Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Taste The Love

Slow Cooker Pot Roast On Toasted Ciabatta Bread

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It may have been a deal-breaker when I learned that Steve didn’t care for pot roast. He just doesn’t care for those stewed vegetables like potatoes, carrots, and such. Growing up north, both here and in England, we ate all kinds of stewed meats. As far as vegetables go, I love them any way they’re prepared.

I really had to figure out a way to make this traditional dish in a way that Steve would love it as much as I do. I believe I have the answer. The first order of business is to break out my Crockpot. This is my Slow Cooker Pot Roast On Toasted Ciabatta Bread.

I’m serving this with a side of my Sautéed Spinach With Garlic. This recipe’s available by clicking the link at the bottom of this post.

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Rosemary

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Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

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Prep Time: 10 minutes (while the meat is searing, prep your veggies)
Cook Time: 8 hours 15 minutes (8 hours on high) (add an additional 15 minutes for making the gravy while toasting the ciabatta)
Total Time: 8 hours 25 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Equipment: 7-quart Crockpot, 10-cup food processor, 12-inch cast-iron skillet, 6-quart saucepot, 2 rimmed baking sheet pan

Ingredients:
3-pound brisket roast
2 tablespoons of Canola oil
2 tablespoons of Kosher salt
1 tablespoon of freshly ground black pepper

2 chopped large onions
4 ribs chopped celery with their leaves
1 pound of chopped organic  multi-colored carrots (7 small carrots)
4 whole garlic cloves
2 bay leaves
3 tablespoons of fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons of  freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
1/2 cup of beef stock, unsalted
2 (10.5-ounce) cans of beef consommé
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon of water
1/4 cup of Kitchen bouquet seasoning
1 heaping tablespoon cornstarch
4 ciabatta rolls, sliced in half and toasted
Italian flat-leaf parsley for garnish

Directions:
First, add 2 tablespoons of Canola oil to 1 sheet of paper towel.  Using the oil-dampened paper towel, wipe down the bottom and sides of the cast-iron skillet. Preheat the oven over medium-high heat until the skillet is smoking hot. Carefully lay the roast into the pan. Sear the first side for 3 to 5 minutes. Once the meat releases, from the pan, without giving you any resistance flip and sear the other side for another 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a large plate. Set aside. While the pan is still over medium-high heat add 1/2 cup of beef stock. Using a wooden spoon, scrape the bits off the bottom of the skillet. Transfer that flavorful liquid to a small bowl. Set aside.

In the meantime, prep the carrots, celery, garlic, and onions. Transfer to the Crockpot. Add tomato paste, thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper. Place the seared brisket on top. Pour in the beef consommé, 1/2 cup of water, and the reserved beef juices from the pan.

Place the lid on the Crockpot and set to cook for 8 hours on high.

After 8 hours turn the Crockpot off and carefully remove the brisket. Remove and discard the sprigs of rosemary. Break up the roast into large pieces, transfer to a plate. Set aside.

Transfer the vegetables into a food processor. Pour the remaining cooking liquid from the Crockpot into a large saucepot. Purée all the vegetables then transfer them into the saucepot. Over medium heat allow the sauce to come up to a bubble then reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the browning seasoning (Kitchen bouquet) and simmer for 15 minutes.

In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and 1 tablespoon of water (this is what’s known as a *cornstarch slurry) until the mixture is paste-like and smooth. Turn the heat back up to medium, add the *slurry, stirring occasionally, bring the sauce back up to a boil. Once the sauce thickens, reduce the heat to (lowest setting) warm. Carefully add the pot roast and cover.

Preheat oven to 350-degrees F.
For the Ciabatta rolls, slice each one in half. Place 4 halves onto each rimmed baking sheet pan. Drizzled a little olive oil of each one, sprinkle with  Kosher salt, and fresh ground pepper to taste. Transfer to the oven, bake for 7 to 10 minutes, or until golden brown.

All I do to serve this dish is to lay the toasted Ciabatta bread cut side up on a plate. Arrange a good helping of the pot roast onto the toasted slices of Ciabatta. There you have it, my Slow Cooker Pot Roast On Toasted Ciabatta Bread. Garnish with Italian flat-leaf parsley. Served with a side of my Sautéed Spinach With Garlic.

Sautéed Spinach With Garlic

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Braised Boneless Beef Short Ribs In A Red Wine Reduction Over White Cheddar Polenta

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This has to be one of the coldest days we’ve had in Orlando in a really long time, so I needed to bring out the big guns for dinner tonight. Steve’s been working on roofs all day and I know he’d want a comforting dish to warm him up. I went to our local Farmers’ Market and decided on short ribs. They offer boneless short ribs which I’ve never seen available anywhere else.

