continue reading Last week dinner: Braised chicken with fennel and apples
If the world were a right and just place, I would have time to cook more food by braising. You draw out so much flavor from the meat when it cooks slowly for hours in a low heat oven. Fat melts into flavor. Marrow melts into sauce. It’s quite beautiful.
I like braising short ribs on a cold night. It has that hearty, comfort food feel that warms you from the inside. We’ve certainly had colder days this winter (hell, we’ve had colder days this week) than Saturday, but it would have to do. Short ribs are like ice cream: when I get it into my head that I want to eat them, it’s best to just appease me. Otherwise, I become a miserable and grumpy little bitch.
Continue reading Saturday dinner: Short ribs provencal