Barking Kitten

Fiction, musings on literature, food writing, and the occasional Friday cat blog. For lovers of serious literature, cooking, and eating.

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Close to forty. Not cool. Politically left. Atheist. Happily married. No kids.

Friday, August 04, 2006

When dinner is a disaster

Maybe not a complete disaster. Just not very good.

I had some lovely short ribs. I salted them ahead of time like a good girl. Then I set out to prepare Molly Stevens' Short Ribs braised in porter ale with maple-rosemary glaze. Being me, the person who does not like sweet things with her savory dishes, I did not prepare the maple glaze, which called for maple syrup.

The dish called for preliminary browning, followed by 2 1/2 hours in a 300 degree oven. I followed the recipe exactly and came out with undercooked meat. It was easily cut with a knife, but certainly not fork tender. Even if it were, the braising juices--a bottle of Guiness and a cup of chicken broth--were pretty lifeless.

This was the first (and probably last) time I've prepared short ribs without some kind of tomato--ususally Muir Glen whole romas with their juices. This dish wouldn've benefited from some kind of acidic oopmh. This must be where the glaze comes in, though I 've seen lots of recipes for short ribs braised in ale without anything acidic or sugary.

I think I'll go back to short ribs in the crock pot....dump one 28 oz can Muir Glen whole tomatoes with juices over as many short ribs as you need. Add some red wine. Garlic, salt, pepper, bay leaf. Onion or potato if so inclined. Go to work. Come home. Eat.

A nice variation, courtesy of Gourmet's Five Ingredients Cookbook: add shallots and mustard to the above. Sublime.

On a brighter note, the tomatoes from the farm are wonderful. We ate them caprese-style.

My new braces are a hassle. More places for food to lodge. I did this voluntarily? What was I thinking?

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