Happy Monday morning my darlings!
Camping this weekend ended up kind of bunk. On the way out to the campsite we got hopelessly lost, which is funny because the campground is literally 2 minutes off the main highway - as it turns out, Langford is a nice city. Oops! Then it was absolutely torturous trying to set up the tarps in the torrential rain that washed out our friend's tent and sleeping gear over night which refused to inflate, the bison burgers I make on almost a weekly basis refused to cook over the camp stove and later the open fire (charcoal bits are good for you though, right?) and there was some strange woman moaning and hysterically crying over night just as we went to bed; unsure whether she was going to ax us to death or not, and in light of everything else that had gone horribly wrong, we packed it up early and came home a night premature. Thank god for delivery food services! Of course, it was glorious to be out in the forest for a few hours and the smell of green and dirt and air was intoxicating. Next time though, dear weather, please co-operate. Just a little.
Speaking of co-operating, how about a little monthly SRC love? SRC = Secret Recipe Club. If you still don't know what this SRC business is all about, you should. Click here. This month I was assigned Kimberly @ Rhubarb and Honey.
I was super pumped to get her for three reasons.
- Her culinary style = my culinary style: "80% “fresh / local / sustainable” and 20% “nostaligic / somewhat bad for you / everything in moderation....[with the idea that] healthy, delicious food, preferably produced locally and in a sustainable manner, should be available to everyone". Hell yes.
- She's had my blog previously for SRC, choosing to make my rendition of Blackened Brussel Sprouts - a dish that while popular in our own household, is by far, the most popular dish on the blog as well.
- Clowns freak her out. In my world, anyone who hates clowns must be awesome. Because clowns aren't.
Kimberly also has some killer resources for people living in both the USA and Canada who want to learn more about eating seasonally - and therefore more sustainably and healthily - within their respective areas. I'm so proud of her. Well done, Kimberly. Well done.
After some serious debate about making:
- Basic Crostinis with 10 Little Toast Toppers (seriously? Why hadn't I thought of a crostini tutorial!);
- Prosciutto and Parmesan Wrapped Grissini;
- Fried Parsnips and Homemade Sausage;
- Gluten-Free Jalapeno Mac & Cheese;
- Gooey Jalapeno Poppers (actually, I couldn't resist this one. I made it @ Taste Buds last week);
- Rosy Rhubarb Syrup & a Farm Girl Cosmo;
I opted for Balsamic Braised Grass-fed Beef Short-ribs, served over a plate of basic polenta. And ya know what? Best meal I've had in a very long time.
It was rich, flavourful, slightly sweet bites of tender beefy goodness. Paired with a bold, fat red wine like the Noble Ridge Meritage, I was one happy lady. Wait a second, who am I kidding? I'm no lady!
Small changes: First, I doubled it. Second, I added a base of carrot and celery at the onion stage for added depth of flavor and because I lack a dutch oven, I used a blue enamel roasting pan. I also doubled her recommended cooking time as I was a touch worried they wouldn't be as fall off the bone tender as I wanted them to be. And let me tell you, you can't get better short-ribs in a restaurant! I highly recommend this dish to anyone who likes beef. Or tomatoes. Or just food in general.
Balsamic Slow-Braised Grass-Fed Beef Short Ribs
(printable recipe) - Serves approx 4 people.
16 Oz Beef Short Rib, pastured, trimmed & cut into individual bone segments.
1 C Red Onion, chopped.
1 Medium Sized Carrot, sliced.
1 Medium Sized Stalk of Celery, sliced.
2 Tbsp Garlic, minced.
1 C Beef Broth, low sodium.
6 Tbsp Good Quality Balsamic Vinegar.
1 28 Oz Can of Diced Tomatoes.
1 28 Oz Can of Diced Tomatoes.
3 Tbsp Brown Sugar, lightly packed (optional).
Kosher Salt & Fresh Cracked Black Pepper.
What to Do:
Pre-heat your oven to 300 degrees F.
As that heats, prepare the ribs. Remove from the packaging, pat dry with paper towels and season generously with salt and pepper. Meanwhile, heat a large Dutch oven (or blue enamel roasting pan), lightly coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Once hot, add ribs to pan; cook approx 3 to 4 minutes per side or until browned, turning occasionally. Remove from pan and set aside.
Add a small glug of olive oil if necessary and toss the onion, carrot and celery into the pan. Sauté 8 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring often. Add garlic, stir and sauté 1 minute. Return the ribs to the pan, immediately followed by the broth, vinegar, sugar, and tomato. Bring to a simmer.
Cover and bake at 300° for 3 hours. Remove from the heat and using a slotted spoon, serve 3 - 5 ribs per person over some basic polenta, gourmet smashed potatoes, or even some homemade pasta.
What do you do when things don't go as planned?
To see what Kelley @ The Culinary Enthusiast made from my blog, click here.
This post is linked up with The Hearth & Soul Blog Hop; Tasty Tuesdays; Tuesday Talent Show; Whole Foods Wednesday; Cast Party Wednesday; Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways; Showcase Your Talent Thursday; Full Plate Thursday; Tastetastic Thursday; Fight Back Friday; Fresh Bites Friday.