March 4, 2012

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”!

Icehouse StoutBlog

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.


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{ 73 comments… read them below or add one }

1 [email protected] March 4, 2012 at 9:04 pm

Ahh I’ve been quite the meat eater lately, which is rather out of the ordinary. That dish looks phenooooomenal. Are you gonna start making Trek Bars at the Cville GH?


2 KathEats March 4, 2012 at 9:04 pm

I hope so!


3 Maria@ Sinfully Nutritious March 4, 2012 at 9:04 pm

No meat for me, being vegan, but the stout and veggies look great! I love the ice house. I wanted to buy some asparagus the other day, but it looked too fat for me. I just love the tiny skinny spears!

Enjoy your evening. Off to watch my dvr of Once Upon A Time.


4 Nancy March 4, 2012 at 9:27 pm

Actually I’ve found that the thicker asparagus spears are better for roasting. The tiny skinny spears are too thin for that, but the tiny spears are good for steaming or stir-frying


5 Maria@ Sinfully Nutritious March 5, 2012 at 5:56 am

That is so true. I just like the skinny ones cooked a few minutes so they are cooked, but just barley. really crunchy! Fat ones are great in the oven or on the grill. I cannot believe spring is almost here and fresh seasonal asparagus is finally going to be upon us.


6 Lynn @ the actor's diet March 4, 2012 at 9:06 pm

I’m married to a vegetarian. How I wish someone else would read that book and cook for me…


7 Stephanie @ Legally Blinde March 4, 2012 at 9:08 pm

Wow, looks like an amazing meal! It was fun to read a bit from Matt. That is true dedication to be brewing out in the snow like that! What a set-up! I hope he had some swigs right from that measuring cup, haha :) Great post!


8 Anna March 4, 2012 at 9:09 pm

Until I got to “third trimester is like” I thought Matt was still talking…I was super confused!! Matt doesn’t have a third trimester! (I’m a ditz, obviously)
Looks like a yummy Sunday night dinner :)


9 Dominique March 4, 2012 at 9:46 pm

I did the exact same thing–thinking it was Matt talking–and had to go back and read it again.

Kath, have you ever seen the cooking show that Hugh F-S has? It’s called the River Cottage something….I can’t recall the rest of the title. It’s very interesting and I like his style as well. I’ll have to see if I can find that cookbook at the library–it looks like something right up my fiance’s alley.


10 KathEats March 4, 2012 at 9:53 pm

I haven’t? But maybe it’s the same guy?


11 Gem March 5, 2012 at 7:51 am

It is indeed the same guy! So weird to see you talking about his book from halfway around the world: he’s based about 20 mins drive from us in Devon, UK! In fact, while I’m sharing random tidbits, once (this was when he only lived 5 mins from us) he nearly ran over my sister when she was walking home from the school bus! One of his kitchen barns burnt down a couple of weeks ago, very sad… And that concludes my random Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall ramblings for the day!


12 KathEats March 5, 2012 at 9:26 am

Fun! Except not that his kitchen burned :(


13 Zoe @ loseweightandgainhealth March 5, 2012 at 4:28 pm

How cool! My sister has a house in Uplyme and I have relatives in Axminster and Lyme Regis. LOVE Hugh F-W :-)


14 kathleen @ the daily crumb March 4, 2012 at 9:09 pm

definitely nerd alert… but i love it! this post was very interesting — thanks, matt, for sharing :)


15 Caroline @ After Dinner Dance March 4, 2012 at 9:12 pm

That looks great! I am definitely trying it. My boyfriend also loves to cook with beer :)


16 Kerry @ Totes My Oats March 4, 2012 at 9:14 pm

What a comforting Sunday meal! I love cooking with beer – great depth of flavor!


17 Sana March 4, 2012 at 9:15 pm

hahaha Matt needs to post more often!!


18 Sarah @Blonde Bostonian March 4, 2012 at 9:17 pm

wow that looks incredible!


19 Katie @ Peace Love & Oats March 4, 2012 at 9:18 pm

Um, can Matt come make me some dinner?? That looks amazing!


