Tag Archives: beef

Me overreact? Never. Easy Short Ribs Braised in Red Wine

Lucky the Dog

Lucky the Dog

I have, at rare instances in my life, been told that I’m prone to overreacting.

It began when I was three years old and was so terrified by the Wizard of Oz, that I instituted a strict moratorium on the word “witch” in our house for a number of months. The word could not even be said or I would fly into hysterics, shrieking and crying. My older brother quickly realized the power of this spoken word and would chase me around the house quietly saying “wwwwww……water! wwwwww….washing machine! wwwwwww….wish.” I found it highly traumatic.

A few years later when my friends and I were hanging out in our early tweens ( a term that did not yet even exist) I had the brilliant idea that we should all go around the room and state what we “hated” about each other. I’m not sure why I thought this was a good idea. Perhaps I thought it would be cathartic. The girls informed me that sometimes I made a mountain out of a molehill and that was something they didn’t care for. I immediately began adamantly defending the accusation, demanding for examples of where I’d blown things out of proportion.

So, it will come as no surprise, that the other day when I thought our older dog Lucky was dying I burst into tears, came home from work, and spent the day following him around, quietly weeping, and taking pictures and videos of him with my phone. (Note, the videos are all punctuated by a soundtrack of me sniffling, and hiccupping, so I don’t think they will be particularly comforting down the road.) When we called the vet and demanded an explanation of what could possibly be wrong that would render him so lethargic, so uncomfortable, so dying our very straightforward vet reminded us that we have a geriatric dog, who’s terminally ill, and effectively three-legged. Okay…well, besides that…I wondered.

Rest assured that Lucky made a dramatic recovery (this dog is on his 19th life), although the vet’s admonitions still ring soundly in my mind, so I’m trying to resign myself to the reality that we’re talking weeks not months here. As a result, Lucky the Dog has been deemed king of the roost. There are dog beds scattered all over the house, water bowls in every particular corner, and Lucky has been allowed to sleep in our bed, stretching out to his heart’s content. The result is sleepless nights for me, contorted in ridiculous positions so as not to disturb him, waking up each morning feeling slightly haggard and guiltily resentful. I’ve been informed this is much what having a newborn is like.

I’ve always been a firm believer that food is an excellent substitute for sleep. So the other night, I got cooking.

These braised short ribs from Food and Wine, are quite delicious, although I think they would have been better if cooked for closer to three hours versus the recommended two.  Food and Wine pairs this with egg noodles, although I personally think mashed potatoes might be better.

Cook these when life seems to be falling apart, you haven’t slept in days, and need some glimmer of a reminder of a time when you were totally on top of things.

Easy Short Ribs Braised in Red Wine
From Food & Wine , incidentally, one of my favorite cooking magazines

Easy Short Ribs Braised in Red Wine

Easy Short Ribs Braised in Red Wine

Ingredients

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 large celery rib, finely chopped
1 large carrot, finely chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
One 750-milliliter bottle dry red wine
2 cups veal or chicken stock
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Four 2-inch-thick, flanken-cut short ribs with bone (2 3/4 pounds)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Buttered egg noodles, for serving

Directions

  1. In a large, enameled cast-iron casserole, melt the butter. Add the onion, celery and carrot, cover and cook over moderate heat until slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Uncover and cook until the vegetables are lightly browned, about 3 minutes longer. Stir in the tomato paste. Add the flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring. Add the wine and veal stock and bring to a simmer.

    Sauteeing Vegetables

    Sauteeing Vegetables

  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet until shimmering. Season the ribs with salt and pepper, add them to the pan and cook over moderately high heat, turning, until they are well browned, about 15 minutes.

    Salt and Peppered Short Ribs

    Salt and Peppered Short Ribs

  3. Transfer the short ribs to the casserole. Partially cover and cook over moderately low heat until very tender, about 2 hours. (E.M – Two was really the bare minimum I would recommend, three would be better).
  4. Transfer the ribs to a plate and remove the bones. Strain the sauce into a heatproof measuring cup and skim off the fat. (E.M – Discard the vegetables). Return the sauce to the casserole and boil until reduced to 2 cups, 10 minutes. Return the meat to the sauce and simmer over low heat until heated through. Serve the ribs with egg noodles. (E.M – Or mashed potatoes).

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Filed under Comfort Foods, Pasta, Uncategorized

Comfort Food Goes Chic (again): Gourmet Meatloaf

I have recently started a new job, and as is typical for most people I think, I am finding myself in these first days and weeks coming home excited and positive but also admittedly tired and a bit drained. Keeping track of who’s who, what’s what, attempting to get out the door in the morning without getting slobbered by the mastiff, and remembering not to put hot tea in the fancy compostable cups (they definitely melt), can take it out of you.

