Friday, January 23, 2009

Low and Slow Cooking

I have to admit that beef short ribs are one of my favorite cuts of meat. Once upon a time, beef short ribs (with bone) used to also be a very economical cut of meat, but alas, those times are long gone. The only saving grace is that the bones will be saved for a future stock. But, as for the meat itself? I can only describe it as unctuous, beefy, sublime. This is definitely a meat that benefits from a low and slow cooking.

First off we have the ingredients for the saute. Sort of. Hey, I haven't even had my morning coffee yet; what do you expect?

Um, yeah, anyway... we have two packages of beef short ribs, complete with bones. In addition, kosher salt, yellow onions, black pepper and garlic cloves are standing by. Just in case the sleep-deprived woman needs them.

And now we sear. And no, we are not trying to seal in the juices. Instead, we are creating flavor, via the Maillard Reaction.

For some unknown reason, I like to play around with proven recipes. Gee, the thing works as is, why would you want to change it? Because I can?

At any rate, I have gathered these ingredients for the sauce du jour: classic yellow mustard, black pepper, white wine vinegar, whole grain Dijon mustard and sugar. This was mixed with some sliced garlic cloves to taste.

And the beef short ribs are still searing. This is not a difficult step, folks. In fact, I was quite busy with other aspects of the dish while the beef did its thing. Why do TV cooks pretend that this is so hard? I'm looking at you, Ina Garten.

Once the beef has eagerly let go of the pan, it is time to deglaze. I had thawed a bit of homemade beef consomme for this task. In addition, I added about 1/4 cup of dry white wine to the hot pan. Then I went to work, dislodging the tasty bits from the bottom of the pan. This liquid goodness then went into the slow cooker with the beef short ribs.

Then the onion pieces that I had left over from the onion rings from earlier in the week were laid on top, while some of the mustard sauce was drizzled over top. The lid went on the slow cooker and the temperature was set to medium. This cooked for about nine hours while I went about my day. Midway through the cooking process, I turned the ribs over and added the rest of the sauce over the top.

Just before dinner time I assembled the ingredients for Creamy Corn and Bacon. Here I have Half and Half, one slice bacon that was chopped, black pepper, salt, one tablespoon flour, corn and one teaspoon sugar.

The bacon fried in the pan.

Then the corn went into the pan with the bacon and the bacon grease.

The corn and bacon already look good. But we're not finished yet...

Some Half and Half was added, along with the salt, pepper, sugar and flour.

This heated through for a couple of minutes.
Meanwhile, a nice salad and the bowls were chilling in the refrigerator.

The beef short ribs are ready.

More mustard sauce finishes off this dish.
And you know what? Changing out the mustard sauce a bit was an inspired move. The whole grain Dijon mustard added just the right kick to this simple sauce.

The Creamy Corn and Bacon hit the spot. How good was it? My husband and daughter fought over the last of the corn. I'd say that was a vote of confidence.

No comments: