Sunday, October 17, 2010

Easy Short Ribs Braised in Red Wine (based on Food and Wine magazine) and Herbed Fingerling Potatoes (based on a recipe from Tyler Florence)

While we were on our honeymoon, Matthew and I stopped at the airport shop to pick up some books and magazines. With my love of Food and Wine online, I couldn't help but grab the magazine on our way home from Mexico. What better way to enjoy the flight but find new recipes to try once we got home. With that, I found a few recipes, and when I went to the grocery store yesterday, I brought the magazine with me. The guys that work behind the meat counter at Whole Foods are always very understanding to my lack of knowledge of different cuts of beef, so I typically will had the recipe over to them and just tell them I need whatever it says on the card (or in this case, the magazine article), and they promptly oblige.

Although I can typically find absolutely everything at Whole Foods, unfortunately I could not find veal stock on the shelves, but the recipe did mention that chicken stock is fine to use. Other than that, the recipe has ingredients most of you will have in your refrigerator or stocked on your shelves. I did tweak both recipes a bit, which I will mention along the way...and here we go!!!

Easy Short Ribs Braised in Red Wine

In a large flat caserole dish, add:

4-2 inch thick, flanken-cut short ribs with bone (approx. 2 3/4 lbs)
Oil, salt and pepper

Rub the oil into the ribs, and generously season with salt and pepper. Rub the salt and pepper in, as well. Put aside while you begin to chop and cook the vegetables.
In a Dutch oven over medium heat, melt and combine:

1 T. unsalted butter
1 T. grapeseed oil

The recipe did not call for any oil, but I find that it helps so that it is pretty much impossible to burn the butter...something that can happen if you aren't constantly watching the stove. Once the butter is melted and the butter and oil are combined, add:

2 large celery ribs, finely chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 large carrot, finely chopped

The recipe only asked for 1 large celery rib, but I like being generous with the vegetables. Cook the vegetables, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until they are soft, approximately 8 minutes. Add some heat, and cook the vegetables are lightly brown, about 3 or so minutes more. You should constantly be watching the vegetables so not to burn them.
Stir in:

2 T. tomato paste

Stir until well combined. Slowely add:

2 T. all-purpose flour

Add 1 T. at a time and combine with the vegetables and tomato paste until you can no longer see any flour. Cook for approximately 1 minute, scratching the bottom constantly with the wooden spoon to remove any tomato paste that begins to stick. These yummy bits will ultimately be combined with the wine and broth. Add:

1-750 mL bottle dry red wine
2 C. veal or checken stock

Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally to mix the bits from the bottom of the pan. Meanwhile, heat some oil over medium high heat in a large skillet that will fit all 4 of the short ribs. Once the oil is hot, add the short ribs, leaving each side on for 2-3 minutes, or until each side is well browned. 

Transfer the short ribs to the Dutch oven, where the liquid should have been simmering for a few minutes by now. Season with salt and pepper (optional). Lower the heat to low or moderately low, cover the pot, and cook for 1 hour.

Uncover the pot and flip the short ribs. Season again (optional). Cover again and cook for another hour.

Transfer the ribs to a plate and remove the bones. If you did everything correctly, some of the bones will just fall off while you are putting the meat on the plate...mmmm...remove those bones, as you will continue to cook the sauce.

The recipe called for straining the sauce, then transferring it to a sauce pan, but I personally like the chunks of vegetables, so I let them stay. I simply transferred the sauce to a sauce pan and boiled for about 10 minutes, to reduce it some more. Serve the meat with sauce.

Herbed Fingerling Potatoes

Preheat oven to 500 degrees with a baking sheet inside to heat.

Cut lengthwise and put into a bowl:

1 1/2 lbs. fingerling potatoes (I used red)


Olive Oil to coat
2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary (remove the leaves from the stems)
2-3 sprigs fresh thyme (remove the leaves from the stems)
2-3 sprigs fresh sage (I didn't have any fresh sage, so I left it out...)
1-2 T. chopped garlic
Salt and Pepper to taste

Remove the pan from the oven, add potatoes, cut side up, on the sheet. Roast for about 20 minutes, or until a crust begins to form. Remove and serve!

