beef

Short Ribs with Barbecue Gravy

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Lots of people find January a big disappointment. It can be cold and dreary and sometimes seems like a letdown after months of holidays and celebrating.

But the food is good.

I like to call January cuisine. Filling, nourishing, comforting stuff.

Like short ribs.

 

Short Ribs with Barbecue Sauce

  • 5-6 pounds beef short ribs 
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 medium onions, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped chile pepper
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 stalks celery, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 cup ketchup 
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 1 cup beer or ale
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar 
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar 
  • 2-3 thyme sprigs (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Dry the surface of the meat with paper towels. Heat the vegetable oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Working in batches, cook the meat, turning the pieces to brown them, for 4-5 minutes or until lightly browned. (If the oil seems too dark, discard it, wipe the pan and add 2 fresh tablespoons vegetable oil.) Remove the meat and set it aside. Add the onions, garlic, chili pepper, carrots and celery to the pan and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the ketchup. Pour in the stock, beer, cider vinegar and soy sauce and stir the ingredients. Stir in the brown sugar. Return the meat to the pan and spoon some of the sauce over them. Place the thyme sprigs and bay leaf in the liquid. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Bring the liquid to a boil. Lower the heat, cover the pan and cook at a bare simmer for about 4 hours or until the meat is fork tender (or place in the oven at 225 degrees).

Makes 6-8 servings

 

Plain Old Meatloaf

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Everyone piles on poor January like it's some cranky old disciplinarian. Like it's January's fault for being on the calendar when it's often cold and gloomy. Like it's January's fault that  after months of indulgence in food, gifts and various and sundry celebrations, we have to get back to some sort of normal.

But we must get back to some sort of normal of course, and we do. In January we face, recognize and take responsibility for our gluttony. It's like some mid-winter al cheyt.

So, on January's menu: simple, easy, homey, plain-old food. 

Frankly, after the Hallowe'en candy and Thanksgiving turkey with stuffing and Hanukkah latkes and doughnuts and New Year's brunch I am ready to make a fresh start. Ready for food like meatloaf.

Actually, that doesn't seem like punishment to me. Just a bit of down home, back-to-basics. I like that.

Here's my simple go-to version.

Plain Old Meatloaf

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground veal
  • 1/2 pound ground turkey
  • 1 cup soft fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup chili sauce
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
  • salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the meats in a bowl. Add the breadcrumbs, 3/4 cup of the chili sauce, soy sauce, eggs, onion, garlic, thyme and some salt and pepper to taste. Mix thoroughly and place the mixture into a lightly oiled 9”x5” loaf pan. Spread the remaining chili sauce over the surface. Bake for about one hour or until the sides of the meat come away from the pan. 

Makes 6-8 servings

Barbecue Meatloaf

Daylight savings time ends this weekend and I always have mixed feelings about that.

I hate that it gets dark so early and that there are so few hours of actual daylight. On the other hand, I like the crisp autumn weather -- not too hot, not too cold.

I hate that it's too cold outside for me to cook something on the outdoor grill. On the other hand, I love the comforting, warmth-giving dishes I make in the crockpot and the oven.

So I've been thinking about meatloaf.

It's a winter-sort-of-dish.

But because of the barbecue sauce, this one lingers with memories of the summer gone by.

A perfect dish for transitioning to days without daylight savings time.

 

BBQ Meatloaf

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1-1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 8 ounces ground veal or turkey (or use more beef)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup beef or vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup barbecue sauce

  

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 2-3 minutes or until softened. Add the garlic, cook briefly and set aside in a bowl to cool. Add the beef and veal and mix gently to combine ingredients. Add the eggs, stock, breadcrumbs and some salt and pepper and mix gently to combine ingredients. Place the mixture into a 9”x5” loaf pan. Spoon the barbecue sauce on top. Bake for 60-75 minutes or until the meat has come away from the sides of the pan (thermometer should read 160 degrees). 

Makes 6-8 servings

Chicken Fried Steak

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Several years ago my daughter Gillian and I drove from Chicago through some of the border states on our way back home to Connecticut.

We had a grand old time that included a (tasting) tour of the Jack Daniel's distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee.

We also heard Grandpa Jones sing at the Grand Ole' Opry in Nashville.

One of the most astonishing things we witnessed were the thousands of people Christmas shopping in July in the malls in Gatlinburg (with motel accommodations priced at $39/night so you could shop till you dropped for more than one day).

Slowly we made our way through the magnificent Great Smoky Mountains. That was truly glorious.

And, last but not least, we saw -- everywhere we looked -- a lot of people eating chicken fried steak.

For breakfast!

Chicken fried steak for breakfast!

I love understanding local cuisine and sometimes even trying it. Somehow chicken fried steak smothered with gravy and accompanied by mashed potatoes and biscuits for breakfast seemed a bit much.

But that didn't stop me from trying it at home.

For dinner, of course.

Chicken fried steak, made properly (in the border states), is made with round steak. I substituted skirt steak. Anyone who has eaten skirt steak understands it can be tough, but you can pound it to make it more tender.

Or, you can use rib steak, but I think that's a waste for this particular recipe because, really, this kind of dish is about the fried, not the fabulous beef. If you do use rib steak though, be sure to slice it thin.

We didn't mind the chewiness of the skirt steak. Like fried veal or chicken cutlet, the outside is crispy and the inside moist and flavorful. The gravy is an indulgence.

Glad I tried it, but I wouldn't serve this for breakfast!

