All posts filed under: Meat

Braised Short Ribs with Creamy Polenta

Ahhh Fall.  Falling leaves, pumpkin-everything, hay rides, jackets, sweaters, the smell of a fireplace.  Fall means cozy to me.  What’s cozier than lovingly braised beef with creamy, warm polenta. Short ribs are quite the thing now–they’re on menu after menu in restaurants.  They can be pricey, but if you have the time, they’re so easy to prepare.  I always look for thick, meaty short ribs–they can be quite fatty and be mostly bone, so be choosy when shopping.  I recommend a nice Whole Foods or even better, a local butcher.  Always trim excess fat off, but always leave some on.  I’ve made braised short ribs a few different ways, and ideally you would make them a day ahead of time and reheat the next day.  The reason being that short ribs give off a lot of greasy fat, so if left to sit in braising liquid overnight in the fridge, the fat rises and firms at the top–making it easy to scoop off the next day.  The braising liquid also has time to thicken up …

Grilled Skirt Steak with Smoked Garlic + Parsley Compound Butter

If you live in the NYC area and haven’t been to Eataly yet–GO–and go soon.  The crowds have definitely died down a bit since opening, and while it’s still crowded, you can navigate the aisles with more ease.  (This is not to say that its not mobbed at certain key times during the week, as would any Whole Foods around the city.)  I recently made my way there the other night with my girlfriends Marcy and Sarah, filling my basket with tallegio, house cured meats, fresh amazing breads, and 2 foot long crackers with a touch of pepperoncini.  All were over-the-top delicious, and all I would expect from the good name Batali.  What was unexpected were the fruits and vegetables imported from around the world.  Finger limes, black garlic, mango nectarines, lobster mushrooms–the list went on.  It was ‘produce porn.’  There was a whole section devoted just to garlic, and in that section I spied ‘smoked garlic,’ imported from France.  The garlic wasn’t cooked from a smoker–it was still raw–but the skins had this intriguing …

Flat Iron Steaks with Mexican Chimichurri

Chimichurri is the nectar of the garlic gods.  Traditionally loaded with parsley and olive oil and garlic, I usually find myself dipping anything I can get my hands on into this Argentinian masterpiece.  Nick and I love it so much, we served it at our wedding.  I’ve had it more on the vinegar-y side (not my fave) and more heavy on the parsley side–but garlic is always there.  You basically have to make everyone in your party eat it if they’re within 2 feet of your breath.  This time around, I wanted to try to create a version that wouldn’t clear a small village out with the garlic stench, while also reducing the fat content.  Parsley can be surprisingly strong and the olive oil adds a sort of mellowness to it.  So I decided to go heavy on cilantro this time with less emphasis on parsley and less need for oil.  And while I kept garlic in there, I left it to one clove.  Once all of my modifications swirled around in the mini-chopper/food processor, …

Nick’s Rigatoni

One of Nick’s favorite things to cook is red sauce.  Whenever we go out to eat and he orders steak, his first thought is “leftover steak for red sauce.”  I pretty much know from that moment on what we’re having for dinner on Sunday.  Then his love affair begins.  The Godfather goes on the TV and I smell garlic clouds drifting from the kitchen.  I must note that I am not allowed in the kitchen when this process is going on–as I, ah hem, tend to push my input whether it was asked for or not.  So I get to sit back and wait for the lovely results.  I have to say that every batch of red sauce he makes is different–but its always so delicious, so tummy warming, and feels extra special, because I know it was made with love.  Here you have it–Nick’s Rigatoni.  I think this was his best batch yet.  The sauce was so rich–the wine really kicked it to another level.  There was also this smoky taste to it, which …

Rub-a-Dub-Dub Baby Back Ribs

Nothing tastes or smells more like Summer than baby back ribs off the grill.  They’re messy and you eat them with your hands.  And dammit, if you don’t lick your fingers between eating ribs, than you’re not invited to my Summer picnic table.  On a recent trip to Las Vegas, my mom, MC, served up her latest preparation of baby back ribs.  Feel free to modify the spice blend to your liking (and what you have on hand), but no matter what, don’t leave out the beer and the liquid smoke.  Serve these babies with some fresh corn on the cob and a tomato salad and definitely, more beer. An important note before you start this recipe–you need to begin the process at least 14 hours before serving (which means starting the night before.)  I have broken down the steps accordingly. The evening before you want to serve the ribs, start by rinsing off the ribs and patting dry.  Mix up the spice blend in a bowl and start rubba-dub-dubbin’ those ribs down.  Really massage …

Grandma Gerome’s Meatballs

Meatballs come in all shapes and sizes.  Some go in a sub, some over spaghetti, some in a slider bun, some on the end of a toothpick.  No matter how they appear, they’re always delicious and fun to eat.  I’m very fortunate to be marrying into Nick’s Italian family.  One of the big perks of his family is access to his grandmother’s recipes!  And no one does meatballs better than an Italian grandmother.  On a recent trip to Cleveland to visit with the new family, Nick’s brother Peter made his grandmother’s meatballs for me.  This recipe serves as a reminder that the best food is always made with love. First you start by slicing the crusts off the bread (great scraps for making homemade croutons) and chopping fresh parsley. Then the fun part: soaking the bread in wine.  I recommend that you soak the bread with red wine (any kind will do) as it adds an amazingly rich flavor.  If pink-soaked-bread freaks you out, you could substitute beef stock or even water.  Make sure you …