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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Braised Boneless Short Ribs And Root Vegetables In A Red Wine Reduction Over Cheddar Grits

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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 anywhere else before, so I bought them.

The name of my dish, Braised Short Ribs With Root Vegetables In A Red Wine Reduction Over Cheddar Grits 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 in case you’d like to click and visit.

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

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.

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To start this dish, the vegetables need to be prepped. It’s important that they all be approximately the same size so they cook evenly. Besides the butternut squash, carrots, onions, and minced garlic using a food processor purèe the Piquillo peppers.

This is what the boneless short ribs look like. You can see they have great marbling throughout the meat, which will make for a tender and flavorful dish.

Instead of browning the meat off in batches, in my Dutch oven, I’m going to sear the meat all at one time by roasting the short ribs in the oven at a very high temperature. I love this method instead of browning them off in batches on top of the stove. Also, I can start cooking the vegetables off on top of the stove while the meat is searing.

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Be sure to keep checking their progress until they look like the picture above.

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On the stove top, start softening the vegetables in the Dutch oven. It’s really important to season each layer as you go.  I’ll show the total amount of Kosher salt and pepper in the ingredients list.

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For the liquids, first, add the Cabernet Sauvignon to deglaze the pot. Using a wooden spoon to scrape all the bits off the bottom of the pot. After the wine has reduced, add the beef consomme and beef broth.

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Adjust the oven temperature to 325-degrees F.

Remove the short ribs from the oven.

Add the seared short ribs and their juices (the juice is extra flavor) to the pot with the vegetables.  Bring all this up to a boil then reduce to a simmer and place into the oven for 2-1/2- 2-3/4 hours. The short ribs will be fully cooked and fork tender.

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Carefully remove the short ribs from the oven. Turn the oven temperature to 350-degrees F. Carefully remove the short ribs from the pot and set onto a plate.

In a small bowl make a *slurry. Add the *slurry to the pot. Bring the sauce back up to a boil. Stirring everything continuously until the sauce thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon. You want it to be like a loose gravy, so when you ladle it over the cheese grits, the sauce will cling to the veggies and soak into the grits.

At this point, add the meat back into the pot and place the lid on. Set the pot on a back burner on very low or warm if that setting is available on your stove.

Next, onto making the cheddar grits.

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Adjust oven temperature to 350-degrees F.
In a large saucepot, I add heavy cream and water. Bring up to a boil. Add 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt. Using a  whisk add the grits. As soon as the liquid is completely absorbed,  remove the grits from the heat and add the unsalted butter. Switch to a wooden spoon, stir until butter is incorporated. Next, added the grated white cheddar, stir to combine.

Next, in a 9 x 11 buttered baking dish, add the cooked grits. spread the grits evenly into the buttered casserole dish. spring white cheddar on top. Cover the casserole dish with foil. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 5-7 minutes or until grits are hot and bubbly.

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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
Oven Temp: 325 degrees
Yields: 4-6 servings
Equipment, 6-quart Dutch oven, food processor, 2 rimmed baking sheet pans, 9 x 11 baking dish

Ingredients For Boneless Short Ribs:

3 cups of water
1 cup of heavy cream
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups of shredded white cheddar (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. It’s important that they all be approximately the same size so they cook evenly. Besides the butternut squash, carrots, onions, and minced garlic using a food processor purèe the Piquillo peppers.

In a large mixing bowl, add the short ribs, 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 tablespoons of Kosher salt, 1 tablespoon freshly cracked black pepper. Mix to combine. Lay 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 all sides.

Note: Oven temperatures may vary slightly. The 20 minutes roasting time for the short ribs is an approximate time.

In a Dutch oven preheated on medium-high heat, add the olive oil, onions, and carrots. Season with Kosher salt and black pepper. Sautè those for 2-3 minutes. Next, add the diced butternut squash minced garlic, and tomato paste.

Continue cooking adding the remaining Kosher salt and black pepper, stirring occasionally for another 2-3 minutes. Note: It’s important to season each layer as you go. Once the vegetables start to soften, add the purèed Piquillo peppers stirring to combine with the vegetables. Next, add the crushed red pepper flakes, and fresh herbs, stir to combine.

For the liquids, first, add the Cabernet Sauvignon to deglaze the pot. Using a wooden spoon to scrape all the bits off the bottom of the pot. After the wine has reduced by half add the beef consomme and beef broth.

Remove the short ribs from the oven. Turn the oven to 325-degrees F.

Add the short ribs and their juices to the Dutch oven, stir to combine. Bring up to a boil, place the lid on and transfer the pot to the oven. Cook for 2 1/2 to 2 3/4 hours or until the meat is fork tender.

Set oven temperature to 350-degrees F.
Remove the pot from the oven, carefully transfer the short ribs to a dish. Add the premade *slurry to the pot, stir to combine. Bring the sauce back up to a boil until sauce has the consistency of a loose gravy. Turn the heat down to the lowest temperature or a warm setting. Add the meat back into the pot. Place a lid on 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.

In a large saucepot, I add heavy cream and water. Bring up to a boil. Add 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt. Using a  whisk add the grits. As soon as the liquid is completely absorbed,  remove the grits from the heat and add the unsalted butter. Switch to a wooden spoon, stir until butter is incorporated. Next, added the grated white cheddar, stir to combine.

