Hi hi hi hi! How was your weekend? We had more snow and freezing weather for most of it, but having good things to watch on TV made it better.
Can we take a moment and talk about the USA vs. RUS hockey game?! I watched it live by myself because Kev had to go into work, but we watched the replay together when he got home and the OT/shootouts later again that night when our friends Danny and Sara came over. SO GOOD SO GOOD! It’s also so cool to have our player Oshie recognized on that kind of international stage <- so happy for him!
Can we also take a moment to talk about the jaw-dropping season opener of House of Cards?! I mean…WHAT JUST HAPPENED?! You won’t read about any spoilers here but jeeeeezo man, the writers totally blew us away with the first episode. WOW!
Speaking of House of Cards…it coincidently started on Valentine’s Day so that’s exactly how we spent our Vday! I am not a huge fan of Valentine’s Day because I just really don’t see the point, but we tried to “celebrate” with a nice dinner in.
And even though I don’t ever expect gifts or even a card, Kevin knocked my socks off when he came home with a cute little bunch of flowers and a bag of my favorite chips – Funyuns (gross, I know)!
This non-celebratin’ girl was pretty happy this Valentine’s Day!
I did surprise Kevin a bit, without meaning to really, when I picked up a bottle of Lindemans Framboise beer without his knowing. Keepin’ the marriage alive, one bag of chips and bottle of beer at a time! 😉
When we both got off work on Friday, we set out to make the best homemade meal ever.
Braised Short Ribs and Four-Cheese Mac n Cheese
Sounds complicated right? It really wasn’t! I promise! Let’s take it step-by-step (full recipe is posted at the bottom).
I always, always, always set out all of my ingredients before I get cookin’. Measuring, dicing and prepping is the hardest part of cooking and once that’s all done, the rest is easy!
I cut up my onion and peeled my garlic gloves first. Just a rough chop is necessary here – it all gets puréed late anyways.
You don’t even need to chop up the garlic! Leaving the cloves whole is fine.
Next, I seasoned my bone-in short ribs with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. Be generous!
The original recipe I found called for a “heavy bottomed pan with a tight fitting lid.” Um, I don’t own one of those, so I pulled out my trusty cast iron skillet. Seriously, if you don’t have a cast iron skillet, buy one immediately. I use it all the time and they’re cheap – we got this $25 one for our wedding!
I digress. Crank up the heat to medium high and sear all of the sides of your short rib.
This just takes a minute so don’t walk away because it’ll be done before you know it!
Set your oven to 275 degrees and while the pan cools a bit, (it’ll be scorching hot at this point and the wine will boil if you don’t wait a few minutes) dump in enough red wine to cover 2/3 of the meat. Also add in your BBQ sauce, two beef bullion cubes, onion and garlic.
(Here is where I’d insert a picture of me doing this, but my camera battery died. Oops!)
Cover your cast iron skillet with 2-3 sheets of heavy duty aluminum foil and make sure it’s nice a tight. Stick it in the oven and don’t touch it for 7 hours. I promise, the result will be worth not peeking!
After 7 hours, you can turn your oven off and carefully transfer your short ribs to a plate. Cover the ribs with foil to make sure they stay nice and warm. Meanwhile, pour the liquid from the skillet into a sauce pan and reduce by half. After it reduces, let the liquid cool enough so you can puree it in either a blender or a food processor. I used my handy food processor and the sauce was nice and smooth. I could have licked that bowl clean!
While all of that greatness is going on, we were also working on our four-cheese mac n cheese! If you haven’t noticed, this entire meal is inspired by our dinner at Jiko from our honeymoon. The mac n cheese that I made was the recipe posted on AllEars.net and it surely did not disappoint!
After awhile, we had ourselves a nice little dinner! Oh, but we can’t forget about our beverage! This Lambic beer is super sweet and tangy, but paired nicely with the really rich dinner we had.
Braised Short Ribs
Recipe adapted from this DisBoards.com posting
- 1 package of bone-in braised short ribs (one package had four short ribs)
- 1/2 bulb of garlic
- 1 small-medium yellow onion
- 1/3 cup of BBQ sauce
- 1/2 bottle of any red wine you like (or enough to cover 2/3 of the meat)
- 2 beef bullion cubes
- Salt and pepper
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat oven to 275 degrees
- Roughly chop onion(s), peel garlic
- Rub short ribs with olive oil, salt and pepper
- Brown all sides of meat on medium high heat in cast iron (or large heavy bottomed skillet)
- Let pan cool to low heat and add enough red wine to cover 2/3 of the meat
- Add BBQ sauce, beef bullion cubes, onion and garlic
- Cover with 2-3 layers of heavy duty aluminum foil (or lid)
- Cook for 7 hours
- Take short ribs out of pan and transfer them to a plate, cover with aluminum foil
- Reduce liquid in the pan by half
- Let liquid cool and puree in food processor or blender
- Pour sauce over short ribs
Four-Cheese Mac n Cheese
Recipe adapted from AllEars.net
- 1 lb. elbow macaroni
- 1/8 cup butter
- 2 tbsp. flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1/8 cup each of freshly-grated asiago, provolone, fontina and gruyere cheeses (this is how much I used and it worked for us)
- Prepare macaroni according to package directions
- Make a roux with the flour and butter over low heat
- Add the milk in and bring to a simmer to slowly work into the roux
- Add the cheeses and stir until melted
- Pour into baking dish and heat for 30 minutes at 350 degrees