This was a huge hit, but with me, and Matthew, and will definitely be a repeat for years to come!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Pasta with Meat Sauce

Another great hearty meal. I still had my homemade tomato basil sauce that I had made previously, so I decided to use it...and I am so glad I did!!! It really brought out some great flavors.

Pasta with Meat Sauce

Heat in a large, heavy saucepan over medium-low to medium heat:

Olive Oil

Add to the pot:

1 medium onion, finely diced
1 medium carrot, finely diced
1 medium celery rib, finely diced

Cook until the vegetables are softened but not browned, about 8 minutes. Add:

1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 pound ground turkey

Cook over medium heat until just barely pink, about 5 minutes. Add:

2 large garlic cloves, chopped

Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add:

3/4 cup dry white wine

Cook, stirring occasionally, until almost evaporated, about 8 minutes. Stir in:

1 cup tomato sauce (from previous recipe in this blog)
1 cup chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf

Season with a generous pinch of salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Cover partially and cook over moderately low heat for 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes or so. Stir in:

1/4 cup milk

Cook the sauce just until heated through, about 5 minutes. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook:

1 lb. pasta of your choice

Cook the pasta until al dente. Drain well, return to the pot and toss with the sauce. Serve the pasta in deep bowls and pass the:

Freshly grated Parmesan, for serving

Another success, and great leftovers...almost better than the original...almost...

Monday, October 4, 2010

Pot Roast with Vegetables and Potatoes

Update: I have been making this recipe for years and it is continuously a success! I have never really deviated from the recipe, other than increasing amounts of the ingredients. I have made sandwiches from the leftovers for Bears games, and they have always been a hit! If you are looking for a straightforward recipe that will make your house smell fantastic for days, you have come to the right place!

I love fall! It's getting cooler, and time for more hearty dishes! I have made pot roast several times, and in different ways...then I combine what I liked from the different recipes to make my own. This recipe is a mixture of Bobby, Emeril, and one other chef, but I just don't remember...Alton, maybe? Anyways, I think it is finally perfect. This recipe is for a 2 lb. roast. This is enough for Matthew and I, as well as some leftovers. The butcher I spoke with says he typically recommends a 1/2 lb. per person for a serving.

The recipe I made this from is for a 3-5 lb. roast. I did not decrease the amount of herbs I used, but I did decrease the amount of vegetables and stock. Again, as usual, I forgot to take out the camera until we were already done eating...however, this was a success all around, so I definitely recommend trying is easier than you would expect, and will only take one pot, as long as you have a Dutch Oven that can be used on the stove and in the oven with a lid.

Pot Roast with Vegetables and Potatoes

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Trim the fat off of:

1-2 1/2 lb piece of chuck roast (I say 2 1/2 lbs, because chuck roast is fattening, and you will have to trim it of the excess fat. This, in turn, will make it about 2 lbs.)

Cut 10 slits in the meat. Rub the entire roast with:

Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

Into each slit, add:

Garlic Cloves

Let this sit for about half an hour in the refrigerator. While it is sitting, cut up:

1 medium red onion, quartered
4 carrots, sliced
2 celery stalks, sliced
1/2 lb. red potatoes, quartered

Note: if you need to, you can do all this the night before, and store the cut up vegetables in the refrigerator.

Heat the Dutch Oven over medium high heat. Brown the meat on all sides, about 2-5 minutes, based on your stove, taking the time to get a nice crust on the outside. It's okay to check it once in a while, to make sure it's not burning.  To the pot, add:

3 c. beef stock
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper

Place in the oven and cook for 1 hour.

Remove the pot, and either flip the meat, or baste it with the beef stock in the pot. Place in the oven again for another hour.

Remove the pot again, and, again, flip it or baste it. Add the potatoes around the roast, then scatter the onions, carrots and celery around and on top of the roast. If you want, add some more salt and pepper to taste, but this is optional. Cook for an additional hour.

Remove the roast from the oven, and arrange everything in a serving platter. I typically will try to get the vegetables out first, then add the pot roast on top. Remove the stems from the herbs and the bay leaves from the remaining liquid in the pot.

In a bowl, whisk together:

2 T. Flour
1/4 C. Water

Whisk the flour mixture into the reserved liquid. Bring the liquid back to a simmer and cook for approximately 4-6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve on the side with the pot roast as a gravy.

This was a success with Matthew, the leftovers are minimal :-)