Next, in a 9 x 11 buttered baking dish, add the cooked grits. spread the grits evenly into the buttered casserole dish. spring white cheddar on top. Cover the casserole dish with foil. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 5-7 minutes or until grits are hot and bubbly.

To Serve:

*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 and stir until smooth paste forms. Whisk the slurry into the hot simmering liquid you want to thicken.

 

Freshfields Farm

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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 is only two of us, a 3-pound piece is more than enough to make different styles of meals from that 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 drained fire-roasted tomatoes (diced tomatoes are fine)
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper

Options:
Tostadas, store-bought
Monterey Jack cheese, freshly grated
Homemade barbecue sauce, substitute your favorite store-bought brand

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. So for this size piece of brisket, comes to 3 hours and 45 minutes. Because 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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Blackberry Bourbon Barbecue Chicken

 

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When I started playing around with this recipe, I knew it was going to be delicious. Then the name Blackberry Bourbon Barbecue Chicken, say that three times fast! The sweet and savory components, accompanied by the complexity of the flavors, really shine through in this dish.  If you’re not a fan of blackberries, don’t worry, there are other fruit options, like, apricots, peaches, even raspberries.

The other thing I wanted to talk about is how I’m preparing the chicken, for this dish. I know, whenever you make a one-pot meal, the browning of the protein, first, is very important. This part of the cooking process ensures extra flavor and seals in the juices.

The browning of the meat in oil, and having to do that process in batches, can be a real pain. The oil splatters and it can get really messy. I’ve decided to oven roast the chicken and eliminate that step. The chicken still comes out caramelized and, NO MESS!

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Red Quinoa

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes (remember the chicken roasts at the same time the sauce is being prepared)
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Yields: 4 servings (2 pieces of chicken per plate)
Equipment: 2 rimmed baking sheet pans, 1 6-quart Dutch Oven

Ingredients For Roasting Chicken:
4 large chicken breast, bone-in skin-on (cut breast in half yielding 8 pieces)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons Kosher salt
1 tablespoon freshly cracked black pepper

Ingredients For Blackberry Bourbon Barbecue Sauce:
1 large onion diced
3 cloves of minced garlic
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper(optional)
1 pint of good bourbon
4-5 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
1 small jar of sugar-free blackberry jam
1 standard bottle of your favorite barbecue sauce
2 1/2 cups of unsalted or low sodium chicken broth
2-pints of fresh blackberries, reserve 1-pint for garnish
2 tablespoons of chopped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley for garnish

Ingredients For Quinoa:
1 cup red quinoa, rinsed and drained
2 cups low sodium or unsalted chicken broth, or water

Directions For Roasting Chicken:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
After you’ve cut the 2 chicken breasts in half, pat them dry really well. Place the 8 breasts on two baking sheets. Brush each of chicken pieces with olive oil sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of  Kosher salt and 1 tablespoon of freshly cracked black pepper. Roast the chicken for 15 minutes.

While the chicken is in the oven, start the sauce on the top of the stove. Once you have all the ingredients working on top of the stove. Next, turn the oven to broil position. Keep a close eye on the chicken, and continue cooking for around another 5-7 minutes, or until the skin is golden brown.  Remove the chicken from the oven and set it aside.

Adjust the oven temperature to 350-degrees F.  The chicken will finish cooking during the braising process.

Directions For Blackberry Bourbon Barbecue Sauce:
Oven set to 350 degrees F.
In a 6-quart Dutch oven on medium-high heat, start sweating the onions and garlic. Add the cayenne pepper, Kosher salt, and freshly cracked black pepper, sautè for 2-3 minutes. Add the bourbon and let reduce by half.

Turn the heat down to medium, add the sugar-free blackberry jam, stir to combine. Next, add the liquids, the barbecue sauce, and chicken broth. Again, stir to combine. Season with Kosher salt and black pepper to taste.  Continue cooking for another minute.

Add the chicken to the pot. Bring the pot back up to a bubble, reduce to a simmer, and place the lid on. Transfer the pot to the oven and cook for 40-45 minutes, or until chicken is completely cooked,  or until the internal temperature 165-degrees, and chicken is tender.

Once the pot comes out of the oven, carefully transfer the chicken to a plate. With the stove on medium heat, bring the sauce up to temperature, continually stirring so the sauce doesn’t burn and thickens about 5 minutes.

Place the chicken back into the pot. Add the fresh blackberries. Turn the heat down to medium-low and continue to cook with lid off, occasionally stirring for another 15- 20 minutes.

Note: While the chicken is simmer in the sauce, start the quinoa.

Directions For Quinoa:
Cooks Note:  Be sure to rinse the quinoa thoroughly before cooking as there is a bitter coating on the grains.
In a large saucepan over high heat, bring the quinoa and chicken broth (or water) to a boil. Reduce to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the quinoa is tender, and the water has been absorbed about 15-20 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

To Serve:
Spoon the quinoa onto the plate. Place the chicken on top and ladle some of that delicious sauce over the chicken. Garnish with fresh blackberries and Italian flat-leaf parsley. Serve hot.

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