20 Jamie @ Don't Forget the Cinnamon March 4, 2012 at 9:24 pm

Looks like a tasty dinner–I’m so excited for asparagus season!!


21 trillingslied March 4, 2012 at 9:32 pm

I don’t eat meat, but good grief that looks good even to me. Interesting about the compression/portion sizes — for some reason (perhaps being a naive 20-year-old) it never occurred to me that pregnancy would affect how much a woman can physically eat, but it makes total sense!


22 Larbs March 4, 2012 at 9:33 pm

Mmmm…can yall make this again??


23 KathEats March 4, 2012 at 9:52 pm

It’s actually very similar to the meal we had at Commonwealth!


24 Lauren @ Oatmeal after Spinning March 4, 2012 at 9:34 pm

My husband LoVes Alton Brown-especially his meat cooking techniques. He would be all over that book. We had braised short ribs in a red wine reduction a few weeks ago at a dinner party. Looking at yours made my mouth water remembering how great they tasted. And I need to replicate Karin’s rice! I love sun dried tomato anything!


25 Susan H. @ The Food Allergy Chronicles March 4, 2012 at 9:37 pm

Yum! My son is allergic to beef though…what would you recommend as a substitute?


26 KathEats March 4, 2012 at 9:52 pm

Pork shoulder or baby back ribs?


27 Susan H. @ The Food Allergy Chronicles March 4, 2012 at 10:01 pm

Thanks! I just made a ‘Pork’ Bourguignon with a boneless rib end pork roast and it was amazing! Oh…I bet a Country Style Rib Roast could work…a bit meatier than the back ribs. Very excited to try it out! Red wine complimented the broth in the Bourguignon…I can only imagine how yummy the beer would be in this dish!


28 katie @KatieDid March 4, 2012 at 9:40 pm

I want everything about that meal in my belly right now! I’ve been into reduction sauces lately (sounds so fancy but its really so simple).


29 Dena @ 40 Fit in the Mitt March 4, 2012 at 9:41 pm

That’s one of my husbands favorite meals, I use venison with a stout beer and I am the hero for the next 3-4 meals!


30 Mara @ What's for Dinner? March 4, 2012 at 9:51 pm

I have a killer recipe for braised short ribs if the craving ever hits you again :) Well, it’s an anne burrell recipe that I ADORE!!! Let me know :)


31 Ashley @ Coffee Cake and Cardio March 4, 2012 at 9:54 pm

Looks awesome mamacita!!


32 Kaila @healthyhelperblog! March 4, 2012 at 9:57 pm

That dinner looks delicious! So many different flavors going on! I loooove sundried tomatoes so I probably would have devoured that rice dish!


33 Leslie March 4, 2012 at 10:13 pm

Looks so good my mouth is watering. Reminds me a bit of a family fave at our house passed down from my grandmother. We have always called it “Beef in Beer.” It is amazing!


34 Natasha March 4, 2012 at 10:21 pm

Even though I’m a vegetarian this looks yummy to me!


35 Lily March 4, 2012 at 10:34 pm

Those trek bars loook so good! And definitely energy packed


36 j3nn March 4, 2012 at 10:58 pm

I actually made stout short ribs one year for St. Patrick’s Day. They weren’t as good as yours look, though. :) I didn’t know what a short rib was, so I tried to eat around the fat. Didn’t work out so well, haha. Stout beer is so good for cooking, I still have some left from when I bought it for that recipe!


37 Christine @ Oatmeal in my Bowl March 4, 2012 at 11:18 pm

“quintessential meat is one that is falling off the bone” cute. Dinner looks awesome. Nice job on the brew.


38 Liz @ iheartvegetables March 4, 2012 at 11:19 pm

So fun seeing you at Sarah’s today! :) I can’t wait for my next trip up to C-ville!


39 KathEats March 5, 2012 at 9:21 am

You too!! You should just move here 😉


40 Blessing | Working Mom Journal March 4, 2012 at 11:46 pm

Your meal here looks like one I would cook for my African relatives, it’s so similar. I love the combination of ingredients here. I think this is my favorite meal on here so far.


