Scott’s 2018 Short Ribs

 

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This is a perfect recipe for a lazy Sunday afternoon – serving two or with guests serving four! The short ribs need about 3 hours to cook – so start around 2 PM and you’ll be ready for a great dinner about 5:30 or 6 PM.

The inspiration for this recipe came from chef Marcus Samuelsson’s Obama’s Short Ribs recipe as described in the New York Times – and it’s also in the chef’s Red Rooster Cookbook – The Story of Food and Hustle in Harlem.

I’ve made several modifications – basically to make it simpler and easier. I usually try to rework recipes that use amounts of ingredients that result in wasting portions that you might buy in standard size packages. So, I adjusted – and simplified – and the result was great!

[First posted: February 26, 2018]




Ingredients

  • 1 lemongrass stalk, trimmed, smashed and minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped – or about 1-1/2 tbs of already minced garlic
  • 1 Optional (1-inch) piece ginger, peeled and minced
  • ½ cup red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon or Zinfandel)
  • 3 cups beef broth (2 cups if only 4 ribs)
  • ½ cup plum sauce (¼ cup if only 4 ribs)
  • ½ cup soy sauce (¼ cup if only 4 ribs)
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 2 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 bay leaves

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Pat meat dry with paper towels. Season ribs all over with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat vegetable oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. When oil shimmers, add short ribs and brown on all four sides, about 2 minutes per side; transfer to a plate.
  3. Add mirepoix (onion, carrot, celery), lemongrass, garlic and ginger to the pot. Season with salt and cook, stirring often, until onion softens, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add in wine, beef broth, plum sauce, soy sauce, thyme, parsley and bay leaves and bring to a simmer.
  5. Return short ribs to pot, along with any juices, cover and slide pot into oven. Braise until meat is fork-tender, about 3 hours.
  6. Transfer meat to a plate. Use a ladle to skim the fat off the top of the braising liquid. Discard bay leaves and thyme stems. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  7. Add short ribs and turn to coat in the sauce; set aside until you’re ready to serve.
  8. Serve short ribs in shallow bowls and top with a spoonful of sauce. Put remaining sauce in a bowl for the table. Enjoy!
  9. Serve with the rest of the red wine – and, likely, a second bottle! If there are leftovers, congratulations – as the ribs are even better warmed up tomorrow!

My Favorite Memorial Day BBQ Recipes

Freedom is not Free - Golden Gate National Cemetery - 2009

Hard to believe we’re into Memorial Day weekend and the unofficial start of summer! It’s a perfect weekend for firing up the BBQ and doing some grilling! Here are a couple of recipe ideas to tempt your appetite:

For a great side dish to go with the tri-tip, try my recipe for Scott’s Easy Baked Onions – or the Melted Onions actually cooked in the charcoal coals of the BBQ.

Fire up that grill – and have a great holiday weekend!

Scott’s Wintertime Beef, Mushroom and Barley Soup

A favorite of mine this time of year is a hearty beef, mushroom and barley soup.

Some might call it a “beef stew” – and they’d be right. But it’s got a lot of liquid – assuming you use all of the liquids called for – yet has the great flavor of a beef stew. We made this for a second time today – using an amalgamation of one of Mark Bittman’s recipes along with a slow cooker recipe from Cooks Illustrated.

Read on for ingredients and directions!

First published: January 5, 2013




Ingredients

  • 1 oz dried Porcini mushrooms
  • 1.5 – 2 lbs beef chuck roast – cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 8 oz fresh Cremini mushrooms
  • 28 oz canned diced tomatoes
  • 8 oz mini carrots
  • 3 yellow onions – chopped
  • 4 oz tomato paste
  • 8 oz mini carrots
  • 2 oz Penzey’s shallots
  • 2 oz Penzey’s garlic
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 28 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 cups chicken broth

Directions

  1. Soak the dried Porcini mushrooms in a cup of hot water.
  2. In a Dutch oven, heat the olive oil and add the beef – brown for 10-15 minutes. Remove using a slotted spoon. Discard most of the fat remaining.
  3. In a separate pan, brown the mushrooms – first dry and later adding a bit of olive oil.
  4. In the Dutch oven, add the onions, salt and pepper. Add in the tomato paste, carrots, shallots, and garlic. Add in the mushrooms. Add in the porcini mushrooms – and the liquid while being careful to avoid any grit. Saute for 10 mins. Add the red wine. After 10 mins, add the tomatoes, beef broth and chicken broth.
  5. Bring mixture to a boil.
  6. Reduce heat to low – cover the Dutch oven and continue cooking for 1.5-2 hours. Taste the beef for tenderness to determine when ready to serve.
  7. Serve in large soup bowls – perhaps with crusty bread! Enjoy!