The name of my dish, Braised Short Ribs In A Red Wine Reduction Over White Cheddar Polenta sounds super fancy but really it’s not.

I should tell you that our local Farmers’ Market is called Freshfields Farm. I posted a link at the bottom of this post.

I definitely needed good white cheddar for my grits, and Freshfields Farm also offers a variety of cheeses, so this worked out perfectly.

I’m asked a lot what the difference is between grits and polenta. I’ve always known polenta to be used in Italian cuisine and grits always being a staple in southern cuisine and this is true but the real difference is in the corn.

While polenta is made from ground yellow corn, grits are made from white corn (also known as hominy). The most notable difference between the two is in the texture: polenta is much coarser, whereas grits are finer.

Next, I was onto the produce-side of Freshfields Farm to check out the root vegetables available for my dish tonight. I found a beautiful butternut squash and some leaf top carrots. Those are going to be perfect for my Braised Boneless Short Ribs.

Roasted Red Peppers

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Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time For Short Ribs: 2 1/2 to 2 3/4 hours
Cooking Time For Grits: 1 hour
Total Time: 3 hours 15 minutes
Yields: 4 to 6 servings
Equipment, 6-quart Dutch oven with a lid, 6-quart saucepot, 10-cup food processor, 2 rimmed baking sheet pans, 9 x 11 baking dish

Ingredients
3 pounds of boneless short ribs
1/4 cup of olive oil
2 tablespoons of Kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 12-ounce jar of roasted Piquillo peppers, puréed
1 onion, diced, 2-inch dice
2 cups of carrots, 2-inch dice
4 cups of butternut squash, peeled and seeded, 2-inch dice
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon of tomato paste
1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon of fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons of Kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper
2 cups of Cabernet Sauvignon
3 1/2 cup of beef stock, unsalted
1 14.5-ounce can of beef consommé
*slurry
2 tablespoons of Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped, extra for garnish

Ingredients For Polenta:
1 cup of instant polenta
3 cups of water
1 cup of heavy cream
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups of white cheddar, freshly grated (reserve 1/2 a cup for the topping)

Directions:
Preheat
oven to 450-degrees F.
To start this dish, the vegetables need to be prepped. They all must be approximately the same size so they cook evenly. Butternut squash, carrots, onions, and minced garlic, and purèed Piquillo peppers. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, add the short ribs, 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 tablespoons of Kosher salt, 1 1/2 teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper. Mix to combine. Arrange the marinated short ribs, in one layer, spread out, onto two baking sheets. Roast for 20 minutes. Halfway through the roasting process, flip the short ribs to get a good caramelization on both sides.

Note: Oven temperatures may vary slightly. The roasting time for the short ribs is approximate.

In a preheated Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add the olive oil, onions, and carrots. Season with 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt and 1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper, stirring occasionally, cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Next, add the diced butternut squash minced garlic, and tomato paste.

Continue cooking adding the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of Kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper, stirring occasionally for another 2 to 3 minutes.

Note: It’s important to season each layer as you go.

Once the vegetables start to soften, add the purèed Piquillo peppers, stir to combine. Add the red pepper flakes, 1 tablespoon of finely chopped rosemary, and Italian flat-leaf parsley, stir to combine.

For the liquids, first, add the Cabernet Sauvignon to *deglaze the pot. Using a wooden spoon, scrape all the bits off the bottom of the pot. After the wine reduces, by half, approx. 2 to 3 minutes, add the beef consommé and beef stock.

Adjust oven temperature to 325-degrees F.
Remove the short ribs from the oven, add the ribs with their juices to the pot, gently stir to combine. Bring everything back up to a boil, cover, turn the heat off, and transfer the pot to the oven. Cook for 2 1/2 to 2 3/4 hours or until the meat is fork-tender.

Adjust oven temperature to 350-degrees F.
Remove the pot from the oven, carefully transfer the short ribs to a dish. Turn heat to medium-high add the premade *slurry to the pot, stir to combine. Bring the sauce back up to a boil, stirring occasionally, cook until the sauce thickens. Turn the heat down to the lowest temperature (warm), carefully add the short ribs back into the pot. Cover to keep hot.

Tip: Spray the dull side of the foil with non-stick cooking spray before covering the grits. The will prevent the cheese on top from sticking to the foil.

Directions For the White Cheddar Polenta:
In a large saucepot, add heavy cream and water. Bring up to a boil. Add 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt. Using a whisk, slowly whisk in the cornmeal. As soon as the liquid is completely absorbed, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and add the butter. Switch to a wooden spoon, stir until butter is incorporated. Next, add the grated white cheddar, stir to combine.