41 Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga March 5, 2012 at 12:40 am

I love reading cook books that are technical. Alton Brown is my hero :)

And that Trek Bar…I have a granola-ish bar that looks so close to those. I’d love to try their bars so I can see what they taste like. Maybe I need to go to Temecula to drink wine. And eat bars. It’s only an hour…I should go!


42 Khushboo Thadani March 5, 2012 at 12:41 am

I don’t even eat pork but this dish looks and sounds phenomenal!


43 modernworkinggirl March 5, 2012 at 5:38 am

FENNEL! The best :)


44 Kristen @ Change of Pace March 5, 2012 at 7:03 am

I had short ribs for the first time this weekend and was blown away. I have seriously been missing out! Usually I steer clear of meat but am so glad I didn’t this time. That looks delicious and easy to make.


45 Simply Life March 5, 2012 at 7:04 am

so impressed that he made his own beer and this dinner- looks great!

I’d love to see a post (if you/Matt) are willing that is something like “a day in the scenes of a baker” – I know he wakes-up super-early but as many of us LOVE all things food, baking, bread, etc. it would be interesting to see what it looks like for someone doing it professionally! Just a thought! Again, amazing dinner!


46 Kristen March 5, 2012 at 8:37 am

I second that! I think that would be a really neat post!


47 KathEats March 5, 2012 at 9:26 am

There is one!! But I can’t find it :( It’s from when he worked in Charlotte as the sponge and dough guy. But I did find this one that we did together:

His job as owner/manager is a lot more paperwork/computer/managerial and he doesn’t go in to work until about 7am now, but I think this was what you were after anyways:


48 Molly @ RDexposed March 5, 2012 at 7:45 am

Love the dedication for the stout-rain or shine..or snow, the beer must be brewed!


49 Nicola March 5, 2012 at 7:48 am

I love Hugh Fearnly Wittingstall, he is a very popular TV cook in the UK and has a great ethos towards food. Another book recommendation that Matt may enjoy is Food and Cooking by Harold McGee. Again a really interesting text that deals primarily with the science and technology of food and cooking methods.


50 Hope @ With A Side Of Hope March 5, 2012 at 8:08 am

Dinner looks fantastic! I’ve always wanted to try short-ribs. I’ve seen so many chefs cook them on the Food Network. I’m dying to try what they taste like. :)


51 Fran@ Broken Cookies Don't Count March 5, 2012 at 8:09 am

Matt is quite a cook!


52 Allison K March 5, 2012 at 8:14 am

I always braise/slow cook short ribs…but it has never dawned on me to reduce the juice for a sauce. Duh. I am putting this on our meal rotation for next week. And my tummy is in its 3rd trimester…holy compression city.


53 Lauren @ What Lauren Likes March 5, 2012 at 8:27 am

Looks amazing!! :)


54 Arielle March 5, 2012 at 8:32 am

My husband and I are huge River Cottage fans, and have watched nearly everything Hugh F-W has done since “A Cook on the Wild Side,” where he lived in a cooking-equipped truck and lived off the land and bartering with people he met. The newest mini-series is “River Cottage: Veg Every Day” wherein he goes vegetarian for a summer. Very inspiring, and loads of fun for a vegetarian. The man is very smart, very thoughtful and respectful of food, and very entertaining to watch, especially through his development from a small-holder to what he is now.


55 Sarah March 5, 2012 at 8:48 am

Matt should check out Serious Eats: Food Lab category for food science!


56 Colleen March 5, 2012 at 8:49 am

Oh my goodness, that meal looks so delicious and comforting for a cold winter’s day.
I’m in my 9th month and I feel like my stomach is just now restricted, lol.


57 leslie March 5, 2012 at 9:03 am

Just wanted to let you know you’ve lost a long-time reader. I can’t believe you would actually say that you are planning on drinking alcohol during your pregnancy, especially when so many people follow your lead on diet/nutrition. There is no way to know “how much is too much.”


