Tag Archives: shallots

Braised Beef Short Ribs

I’m guessing it is the cold weather or maybe it’s the extra days off over the holidays but there is nothing like having something cooking on the stove, in the oven or even in a crockpot all day long that just brings a smile to my face.ham hock and lentil soup 030

I think I would be lost without my Dutch oven; I fry, brown, stew and braise in it. I feel very strongly that every kitchen needs to have one or if you are really lucky maybe two of them. There is just so much you can create with it and it can stand up the long hours in the oven.

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I think the first time I tried braised short ribs was in a local restaurant and that was it, I had to make them and I have several times since, they do take some time on the stove top but the rewards are well worth it and it makes the house smell just amazing. They end up super tender; no knife need, and surround them with flavors you love, you just can’t go wrong.

I do love braising short ribs to use up the leftover red wine, I know right how does that happen; on occasion we do have leftover red wine and this is a great way to use it up. While you don’t HAVE to braise in red or white wine you will need some liquid an acid and lots of flavor. You can use beef or chicken stock, you can use tomato sauce or vinegar or even lemon for acid and flavors can come from herbs, spices or even fruit, plums would work for instance. Just be creative as you want with things you have at home.

Braised Short Ribs

6-8 whole beef short ribs
kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1/4 cup flour
diced pancetta
2 tbs olive oil
1 large onion diced
3 whole carrots peeled and finely diced
2 shallots, peeled and minced
2 cups red wine (your choice of acid here)
2 cups beef broth (your choice of flavor here)
2 sprigs thyme
2 springs rosemary
2-3 cloves minced garlic

Salt, pepper and flour ribs set aside

In a large dutch oven, cook pancetta over medium heat until crispy and all the fat is rendered. Remove pancetta leaving the grease in the pan and set aside.

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Add olive oil to the pan with the grease, and raise heat to high. Brown ribs on all sides; about 1 minute per side. Remove ribs and set aside. Turn heat to medium.

Add onions, carrots, garlic and shallots to pan and cook for about 2 minutes. Pour liquid, in my case my leftover red wine and scrape up all the yummy bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring to a boil and cook for a couple of minutes.

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Add broth, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and some fresh cracked black pepper. One thing to remember that flavors will intensify while it cooks down, so be careful not to over salt. Add ribs to the liquid; they should be almost completely submerged. Add whole thyme and rosemary sprigs to the liquid.

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Put the lid on and place in the oven. Cook at 350’ for about 2 hours. Then reduce heat to 325’ and cook for additional 30-45 minutes. Ribs for be fork tender and falling off the bone. Remove pan from the oven and allow to sit at least 20 minutes, with the lid on before serving. Make sure to skim off the fat from the top of the liquid. You can also refrigerate so the fat becomes a solid and is a lot easier to remove.

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Serve over mashed potatoes or polenta or even noodles. Spoon the liquid gold gravy over the top

Harvest Roasted Chicken – A must try

This dish is a must try!  I can honestly say those words and truly mean it. My daughter found this recipe and made it for dinner a few years back. Talk about a tough audience; my guys are extremely vocal when it comes to food and I am not shy about voicing my opinions either. Olives are not exactly eaten in abundance in my home to say the least. Cooking grapes we were also not sure we were going to be on board with that concept either.

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Since we have all been asked to try things out of our comfort zone; especially over the last few years; we were going in with an open mind. Or at least I was, again my guys what can I say, won’t go down without a fight. My kitchen is most definitely the heart of my home, we all hang out on the island which had two levels, the bar height is where we eat and the counter top height is our prep area. When you are making something someone is a little on the fence about, they tend to watch very closely what you are doing.

My daughter rose to the challenge and hit it out the park. Dinner was just plain delicious, had she not made this for us, I am positive I would not have had the courage to make it. Since then I have not only made it a few times for my guys and even for company. I have taught this dish in one of my classes that I hold in my home.