In a 9 x 11 buttered baking dish, add the prepared polenta. spread out evenly into the buttered casserole dish. sprinkle with the reserved white cheddar evenly over the top. Cover the casserole dish tightly with foil. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 5 to 7 minutes or until polenta is hot and bubbly.

To Serve: Spoon the White Cheddar Polenta in the bottom of a serving bowl. Ladle a good helping of my Braised Boneless Beef Short Ribs In A Red Wine Reduction on top. Garnish with Italian flat-leaf parsley. Serve hot.

*deglaze: To dilute meat sediments (in a pan) to make a gravy or sauce, typically using wine.

*slurry:  For each cup of liquid, you want to thicken, start with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch in a small bowl. Add an equal amount of cold liquid (water) and stir until smooth paste forms. Whisk the slurry into the hot simmering liquid you want to thicken.

Freshfields Farm

2 Comments »

Savory Beef Brisket

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I love making beef #brisket for so many reasons. It’s really just one of those styles of meats that you can #tastethelove and do just about anything with. I like to take the cooked brisket and portion it out. Because there’s only two of us, a 3-pound piece is more than enough to make different meals from this one cooked Savory Beef Brisket.

My first and favorite way is to not add anything to the finished brisket. It’s just perfect in its savory beefy broth. Today’s dish is my Savory Beef Brisket tostadas. That’s what I’ve done here.

On the second night, I added some of my homemade barbecue sauce to the remaining brisket and we had Barbecue Beef Brisket sandwiches. 

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I happen to have some Pico de Gallo first because I always do. You can get my recipe for Pico de Gallo by clicking the link at the bottom of this post.

I place some of my Savory Beef Brisket on a Tostada, then I add some freshly grated Jack cheese, then top it with some of my delicious Pico de Gallo. This is definitely my favorite way to eat this scrumptious #savorybeefbrisket.

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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 24 hours
Cook Time: 3 hours 45 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 50 minutes
Equipment: 9 x 13 baking dish, 3-quart saucepot

Ingredients:
3-pound flat top beef brisket
1/4 cup of beef consomme
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/2 a lemon, juiced
4 dashes of liquid smoke
3 cloves of chopped garlic
2 large onions, quartered and broken up
1 15-ounce can of fire-roasted tomatoes, drained (substitute canned diced tomatoes)
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper

Options:
Tostadas, store-bought
Monterey Jack cheese, freshly grated
Favorite store-bought barbecue sauce

Directions:
Preheat oven to 300-degrees F.
Start with a flat-cut brisket. Have the fat-side of the meat facing up and score the fat. I just simply season the meat liberally with salt and pepper on the scored fat side. To the baking dish add 1 of the quartered onion pieces along with whole garlic cloves. Lay the brisket in the dish fat side up. In a large mixing bowl add beef consomme, low sodium soy sauce, liquid smoke, and the juice of 1/2 a lemon, whisk to combine. Pour that mixture over the brisket. To that, add the remaining onion pieces and place around the outside of the brisket. The last ingredient is a can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes that have been drained and spread the diced tomatoes over the top. Next, I wrap the whole thing with plastic wrap and set into the refrigerator for 24 hours or overnight.

The next day, remove the plastic wrap off and replace it with foil, bake for around 1 hour and 15 minutes a pound. This size piece of brisket cooks for 3 hours and 45 minutes.

Note: Oven temperatures may vary slightly, check on the brisket after 3 hours to see how it’s doing, because sometimes it may not need the whole 45 minutes.

If after 3 hours you can stick a fork into the brisket and you can tell it’s going to fall apart easily, then go ahead and take it out and let it rest covered on the counter for about 15 minutes.

On the other hand,  check for tenderness to see how much longer you may need to cook the brisket. You may need another 15 minutes and not the whole 45 minutes.

Once finished cooking, remove from oven, let rest covered for another 15 minutes. Take the tomatoes from the top and scrape them off the sides of the meat. Remove the brisket out from the dish carefully, transfer to a cutting board and cut the fat top off. Using two forks shred the beef.

Transfer cooking liquid (including the vegetables) to a large saucepot on medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Once the cooking liquid has reduced by half, turn the heat down to low and simmer for another 10 minutes. Turn off the heat. Carefully pour the reduced cooking liquid (with vegetables) back into the baking dish. Return the shredded beef, toss through the sauce. You can see how the meat just absorbs most of that delicious broth. I like to keep it covered with foil so it stays nice and hot until you’re ready.

To serve, I like to place some of my Savory Beef Brisket on a Tostada, I add a little freshly grated Monterey Jack cheese, then top it with some of my delicious Pico de Gallo. This is definitely my favorite way to eat this scrumptious #savorybeefbrisket.

Pico De Gallo Two Ways

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