Tag Archives: slowcook

This dinner contains an entire bottle of wine

And if that’s not an incentive for you to try it, well…I’m out of ideas.

So a while back, my mother in law accidentally bought half a cow.  I know you, internet reader, and I know that your first instinct is to quip, “Which half? Front or back?”  Oh you witty person, you.  After that, you’ll ask how someone “accidentally” purchases a half of an animal that can weigh up to 700 pounds when they really meant to just buy a quarter?  I’m not sure but frankly it sounds like something I would do.

Anyway, because of that, Josh and I got a fabulous gift of a large amount of beef that we’ve been whittling down over the past couple months—ground beef, steaks, chuck roasts.  And yesterday, short ribs.

I love short ribs.  “But Lauren,” you say, “You love any kind of ribs.”  Yes, that’s true too.  And with good reason: they are delicious.  Beef short ribs are the bovine equivalent of pork spare ribs and can be found cut into a variety of ways.  While I don’t crave them in the same obsessive manner that I tend to crave pork ribs (hey, the pig is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy), I do enjoy them now and then in place of a good roast.  They’re an excellent candidate for braising, which is not quite baking and not quite boiling.  Once when I was practically swimming in an overflow of Pom Wonderful pomegranate juice, I made pomegranate-braised short ribs with an ancho chile and chocolate rub.  It was pretty awesome.  This dish is somewhat similar, but more “traditional” and a bit less fruity.  Also, I’ve replace the healthy benefits of pomegranate with the healthy benefits of a full bottle of red wine: let’s see if anyone notices! Continue reading

Go-Go-Gadget Goulash!

Ah, Michigan in the spring.  This week was day after day of 65 degree weather with full sun and, thanks to Daylight Savings Time, nice long lit evenings.  We grilled.  We lounged.  We ate out at cafe sidewalks.  We…did yardwork.  It was beautiful.  It was gorgeous.  It was—short lived.  Today’s forecast?  Rain and a high of 44.  Tomorrow?  Gulp.  Snow.  Sigh.

So even though I’m positively itching (that might be the bug bites from the yardwork) to hop on the grilling bandwagon and get my yippy-ki-yay on, I went back to my cold-weather friend, the slowcooker, and decided to try a new recipe…for goulash.

Am I the only person who, when they hear the word “goulash,” immediately thinks of Gargamel from the Smurfs?  No, you do it too?  Ok, good.  I’m not sure I’ve ever had a proper “goulash,” which is a stew usually made of beef, onions, vegetables, and paprika.  Interestingly, Wikipedia tells me that the word stems from the Hungarian word for cattle herdsmen.  Ha!  It’s like Hungarian Cowboy Stew.  Continue reading

Pomegranate-braised ancho-chocolate beef: it's what's for dinner. And maybe dessert. No, just dinner. Maybe dessert.

I got a notice that POM Wonderful was having a recipe contest and I thought, “Self, we’ve never entered a recipe contest before. We should give it a shot.”  Self said, “We’ll never win.”  And I replied, “Way to be defeatist, Self.  The point is that it’s an excuse to be creative.”  Self: “Since when do we need an excuse?”  Me: “Since you started screwing with my chi.”  Self: “Oh okay.”  So we shook on it.  Mentally.

So now that Self and I were in agreement (which happens much less often than you might imagine), I started thinking about various winter meals we could make with pomegranate.  I considered roasting a chicken basted with a pomegranate compound butter.  Iactually did that one, too.  It wasn’t bad.  But it didn’t make me go, “Mmmmmmmmmmmm” with my head tilted back and my mouth wide open slouched in a chair like Homer Simpson.  I also thought about stuffing a pork tenderloin with spinach and goat cheese and cooking it in a pomegranate glaze.  Haven’t done that yet…but probably will, because thinking about it now has me drooling a little bit, I’ll admit it. Continue reading