Before we get on with the real topic here, a brief hello from yours truly to report that my walk this afternoon with Faith was windy and wonderful. I’ve started walking with these Trek Bars in my pocket (I bought two at GH Temecula) and taking a nibble if I feel nausea coming on or need a dash of fuel. They are super energy dense and packed with peanut butter, oats and chocolate. Delicious too!
I celebrated cocktail hour with an Izze-esque. I like the berry flavor more than the citron, but both are good.
The topic of tonight’s dinner was meat. Matt has been reading this book like a novel. Meaning he hauled it on our flight to the West Coast and back. He loves all things related to food science, and cooking sustainable meat to perfection is his latest interest. [Nerd alert!] I’m going to let him take it away with the recipe how-to that he chose for our Sunday night dinner with Karen.
This book is kinda like reading an Alton Brown book – it’s more about technique and theory, and then you apply what you’ve learned to some recipes at the end of each chapter. This meal was inspired by his Beef in Stout recipe!
It just so happens that I brewed a Dry Irish Stout a couple weeks ago. I dub it “Icehouse Irish Stout”!
When we were at Great Harvest convention we had some braised beef, and to my mom, the quintessential meat is one that is falling off the bone. So she told me if I make a braised meat dinner, she’d be happy to supply the meat. We decided on beef shortribs that she bought at the Organic Butcher.
I started by crisping up a couple diced bacon strips in a pan, which I then tossed into our Le Creuset pot.
Then I sautéed some carrot and fennel in the bacon juices.
Meanwhile, I seasoned the (boneless) shortribs in flour, salt, pepper, and thyme (my favorite herb!).
And seared them in the pan as well, just for some delicious browning flavors.
Everything goes into the pot!
And then cover with one quart of homebrew (minus a couple swigs for the chef)
I brought the pot to a simmer, and then placed in a 250* oven. I recommend at least 2 hours of cooking but I bet you could easily go as long as six.
After one hour, I sautéed some mushrooms and tossed them in for the last hour of cooking. When the timer went off, I pulled the pot out, and poured off a good portion of the beer into another pot to find this tender pile of deliciousness:
The beery liquid was even thinner than I had expected, so I began reducing it:
After about 15 minutes of boiling, it had reduced down to a maple syrup-like level of flow – good enough for me. Really fun project and what a great result!
The dish was fantastic – packed with flavor and melt-in-your mouth tender. Loved the stout reduction!
We had big fat stalks of asparagus on the side – coated in some EVOO and salt + peppa and roasted for about 20 minutes in the oven with the dinner.
And Karen made brown rice that she spiked with dried sun-dried tomatoes. An interesting twist!
I actually only ate about 2/3 of this dinner – I couldn’t fit any more! I don’t think my stomach should really be that compressed yet (if it’s this compressed now, I don’t want to know what the third trimester is like!) but maybe it is just enough to reduce my portions a tiny bit?
For dessert we shared a package of cookies that Sarah baked as party favors today Cranberry Ginger and Peanut Butter Banana. I had on at the party and could barely fit a bite tonight, but it was a nice palate cleanser to end the meal.