A Perfect July 4th Tri-Tip BBQ

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Are you planning a July 4th BBQ get together with family and friends this year? If so, the perfect BBQ treat is a tasty, well seasoned tri-tip roast – and you’ll find the preparation and cooking to be super easy:

Either way, you’ll end up with a perfect BBQ treat that your friends and family will really enjoy. Be sure to season the tri-tip well an hour or so in advance. I prefer just kosher salt, coarse ground pepper and a bit of Montreal steak seasoning.

Mix in a few burgers, sausages and hot dogs on the grill for the kids and you’ve got everybody covered!

Have a wonderful 4th of July!

How to Cook: Easy Tri-Tip Roast on the Gas Grill

Here’s a recipe for grilling tri-tip on the gas grill. So simple to do!

Start with a 2 to 3 lb tri-tip roast.

Season ahead of time with lots of kosher salt, lots of ground pepper, and a touch of McCormick’s Montreal steak seasoning

Fire up the gas grill to preheat for 15 minutes. When heated, cook the tri-tip 7 minutes per side over the direct burners followed by 20 minutes with the fatty side up.

Let rest for 5-10 minutes wrapped in foil before slicing against the grain Turned out perfect!

This would be perfect for your 4th of July BBQ!

 

Summertime Tri-Tip on the Weber BBQ

My son and family stopped by this afternoon following today’s Sunset Celebration Weekend and we did just what we did last year – grilled a couple of tri-tips on our Weber charcoal BBQ. Turns out, we did just about the same thing last year! With the unusually wet and cool spring we’ve had in northern California this year, today (in early June) was literally the first time we pulled the cover off the Weber to grill something!

I picked up two plain tri-tips earlier today from Bianchini’s Market in Portola Valley. The first we seasoned with Tom Douglas’ All Purpose Smoky Barbeque Rub – picked up this morning from Tom’s booth at the Sunset event. The second we seasoned with rock salt – with a healthy dose of fresh ground Penzey’s Special Extra Bold™ Black Peppercorns on both. We seasoned the tri-tips about 5 hours before we started grilling and put them back in the ‘frig.

Like last year, I used Lazzari Mesquite Charcoal in my Weber BBQ – it burns hotter than briquets, cooks the meat faster and adds a very nice mesquite cooked flavor to the meat. Once lit in the chimney lighter, spread the coals all to one side of the Weber – that’s going to be the direct heat side.

I seared the roasts over direct heat 5-7 mins per side (to a bit of nice char) and then cooked them on the indirect heat side for another 20-25 minutes until they reached an internal temperature of 130 degrees. Once they’re at that temp, wrap them in foil and let them sit for at least 15 minutes to let the juices re-enter the meat. Then slice thinly across the grain and serve – preferably with an nice accompanying BBQ sauce. I had also picked up a jar of Tom Douglas’ Ancho & Molasses Barbecue Sauce this morning at Sunset – and it was a perfect accompaniment to the tri-tip!

We also grilled some veggies to accompany the roasts – including corn on the cob, onions, baby bok choy, zucchini and bell pepper. We cooked the veggies mostly over direct heat – taking care not to let them burn – while the tri-tips were cooking on the other indirect heat side of the grill.

A great meal and first time BBQ of the season!

Scott’s Perfect Charcoal BBQ Thick Cut Pork Chops

We love our Weber – an early model of the Performa. A while back we had this fancy indirect heating gas grill – but it just didn’t provide much flavor for BBQing so we gave it away and bought the Weber over 10 years ago. It’s been our regular fire ever since – IMHO nothing beats a hot charcoal fire for the best flavor.

On one of our morning walks last week, friend Chris Gulker550 degrees) on the Performa’s built-in thermometer. Then, it’s time to sear the chops.

I seared them about 2 minutes on each side directly over the hottest part of the fire. After that, I moved them over to the indirect heat side of the Weber and cooked them for another 6 minutes without turning. By that time, the internal temperature was about 135 degrees. I removed them from the fire, covered them with foil and let them sit another 6-8 minutes during which the internal temperature continued to rise to over 145 degrees. At that point, they were ready to serve.

We cooked some sauerkraut with bacon and BBQ sauce in a skillet on the stove and served that with the chops along with some more of that tasty BBQ sauce. What a treat! – a very nice and relatively low cost Sunday BBQ. Served with a little summer rose wine, it was just delicious!

Adjusting the Williams Sonoma Cooking Probe Thermometer

This post goes in the “notes to self” category. We have a Williams-Sonoma Cooking Probe Digital Thermometer – and lost the manual eons ago. This thermometer was apparently actually made by Polder and private labelled to Williams-Sonoma.

Anyway, it’s the one with the 3 foot long cord to a probe that goes in the oven and into the meat. The problem I have with it is the somewhat arcane user interface it has for setting a different alarm temperature than the various defaults it comes pre-programmed with for the various types of meat. So, here’s how you do it!

Using the Meat button, scroll to the UI page. Hold down the Memory button until the Alert temperature starts blinking. Then, using the up/down (+/-) keys, set the temperature you want for the alert. Hit the Memory button again to store the new value, turn on the Alert switch, and you’re now set.