The combination of the olives, grapes, shallots with the white wine and chicken stock plus the last sprinkling of fresh rosemary just melds beautifully in your mouth. I strongly suggest making this dish; it comes together quite easily; especially if you purchase the chicken already cut up in pieces, with minimal ingredients and you could have it on the table in just about 45 minutes.

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Preheat oven to 450’ with the rack in the middle of your oven

3-4 lbs chicken cut up – you can also use parts – thighs, drumsticks and/or breasts – bone in and skin on

Kosher Salt

Freshly cracked black pepper

1 Tbs olive oil

1 cup seedless red grapes

1 cup or jar pitted Kalamata olives

2-3 shallots thinly sliced

1 cup dry white wine

½ cup chicken broth

1 Tbs finely chopped rosemary

Pat chicken pieces dry, season well with salt and pepper.

Heat oil in an ovenproof 12-inch heavy skillet (cast iron if you have it) over medium-high heat until it shimmers

Working in batches, brown chicken, skin side down first and turning them over once, about 5-7 minutes per batch

Don’t move chicken until it releases itself and is nicely browned

Return the pieces to the pan, skin side up, and surround the pieces with grapes, olives and shallots.

Roast chicken in the oven until It has cooked through and the juices run clear, about 20-25 minutes

Transfer the chicken, grapes and olives to a platter, then add wine and chicken broth to the pan juices in the skillet

Bring liquid to a boil, scraping up any brown bits, until it has reduced by half, 3-5 minutes

Pour over chicken and garnish with rosemary

Recipe adapted from the Smitten Kitchen cookbook 2012

Banh Mi

My daughter has started her second year living in Japan; she has done some traveling to different countries in Asia and she is also a foodie she shares with me some of her favorite finds.  I have tried making Ramen and Gyoza from Japan and she especially loved the street food in Vietnam. I have been toying with the idea of trying to make something that you might find on the streets of Vietnam.  The guys and I do enjoy a nice sandwich so we were excited to try making a Banh Mi a Vietnamese sandwich.

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With our weekends being booked up for the last few weeks and the next few coming up; I wanted to make it somewhat simple so I could make it during the week without stressing out too much.  I blended the ingredients for the marinade, sliced the pork and placed both in a Ziploc bag overnight.  The next night I cut up some of the veggies and grilled the pork. I placed everything out on the island and you could add what you wanted to your sandwich; it went fairly quickly and the end result was quite tasty.

She just got back from the Philippines we need to catch up soon so I can work on my next Asian inspired dish.

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Makes 6 sandwiches

2-3 lb boneless pork shoulder

3 large cloves of garlic chopped

1-2 shallots chopped

1 stalk of lemongrass, trimmed and coarsely chopped (if hard to find and not sure how to work with it, you can substitute lemongrass in a tube) (I had to as my local market did not have the stalks)

¼ tsp black pepper

2 Tbs sugar

2 tsp soy sauce

2 Tbs fish sauce

1 Tbs canola oil

Cut the pork across the grain into strips about 4 to 5 inches long about ¼ inch thick set aside.

In a blender or food processor add the remaining ingredients blend until semi-coarse puree.

Add everything to a Ziploc bag and massage the meat.  Place in the fridge over night; you could leave on the counter for an hour if you don’t want to wait.  If you place the bag in the fridge take it out let it sit for an hour or so to come to room temperature.  You can cut up some veggies while you wait.

You can skewer the meat or not, if you have small pieces and are grilling you may want to.  I did not; I started the grill and let it get real hot.  I spent like 5-7 minutes cooking the meat – I believe they cook theirs longer till very dark, I did not, I wanted the meat a little tender.  I also grilled the buns slightly to harden them a bit.

Possible vegetables – Pickles, cucumbers, tomatoes, radish, cabbage, carrot, chili’s, pickled veggies (brine removed), fresh herbs, avocados.

Add Mayo and salt and pepper or you can add soy sauce.  Mine was veggies I had on hand and Mayo.