Things have been quiet around here, but we have been busy. We had a dinner party this weekend. I never seem to get pictures of the food because when dinner is ready, JJ and I are like traffic cops telling people to get in line--no one wants to go first--and where we want them to sit.
I did get a picture of the main dish (beef short ribs) mid-cooking.
They were absolutely delicious! Tender and moist. The secret is low and slow cooking. I have been making short ribs for dinner guests for at least a decade, because all the work is done the day before--there's no last-minute fuss, and because who doesn't like tender, fall-off-the bone meat? Save for the vegetarians, that is.
In the above photo, I have browned them (I used the oven broiler because there are 7 or 8 pounds of ribs) and put the mirepoix (carrots, onions, celery) on top. I only season them with salt and pepper. I pour beef broth and red wine (white wine is okay too) over top, cover them and put them in a slow oven, about 300° for 3 hours.
After they cool enough to handle, I remove the meat to a smaller baking dish (this is a turkey-sized roasting pan and they will shrink) and drain off the liquid and solids into a bowl, discarding the carrots and stuff. You could eat them, but in this case I was done with 'em. Then I pour the strained liquid back on the meat, cover, and refrigerate overnight. Something about them sitting in their juices overnight makes them even better the next day.
The next day I can skim off all the fat because it's solidified on the surface. I put them back in the oven for an additional hour or two at 300°...they will wait for you. I remove the ribs to a serving platter, thicken the broth, and that's it.
Here are some of the guests.
This is JJ and Steve. Looks like I caught JJ mid-sentence.
Cliff and Marilyn.
Barbara, Cliff's wife--our next door neighbors. We love 'em.
Bud, Marilyn's husband and a real cut-up. His personality shows in the photo.
The fun thing is that Barbara and Bud have friendships in common from their school days, and we discovered that Marilyn and JJ have friendships in common from their school days!
It's so much fun. We love throwing parties!