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February Party Recipe Guide Infographic

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February Party Recipe Guide Infographic

Enjoy this holiday guide infographic for finding crowd-pleasing, grass-fed beef recipe ideas to plan your February eating and entertaining events.  Find meals for the Super Bowl, the Oscars, Mardi Gras, Chinese New Year and Valentine's Day.  Meat up, New York!

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Oven Braised Short Rib Ragu

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Oven Braised Short Rib Ragu

This style of sauce gives the best of both--short ribs end up succulent and perfectly cooked while braising eliminates the need for labor intensive stirring that a traditional ragu usually demands. To keep dinnertime hassle to a minimum this recipe can be made in one pot, enameled cast iron would work the best.

Ingredients:

  • 5 lb bone in short ribs
  • tempered salt
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. animal fat or neutral oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 large carrots, split and diced
  • 1 medium bulb fennel, cored and diced
  • 3 large cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp. anchovy paste
  • 1/2 bottle red wine
  • 1 tbsp. dijon mustard
  • 2­-3 dash Worcestershire sauce
  • 15 oz can of whole tomatoes, crushed with a spoon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • a handful of aromatic herbs tied in a bundle thyme, oregano, rosemary, sage
  • water or chicken stock

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Season ribs liberally with salt and black pepper, allow meat to temper for a better and more even cooking. Heat oil or fat in a large, heavy bottomed pot (break out your enameled dutch oven or a large oven­ ready pot!) over medium heat until shimmering. Working in batches, brown the ribs 2­3 minutes per side then set aside. In the same pan sauté onion, carrot and fennel until translucent. Add garlic and gently warm until fragrant but not browned.
  3. Using a spatula, move vegetables to the sides of the pot to create a hot spot then add tomato and anchovy paste into the center. Stir until caramelized, then incorporate into the vegetables. Add red wine and cook until liquid is reduced by half. Add tomatoes, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves and aromatic herbs.
  4. Add ribs back into the pot and fill with water or chicken stock until nearly covered. Bring the liquid to a boil then cover with a layer each of unwaxed baking paper and baking foil. Braise in oven for 3 hours or until the ribs are falling easily off the bone.
  5. Remove ribs from liquid while braise is hot and set them aside to cool. Remove bay leaves and herb bundle. For a smoother sauce, purée braising liquid and vegetables with an immersion blender to the texture of your choice. If sauce seems thin, set over low heat to reduce. When ribs are cool enough to handle, strip meat from the bones discarding any large pieces of fat, and mix to incorporate into sauce.
  6. Serve over polenta or your favorite pasta with fresh herbs and a sharp hard cheese. This is a recipe that benefits from a night in the fridge, so don’t be daunted by this big batch and savor the leftovers!

Servings: 8­ - 10 people
 

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A More Direct Approach

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A More Direct Approach

We’ve never been the kind of guys to worship outdoor grilling gear and technology. When we were growing up, Dad set the tone, making do with a rusty hardware store hibachi and a metal chimney. We’ve written about the ascetic thrill of using government-issue grills in state parks.

But recently we picked up a trick from a Dallas chef that has rocked our minimalist approach to its foundation: We cook meats directly on the coals.

No, the precious porterhouses do not incinerate, even though the heat is consistently 800 to 1,000 degrees. The char is robust and earthy, but never too ashy or excessive, even when we use thinner cuts like hanger and skirt.

In fact, the method promises to reduce anxiety at our outdoor parties this summer by making the grilling speedier and more consistent, with far less sooty flare-up than when we raise our steaks a few inches onto a grate above the coals. (That air space between the meat and the heat provides oxygen for combustion.)

Thank Tim Byres, an evangelist for live-fire cooking in his Smoke restaurants, who demonstrated the technique in May for a segment of our new TV show, “Southern Uncovered,” on Ovation.

The producers were secretly hoping for an Icarus moment, some kind of spectacular calamity on the restaurant’s 10-foot-long open fire pit, but the only pyrotechnics were in our brains; this simple act demolished everything we thought we knew about cooking proteins.

Even Mr. Byres’s richly marbled five-pound “Eisenhower steak” (a Brobdingnagian rib-eye with short rib attached, about two feet long), when cooked 10 minutes on each side, emerged with just a couple of silver dollars’ width of char.

The sugary, spicy dry rub he had patted into the beef before it hit the fire caramelized into a nice crust with that crave-worthy wisp of smoky bitterness that is the objective of outdoor cooking, and so welcome against the sweet richness of luscious protein and browned fat.

He credits President Dwight D. Eisenhower, a native of Denison, Tex., with turning him on to this technique.

“I heard a rumor of Ike grilling these really thick four-inch sirloins,” said Mr. Byres, who tracked down a 1953 article in The Miami Daily News that confirmed his hunch: Eisenhower, it said, “rubs the steak with oil and garlic and then, as the horrified guests look on, casually flings the steak into the midst of the red and glowing coals.”

It should be noted that only natural chunk charcoal (not briquettes) ignited in a chimney is recommended, so that wood is the only ingredient touching the meat.

Continue reading the main story

 

 

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Recipe: Mint-Pesto Rubbed Lamb

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Recipe: Mint-Pesto Rubbed Lamb

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 5-to-6 pound leg or rib of lamb
  • 3/4 cup packed basil
  • 1/2 cup packed mint leaves
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lemon, halved and seeded
  • 1 tablespoon course salt
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)


DIRECTIONS

  1. Remove excess fat from lamb, leaving a thin layer. Set lamb aside.
  2. In food processor, combine all the herbs.  Drizzle in olive oil and pulse several times until the mixture becomes a pesto paste.
  3. Spread pesto paste over entire lamb.  Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.
  4. Adjust lower rack to the bottom of the oven.  Preheat to 350 degrees.  Have ready a shallow roasting pan.
  5. Squeeze halved lemons and rub the juice into the meat .
  6. In a small bowl combine salt, pepper, and crushed pepper flakes.  Sprinkle mixture over seasoned lamb and allow to rest for 30 minutes at room temperature.
  7. Transfer meat to shallow pan and roast for 1 1/2 hours, or until a thermometer inserted into thickest part of meat registers 135 degrees for medium-rare.
  8. Transfer to cutting board and tent with foil.  Allow to rest for 15 minutes before carving.

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