“I’m feeling something pot roasty for dinner.” I was making the grocery list as The Wife supervised breakfast for The Kid and musing about the evening’s potential dinner candidates.
“So what are going to make?” She walked right into it.
“Uhhhh. A pot roast?”
She says that we should talk more, but she usually ends up in this spot. This is not new. I’ve been pulling this crap for the 26 years we’ve been together (okay, so it’s more like 17…who’s counting?). Continue reading Sunday dinner: Garlic pot roast→
Steak pizzaiola is part roasting, part braising. It’s not a true roast, due to tomato sauce, but not a real braise since the liquid levels are pretty low. The result is a tough steak broken down to fork tender.
My first encounter with barbacoa was at the place where most people first try it: Chipotle. The national chain offers barbacoa as a braised alternative to grilled steak. J. Kenji Lopez-Alt from Serious Eats describes it as such in an intro to his recipe:
With traditional barbacoa, the meat is likely to be cooked in a relatively bland broth, then subsequently removed, gently pulled, and mixed with a salsa or other seasonings. The broth can then be served as a hot soup to accompany the meal. But what we’re making here is a delicious beast unto itself: in our version the broth is what adds flavor to the meat, not the other way around. This means starting with a flavor packed base, and using much, much less of it so that its flavor is concentrated.
I was looking for something in between.
The basic ingredient list for homemade barbacoa is simple: chuck roast or steak, chipotles in adobo sauce, cider vinegar, cilantro, citrus juice and broth. Since I was feeding The Wife, I knocked out the peppers and increased my proportions of other ingredients. Continue reading Sunday dinner: Barbacoa→
The meal was cooked to spec, with the only deviation being the roast’s size and the reduced cooking time to accommodate that fact — 30 minutes to accommodate the variance.
The fucking thing burned. (I’m sorry if my use of vulgarities burned your retinae. I’m pissed. No. Fucking pissed.)
Tonight’s dinner was beer braised beef and onions, based on a recipe from the now-shuttered Gourmet magazine. This called for a five-pound chuck roast (I bought the largest in the case at three), three pounds of onions, 24 ounces of a light-colored lager, two tablespoons each of vegetable oil and red wine vinegar. Brown the meat. Brown the onions. Braise for 3.5 hours. Serve.
Friday evening’s dinner at Moro’s Table was highlighted by a world-class braised short rib. I love me some short ribs. I like the notion that I can just cook the hell out of something and have it turn out tender at the end. There are very few cuts of meat where that works and the short rib happens to be one of them. They certainly are not the most attractive cuts of beef, as there is usually a think layer or two of fat involved. But, that’s the point of braising — allowing the slow cooking and heat from the pan juices to melt the fat into the broth. The combination of the fat and pan juices will then work together and reduce, producing a highly-flavorful broth that tastes just as good out of the oven as it does left over.
A good braised short rib recipe needs a thick starch to offset it. For a recipe like this a good polenta works. There is enough vegetables in the pan to fit the bill, but if you wanted, a steamed swiss chard or escarole would serve as a good base before serving the entree over top.