58 KathEats March 5, 2012 at 9:28 am

I did not say I was planning to consume lots of alcohol. I just presented the research, which concludes there is no harm in a little bit.

There is also no safe limit determined on sun exposure, but I’m sure you allow your skin to get a little sun.


59 Madge March 5, 2012 at 10:44 am

Oh come on, there’s lots of reasons to stop reading this blog but that isn’t one of them. Do you honestly think Kath, of all people, would throw caution to the wind and start chugging wine or beer? I think she’ll find that alcohol is luring while preggers but once it hits the lips it loses much of the appeal-especially while pregnant. Even the most blind follower would know better.


60 Klar March 5, 2012 at 2:22 pm

You know what I think is worse for pregnant women than the occasional drink? Unasked-for sanctimonious judging from strangers who have nothing to do with the pregnancy or baby.


61 Kelly March 6, 2012 at 12:02 pm

I’m not sure – but i’m wondering if you misread this post? Matt was the one doing the “talking” during the recipe – he’s the one who had a “swig for the chef”. Maybe I missed a different part that you’re referring to, though.


62 Kelly ( March 5, 2012 at 9:19 am

Nothing has ever made me more thankful to be a vegetarian than the cover of that book. *shiver*. Asparagus and brown rice sounded amazing though !!!


63 Cait's Plate March 5, 2012 at 9:39 am

Those Trek Bars looks AWWWWEEEESSSOOOOOMMMMEEE!!! So does that whole dinner! What a nice coming together with everyone pitching in a little!


64 Angel7 March 5, 2012 at 9:41 am

What a great, flavorful meal! Sounds & looks delish! By the way, I really like fennel!


65 Paige @ Healthy Hits the Spot March 5, 2012 at 10:37 am

I rarely eat meat like this, but it looks GREAT! I don’t have that much cooking patience 😉


66 ~Christy @ wonderofallthings March 5, 2012 at 11:33 am

Thanks for the recipe, Matt! I will have to give it a go. :)


67 Zoe @ loseweightandgainhealth March 5, 2012 at 4:25 pm

Oh my GOSH!!!! Hugh is one of my all time food heroes and I met him last summer as I blogged about here:

Hugh F-W has written some amazing books and runs some brilliant food campaigns. Matt may be interested in his website which I link to in my blog or just google ‘River Cottage’ and you will find it. In my blog I often cook from his completely awesome latest book called ‘Veg Everyday!’ which is full of healthy vegetable recipes and you may really like. Check it out :-)


68 Jessica @ The Process of Healing March 5, 2012 at 11:02 pm

As someone who is NOT great at cooking meat, I am actually inspired by this post. I love Alton Brown and anything like that… I LOVE the science behind cooking as well… and that meal looks AMAZING!


69 Alicia March 5, 2012 at 11:06 pm

This dinner looks delicious! But…I do love good short ribs! I collect cookbooks and read them all cover to cover just like a good novel. So, I was wondering, has Matt ever read Bones by Jennifer McLagan? It is one of my favorite meaty books, because I think so many people just don’t know how to cook meat that is on a bone anymore. I actually taught a class in Charleston on cooking with a whole chicken, and the first assignment was to purchase a whole bone-in chicken. My students were terrified at the thought!


70 Matt March 6, 2012 at 10:12 am

Sounds right down my alley! I’ll have to check that out!


71 Heidi - Apples Under My Bed March 8, 2012 at 9:46 pm

mmmm looks SO good! My mum is all about meat off the bone slow cooked stews/braises too. ahhmazing. Love me a beef & guinness stew!
Heidi xo


72 tara March 11, 2012 at 6:28 pm

I was raised on the mindset that meat must be on the plate or it isn’t a meal. Do you have any helpful sources that help me snap out of that? How do you gauge if you’ve had enough protein? Any tips on getting enough when I loathe tofu, tempeh, and eggs?


73 KathEats March 11, 2012 at 7:02 pm

I’d start by just using less – smaller portions mixed with vegetables. You hate all the proteins I would have suggested! What about beans?? I don’t recommend going completely without meat, but just consuming less in general will make a difference


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