As such, the foods that are appealing are the old standards. Traditionally satisfying but undeniably unglamorous, comfort foods have gotten a bit of a bad rep in my book. I’m not going to claim to be able to remake them so that they’re low-cal and low-carb (because come on people, these are COMFORT foods), but I do think they deserve a facelift now and then.

This meatloaf is a fantastically successful remake on the old school version. Adding lamb makes the flavors more interesting and the panko bread crumbs give it a lighter feel.  The sun-dried tomatoes and mozzarella lend to a beautiful presentation.

Pair with sour cream mashed potatoes and roasted vegetables for a complete, chic, and new job worthy meal.

Serves 6.

Gourmet Meatloaf

Ingredients

1 lb organic ground beef

1 lb organic ground lamb

1 small yellow onion, chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup panko bread crumbs

2/3 cup Italian parsley

1 TB Italian seasonings

Salt and Pepper, to taste

2 eggs

1/4 tomato juice (or ketchup)

1/2 cup dry red wine

4 ounces sun-dried tomatoes (packed in oil)

1/2 lb smoked mozzarella, thinly sliced

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Combine the ground beef, lamb, onion, garlic, bread crumbs, parsley, Italian seasonings, and salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the eggs, tomato juice and wine and mix thoroughly.
  3. Lay out 1 large sheet of waxed paper and spread the meat loaf mixture out in a 9×13 rectangle. Sprinkle 2/3 of the sun-dried tomatoes and arrange 2/3 of the mozzarella on top.
  4. Using the wax paper as an aid start rolling it up from the short side, like a jelly roll. Peel back the paper as you roll. Place seams side down on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.
  5. Bake for 1 hour. Sprinkle the remaining sun-dried tomatoes and mozzarella over the top and bake until the cheese is melted and bubbling, about 10 minutes more.


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Filed under Comfort Foods

Not your Grandmother’s Beef Stroganoff

There are those dishes that we associate with our youth. Things that our parents served that we perhaps clamored for, maybe grumbled about, or just tolerated. Beef Stroganoff was something my mother used to make, although I don’t recall particularly caring for it. The other night as I was flipping through The Bon Appetit Cookbook I found a recipe that looked just right. Upon careful inspection I realized that stroganoff is little more than beef, mushrooms, cream, and pasta. All things I adore. And so, I set out to make the ultimate Beef Stroganoff.

This recipe puts my mama’s to shame I’m afraid to say. The Beef Tenderloin Tail is a perfect way to get an indulgent cut of meat at a fraction of the cost. I used Cremini mushrooms but you could certainly make the dish fancier by making it with assorted wild mushrooms.

The end result was tender, medium-rare meat, simmered in a mushroom, cream sauce with a hint of sherry. The flavors were perfect together and it found just the right balance of being rich, without being heavy.

Serves 4-6
Present on top of wide egg noodles that have been tossed with butter.
Pair with a rich, bold red wine such as a California Cabernet.

Beef Stroganoff

2 1/2 lb well-trimmed beef tail tenderloin roast, cut into 2 x 1 x 1/2 inch strips (you may have to specially  ask your butcher for this, but it is delicious and about half the cost of straight tenderloin)

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

4 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup finely chopped shallots

1 lb mushrooms, thickly sliced

1 cup beef broth

2 TB Sherry or Cognac

1 cup creme fraiche or whipping cream

1/2 TB Dijon mustard

1 TB chopped fresh dill

Sprinkle meat with salt and pepper. Heat oil in heavy large skillet over high heat until very hot. Working in two batches, add meat in single layer and cook just until brown, about 1 minute per side. Using tongs transfer to a plate and reserve juices. Drain any additional oil from pan and wipe out pan with paper towel.

Mushrooms and Shallots

Melt butter in same skillet over medium-high heat. Adding shallots and saute until tender, scraping up any browned bits, about 2 minutes. Add mushroom and saute until mushrooms brown and juices evaporate. About 10 minutes. Be sure to keep stirring the mushrooms so they don’t brown too much. Add broth, then Sherry. Simmer until sauce thickens and just coats mushrooms, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Stir in creme fraiche and mustard. Add meat and any accumulated juices from plate. Simmer over medium-low heat until meat is heated through but still medium rare, about 2 minutes. Stir in chopped dill. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Top egg noodles with beef and sauce…ENJOY!

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Filed under Comfort Foods, Uncategorized