The only home-cooked meals my family has eaten in probably a month have been meals given to ThrillCam and the boys while I was away at my mother’s or the meals brought over to us after her death. My poor kids, who, sadly, haven’t complained one time, have forgotten what it’s like to sit down at the kitchen table as a family and share a meal out of an oven, not a deep-fat fryer. Our recent trash output has exponentially increased due to the vast numbers of take-out food bags and cartons….
But, that’s changing. Because, I’m baaaccckkkk!
I feel like part of my grieving process actually includes getting back into some semblance of a routine.
Now, routine is relative during baseball season, but still, I’m finally in a better place, where I feel like cooking again.
Eating a home-cooked meal (or any meal) together as a family, at the table, not in front of the tv, is very important to ThrillCam and me. And, while I don’t usually cook anything fancy, I think it’s important to cook on a regular basis, especially since I work from home, most days.
So, the other day, I was inspired to make PW’s Braised Short Ribs.
I implore you to make these.
I decided to take a few pictures, but because I had already started the cooking process, I decided to just take photos with my phone camera. This might just be my new thing: cooking pictures with the iPhone, rather than dragging out the “big” camera. The photos aren’t super in quality, and the color is off at times, but it sure is easier while cooking a potentially messy meal!
This recipe is actually quite simple. Yes, there are a number of steps, but even at that, it’s not hard.
Just allow yourself enough time for the prep and the long cooking time.
First mistake: I purchased beef ribs that were not “Short Ribs–bone-in,” as PW suggested. My ribs were certainly cut short, but they turned out to be way too fatty. I never found a package called “Short Ribs–bone-in.” I even asked the butcher at the grocery store. She assured me I could substitute the ribs I purchased for Short Ribs. I’m thinking, had I gotten the correct cut of meat, the too-much-fat issue would not have occurred. So, be sure to ask your butcher for the correct cut of meat.
So, I set out the ribs and salted and peppered them.
Then, I dredged them in flour, like PW said to do.
Second mistake: I chose a bowl that was too small…it got a little messy.
Please note: I am skipping steps here! The Pioneer Woman does a fine job of showcasing her recipes with step-by-step pictures, so refer to her site when you actually decide to cook this recipe. …Because you will cook it.
In fact, once you cook this, you might even be inclined to name your children after me. Not PW. That wouldn’t make sense, because I’m the one who showed you the way. Right? Right?
Hellur….anyone there? Hello?? Yoohoo?
Ree used Pancetta; I didn’t. I just used regular bacon. I couldn’t find the pancetta at my grocery store. Odd. But, the bacon was just fine.
Bacon’s always just fine.
So, I just fried up about 6 slices of bacon to render the fat. I didn’t take a picture.
Do you have one of these?
I got this from Pampered Chef, but I’m sure there are other brands out there that are good, too.
I love, love, love my chopper. It makes for a quick chop or dice, and I’m all about quick.
The dice ain’t too purrty, but it gets the job done. Plus, you get to take out all your frustrations by pounding the thing with the palm of your hand. And who really cares if the dice isn’t perfect? All you’ll be thinking about, while you are eating this, is, “I don’t need no stinkin’ napkin, ’cause these are finger-lickin’ good!”
Here’s another shortcut I take, often:
I purchase pre-chopped frozen onions. Huge time-saver for me! (Now, I did chop my own shallots, but again, I used the chopper. Easy-sneezy!)
I buy generic and store brands, a lot, by the way.
(Some things, you don’t skimp on, like a good pair of heels and a sturdy bra. They deserve name brands, but not canned cream of- soups and frozen, chopped onions.)
So, I put the seasoned, floured ribs in the grease.
Oh, look! I had help in the kitchen.
Silly ol’ Bear…
Bear was there because he liked the smells coming from the ribs being seared in bacon grease….It’s a shame I didn’t swing my camera around and take a picture of ThrillCam, who was also being seduced by the bacon smells wafting through the house.
I have also taken the liberty to cheap out when it comes to cooking with wine. I know all good cooks say use the good stuff, but I’d rather drink the good stuff, than cook with it.
Is that so wrong??
So, I buy the little bottles to add to recipes, or to stash in my carry-on bag for a long flight.
So, here are the ribs…basking and bubbling in their delectable, divine, yummy, flavorful cheap wine bath…
I wish this was smell-o-vision. Your kitchen will smell divine as you are cooking this recipe.
Okay…so, here’s the bummer part. I was so excited about eating the meal, I forgot to take pictures of the short ribs when they were done.
I know, I know…. I’m sorry.
(I also made PW’s Creamy Mashed Potatoes, which by the way, makes enough to feed Cox’s Army, so plan on having left-overs.)
But, I did take a picture of the aftermath of my cooking adventure:
Update: I forgot to mention that after you’ve braised the meat and added all the ingredients, you will then place a lid on your oven-safe pan/pot and put it into the oven, at 350 degrees, for two hours. After that, reduce the heat to 325 degrees and cook for another 30-45 minutes. Allow it to sit for 20 minutes or so, lid on, then skim off grease before serving. Or, you can allow the pot to cool before placing it in the fridge overnight. Then, before reheating it, remove the grease.
(I actually forgot to skim off the fat before serving, and we were just fine. No one complained about it, I promise.)
It was messy, but oh-so-worth-it!
This meal was beyond delicious!
Make it, tomorrow night!!
I mean it.