Happy cooking! 😉

 

Christmas Day Roast Pork Loin with Apples/Shallots

IMG_8238For years, we’ve enjoyed a roast pork loin recipe titled “Roast pork loin with roasted apple compote” that was originally published in Barbara Kafka‘s cookbook “Roasting-A Simple Art“.

Much of Kafka’s book involves roasting at high heat – typically 500 degrees – and her recipe of coating the pork loin in mustard, salt and pepper at the start and then roasting with apples at that high temperature has always worked out well for us. Sometimes (depending upon how clean your oven is), roasting at that high a temperature can result in some smoking – so it takes some care.

On this Christmas Day, though, we’re trying some variations – something a bit different.

First, I decided to try brining the pork loin. Not a full 24-hours worth – because, in this case, I decided to brine it at about noon today – so it’ll only have about 5 hours of brining.

Brining is easy – start with a mixture of something like 2/3 cup of salt combined with 2/3 cup of sugar in steaming hot water (we have one of those faucet water heaters – so that’s easy!) along with some pepper. Cool it down (adding ice and some cold water seems to do that nicely) before putting the brine and the pork loin into the plastic freezer bag and putting everything into the refrigerator for a few hours.

Next, I decided to brown the pork loin roast before putting it into the oven. I like the bits of extra flavor that browning meat seems to generate. By browning the roast in our Le Creuset 6-3/4 Quart French Oven we can brown the meat and roast it in the same pot, minimizing cleanup. After browning and removing the roast, the apples, and shallots are placed into the pot with the roast then placed on top. Cover and into the oven it goes.

We just finished our Christmas dinner – and this dish was a hit! The pork, even with just a few hours of brining, was moist and not dry. The pork was ready earlier – only needing an additional 5 minutes after removing the top from the pot. We let it rest the full 15 minutes before carving – and it was just great. The apple/shallots/mustard/cream compote is the perfect semi-sweet complement to the pork!

Originally posted December 25, 2008.


Ingredients

  • Brine: 2/3 cup kosher salt, 2/3 cup sugar, 1 Tbsp pepper
  • 2-1/2 to 3 lb pork loin roast – tied with string
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tart apples (Granny Smith, etc.), halved
  • 4 shallots, peeled
  • 1-2 sprigs rosemary
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/3 cup cream
  • 1-1/2 Tbsp mustard

Directions

  1. Prepare the brine by mixing sugar and salt with 1 cup of piping hot water. Add pepper. Add ice cubes and 2-3 cups additional water to cool down brine. Place pork loin roast in 1 gallon freezer bag, fill with brine mixture, and seal bag. Place bag in bowl and place into refrigerator until time to cook (no more than 24 hours).
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Remove roast from brine and pat dry all around. Season with salt and pepper (or your favorite rub).
  3. Place French Oven on high heat. Add olive oil, heat until shimmering. Sear the pork loin on all sides. Remove from heat and remove roast to plate.
  4. Place the three halved apples cut side down into French Oven along with the shallots, rosemary and bay leaf. Place the roast on top of the apple mixture, cover the pot and place into the pre-heated oven.
  5. Roast in the oven for 40 minutes. Remove the lid and continue roasting until the roast’s internal temperature reaches 140 degrees – perhaps 10-15 minutes more.
  6. Remove French Oven from oven, remove roast to cutting board, cover roast with aluminum foil and let rest for 15 minutes.
  7. Scoop out the apples and shallots into serving bowl. Deglaze the French Oven with a bit of white wine or brandy and add the apples back into the pot. Mix in the cream and the mustard and season to taste.
  8. Carve the pork loin roast and serve with the apples/shallots compote.

Christmas Eve 2008 Oven-Roasted Tri-Tip Dinner

We’ll be hosting Christmas Eve again at our house this year – and we’re handling the just main courses while the rest of the family is bringing salads, side dishes, and desserts!

Last year, we were about to head for Hawaii for another family reunion – and didn’t cook anything! But, this year, we’re back with our favorites again: a combination of honey-baked ham along with our easy Lazy-S easy oven-roasted tri-tips.

We first shared our approach to this Christmas Eve menu back in 2005 – and we’ll be following the same approach this year. The honey-baked ham is basically just a warm up exercise – nothing complicated about preparing it.

For the tri-tips, we’ll have one plain (unmarinated) tri-tip along with a couple of marinated tri-tips. Our favorite local meat market (Bianchini’s Market in Portola Valley) highly recommends their Zinfandel-marinated tri-tips – so we’ll be giving them a try this year. But, the unmarinated version – with just lots of salt and pepper several hours ahead of roasting – is pretty special too!

See the directions here for how we like to prepare the tri-tips (in the morning) and then cook them (in the late afternoon)!

Yum! And, Merry Christmas!