Slow Cooked, Big Reward

23 Oct

IMG_0909Whoever coined the phrase, “all good things come to those who wait,” was right. When food is cooked slowly at low temperatures, it allows the fat in the meat the tendons holding the meat together to slowly melt and flavor the meat. Typically that is why tough, fatty cuts of meat are selected for slow cooking or braising.

For me there is nothing more intoxicating that the aroma of red meat being slowly cooked in the juices of fresh red peppers, mirepoix and wine. Add in the fragrance of fennel seeds, black pepper and oregano, and baby, you have the key to my heart. All these perfume companies make scents with flowers, sandlewood and vanilla, but they are missing the mark. What women wouldn’t be wooed by a man smelling like he had been in the kitchen all day?

Anyway, tonight’s dinner is slow cooked boneless, country style beef ribs. I’m cooking them with mirepoix (carrots, celery and onions), red peppers, the afore mentioned spices and pinot grigio. Why pinot and not a red? Well, normally I would use a chianti or merlot, but the fact of the matter is that I had white open, and so that’s what went in. Sometimes the best dishes come from what you invent with what you have in the kitchen.

Italian Style Beef RibsIMG_0911

1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
1/4 large yellow onion, sliced
2 stalks celery, rough chopped
1/2 cup baby carrots
1 large red bell pepper, sliced in 1 inch strips
1 1/2 pound country style, boneless beef ribs
1 1/2 cups pinot grigio, or whatever wine you have on hand (just make sure you like it)
1 tablespoon fennel seed
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 bay leaf
6 basil leaves, chiffonade for garnish
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese for garnish

After cooking for 4 and half hours

After cooking for 4 and half hours

Combine everything in a slow cooker except for the basil and cheese. Cook on high for 4 hours on high, and 4-5 hours on low. The longer it cooks the more tender the meat and more broken down the vegetables will be. When the meat is finished cooking, you can serve the vegetables on the side or if they are really broken down purée into a sauce. Serve over polenta or roasted potatoes.

This is truly a comfort food for me. When I get home from being out all day, and I walk in the house and smell that gorgeous aroma, I can’t help but take a deep breath and relax. I’ll be serving a lovely A-Mano Primitivo along side for the perfect pairing. I can’t wait for dinner tonight.

Always thinking of the next meal


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