Sunday, January 25, 2009

Old friends

First of all, a confession. My energy level is in the toilet these days. I use up all of my energy each week going to work Monday through Friday. By Friday night, I don't want to move off the bed or couch until Monday morning. Seriously. Most weeks I stop off to do grocery shopping Friday evening on my way home. Because the thought of heading out on Saturday or Sunday is just overwhelming at times. So I'm trying baby steps. My limit is about two hours right now and I might need a nap when I get home. I'm really hoping that my trip next month will be enough to break this cycle. Because this crap has been going on since about end of October/beginning of November.

As a result, the cooking has been rather sporadic. Fortunately I had a freezer jam-packed with all kinds of goodies -- like earlier this weekend was leftover coq au Riesling that I had over egg noodles. And I'm starting to see some space in the freezer once more. I'm thinking that my trip will coincide with the point in time at which there will be loads of space available in the freezer.

Tonight I decided to re-visit some past favorites -- braised short ribs, saffron risotto, and green beans with pine nuts and mint.

Beef Short Ribs with Coriander and Cardamom

8 5- to 6-ounce 3- to 4-inch long beef short ribs (about 2 3/4 pounds total)
Coarse kosher salt
1/4 cup canola oil
2 large carrots, peeled, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
l large leek (white and pale green parts only), chopped
8 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon ground cardamom
1 750-ml bottle dry red wine

Preheat over to 300 F. Sprinkle ribs with salt and pepper. Heat oil in heavy large ovenproof pot over high heat. Add ribs to pot and brown on all sides except bone, 8 to 10 minutes per batch. Transfer to plate. Add carrots, onion, and leek to pot. Cook until browned, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, saute 2 minutes. Add flour, coriander, and cardamom to pot; stir 1 minute. Stir in wine; bring to boil. Return ribs to pot in a single layer, meat side down. Cover.

Transfer pot to oven; braise ribs until tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Uncover; cool. Chill uncovered until cold. Cover; chill overnight.

Preheat oven to 400 F. Spoon fat from sauce. Transfer ribs to 13x9x2-inch baking dish. Bring sauce to boil. Strain into medium bowl, pressing on solids; pour over ribs. Roast until heated through, about 20 minutes.


The last time I made this, it was a two-day affair. This time I just couldn't be bothered so I cooked the ribs in the morning. Then I removed them from the fridge in the evening for the second stage. They were still tasty but I know that they'll be even better tomorrow.


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