I started anxiety-eating again last week, and I probably won’t stop until the guy with the buffalo hat is put away for a few years. Jeez. Drama, terror and comfort cooking.
The good news is that the cooking yielded a recipe for braised short ribs with garlic and oranges. It made us forget about all the shenanigans for awhile. In fact, Tony says it’s his new favorite meal, knocking spaghetti with meat sauce from the top spot. I was stunned.
But short ribs can do that. They come from the low-rent area of the steer’s rib cage, down where the front belly meets the plate. They are fatty, which is a big reason they taste so good. Unfortunately, high-class chefs have embraced them, so the once-cheap cut now can cost as much as top sirloin steak. I paid about $8 a pound last week at a club store.
If that’s too much, you could substitute boneless short ribs, which by the way are from a different part of the animal, or 2 1/2-inch square chunks of trimmed chuck roast. Feel free. The dish will still knock your socks off.
A braise — slow cooking of a tough cut of meat in liquid — is hard to screw up. You could toss just about anything in there with the liquid and meat and it would come out tender and delicious. I tossed in garlic, orange juice and orange halves, rind and all. The oranges softened and the bitterness of the peel disappeared, adding a wonderful flavor to the rich broth.
Serve these over a pile of mashed potatoes. A red wine couldn’t hurt, either, and may help you forget the world for a bit. That’s something many of us need right now.
BRAISED SHORT RIBS WITH GARLIC AND ORANGE
2 tbsp. olive oil
3 lbs. beef short ribs
2 cups sliced onions (cut the peeled onion in half lengthwise, then crosswise in thick slices)
2 medium carrots, diced (1/2-inch)
4 cloves garlic, sliced
A 3-inch sprig fresh rosemary or 1 tsp. dried oregano
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup orange juice
2 cups water
2 medium oranges, cut in fat wedges
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Heat olive oil in a heavy, deep casserole or oven-proof pan. Pat short ribs dry and season liberally with salt and pepper. Brown on all sides in the hot oil. Remove with tongs and set aside.
In the same pan, sauté onion and carrots over medium heat until the onions are translucent. Add garlic and sauté a minute longer. Add rosemary or oregano and bay leaf. Return meat to pan. Add orange juice, water and orange wedges.
Cover pan with lid or foil and bake at 325 degrees for 3 1/2 to 4 hours, until meat is very tender and broth is rich. Taste, then add additional salt if necessary. Makes 4 servings.
What I cooked last week:
Tuna sashimi with miso-sesame sauce (Tony), pickled vegetables and steamed rice; braised short ribs with garlic and oranges; tuna couscous salad; potato and greens soup; spareribs and sauerkraut, mashed potatoes. (The sauerkraut tasted homemade and is worth seeking out. I bought it in an unmarked plastic bag from a cooler at Frontier Fruit & Nut in Norton, cookiefrontier.com).
What I ordered out:
Pulled pork barbecue bowl and a corn muffin from Old Carolina Barbecue in Fairlawn; Nashville hot chicken sandwich (humongous) and fries from Pizza BOGO in Barberton. (The chicken was seasoned and crisp but not nearly spicy enough); terrific handmade chicken tamales steamed in banana leaves and kept warm in a big roaster at Los Primos Market (aka La Michoacana) on Copley Road in Akron. (The tamales are available on Saturdays, I was told).
From Janice E.:
Made your baked oatmeal dish — marvelous. Used walnuts instead of almonds but otherwise the same. Put it together the night before, and it understandably took a little longer to bake. You are right — this will definitely be in my rotation, and I like the other options you offered to change it seasonally. Thank you, Jane!
You’re welcome! I fear it is calorie-intensive but so good.
From Virginia B.:
Have you been peeking in my window watching me slicing off slivers of pie, quiche, brownies, etc.? And now probably oatmeal custard. Of course, I do it only to insure each treat is cut perfectly.
Well, of course. My mother used to make a small pumpkin “tester pie” that she allowed us to cut slivers of on Thanksgiving morning while we cooked and set the table. One year, no tester pie. She finally admitted she had already slivered off the whole thing.
From Fran S.:
You have mentioned Aldi frozen pizza several times now. I have looked at them in our local (Hartville) store and there are many different varieties. Which do you buy and how do they compare with other frozen pizzas?
Thanks for the great blog. Stay safe.
Well, shame on me. When I pawed through the chest freezer to find the exact name of the pizza, I discovered it was Member’s Mark from Sam’s Club, not Aldi. The ones Tony bought are thin and crispy pepperoni. They are OK. The reason we eat them so often is that Tony bought a ton of them. We do not hoard paper goods, just pizza.