Chicken Fried Steak

  • 2 pounds skirt steak, approximately
  • 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • salt to taste
  • 2 large eggs plus 2 teaspoons water, beaten together
  • vegetable oil
  • use 2 tablespoons of the seasoned flour for gravy
  • 1-1/3 cup chicken stock
  • 1/3 cup soy or rice milk (or more chicken stock)

Preheat the oven to warm. Cut the meat into smaller portions and set aside. In a dish, combine the flour, garlic powder, paprika, thyme, cayenne pepper and salt and whisk the ingredients to blend them thoroughly. In a bowl, beat the egg and water together until well combined. Remove 3 tablespoons of the seasoned flour and set it aside separately. Press each portion of meat in the seasoned flour, coating the surface completely. Coat the meat portions with the egg, then coat again with more of the seasoned flour. Heat about 1/4-inch vegetable oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat until hot enough to make a bread crumb sizzle immediately. Fry the meat portions a few at a time, leaving plenty of space in the pan, for about 3 minutes per side or until crispy. Drain on paper towels and continue with the remaining meat. As the portions are cooked, place them on a baking sheet and keep them warm in the oven. When all the meat is cooked, discard all but 3 tablespoons of fat from the pan. Add the reserved seasoned flour and whisk into the fat, cooking over low-medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Gradually add the stock and whisk until a smooth, thickened sauce has formed. Pour in the milk and whisk into the sauce. Remove the steaks to plates and serve covered with some of the gravy.

Makes 4 servings

BEEF RIBS WITH SPICY RIB RUB

I don't have a lot of go-to meals. I like to mix things up, change recipes, add a new ingredient or change a seasoning or try a different sauce and so on.

But when I'm in a hurry or too busy to cook I make something quick and simple, usually something I've done dozens of times. One of my favorite go-to quickie recipes is: beef ribs. I preheat the grill or broiler, sprinkle the ribs with salt, pepper and garlic and that's that. Dinner (add a vegetable or salad or maybe some cut up avocado/tomato) is done.

Before last week I had never made beef ribs with a rub. I know you can buy all sorts of rubs and marinades but I wanted to try my hand at it so I made my own rub mixture. Instead of my usual -- grill the meat for 10-12 minutes -- I let them cook ever so slowly, tightly wrapped in foil, for 3 hours, until they were as soft as .... fill this in for yourself. Then I quickly grilled them until the surfaces were crispy.

Oh my, dinner was awesome. I will make this again.

And by the way, I poured the pan juices into a jar, put it in the refrigerator for a few days, then scooped the fat that rose to the top and used the juices to baste a chicken. So with this rub we got double the flavor, fun and good food.

 

Broiled/Grilled Beef Ribs with Spicy Rib Rub

  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 pounds beef ribs

Combine the brown sugar, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, chili powder, cumin, salt, chipotle and cayenne in a bowl and whisk to blend the seasonings evenly. Add the olive oil and mix thoroughly. Spread the mixture all over the ribs. Refrigerate the ribs for at least 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Wrap the ribs tightly in aluminum foil. Place the foil wrapped ribs on a cookie sheet. Bake for 3 hours. Remove the package from the oven. Remove the ribs from the package (there will be pan fluids*).

To broil: preheat the oven broiler. Place the ribs on a cookie sheet. Broil for about 3 minutes per side or until crispy.

To grill: preheat an outdoor grill. Place ribs directly on the grids and grill for about 3 minutes per side or until crispy.

Makes 4 servings

*Pour the pan fluids into a jar, refrigerate for at least 2 hours or until the fat rises to the top. Remove and discard the fat. Use the fluids as a basting sauce for beef or chicken.

Grilled, Marinated Chuck Steak

Chuck steak or rib steak?  Once, a long time ago we were at Ed’s sister Barbara’s house for the day. A day like today. Glorious and sunny, warm and not too humid. Perfect for a barbecue.  She took out a huge chuck steak. My mother-in-law almost fainted. She thought Barbara should have made rib steak because it’s more upscale and, after all, I was new to the family and she didn’t want me to think they didn’t know chuck from rib.  Interestingly enough my mother-in-law was not at all snooty or show-offy. Maybe she just wasn’t sure of me at that point.  What she didn’t know then, but learned that very moment, was that I love chuck. For hamburgers, roast beef and steak.  Sure, I love a great rib roast (and my mother-in-law made  GREAT rib roast ), but for steak and burgers: chuck is king. For me. Because it’s so meaty and beefy tasting.  Today is the perfect day for grilled steak. Weather is glorious in Connecticut and besides, what better way to honor the U.S. soccer/futbol team playing Portugal at the WORLD CUP today?! Nothing better than grilled American steak!   Grilled, Marinated Chuck Steak   2 pounds chuck steak  1/4 cup red wine  2 tablespoons olive oil  2 tablespoons orange juice  1 teaspoon Dijon mustard  1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves  1 teaspoon chopped fresh ginger  1/2 teaspoon grated fresh orange peel  1/2 teaspoon Sriracha  freshly ground black pepper to taste  Place the meat in a non-reactive pan. In a bowl, mix the wine, olive oil, orange juice, mustard, thyme, ginger, orange peel and Sriracha and pour over the meat. Turn the meat over once or twice to be sure all surfaces are covered. Marinate for about one hour. Preheat an outdoor grill or oven broiler. Remove the meat from the marinade. Sprinkle with fresh pepper. Grill or broil for 3-6 minutes per side, depending on whether you like the meat rare or medium-well.   Makes 4-6 servings

Chuck steak or rib steak?

Once, a long time ago we were at Ed’s sister Barbara’s house for the day. A day like today. Glorious and sunny, warm and not too humid. Perfect for a barbecue.

She took out a huge chuck steak. My mother-in-law almost fainted. She thought Barbara should have made rib steak because it’s more upscale and, after all, I was new to the family and she didn’t want me to think they didn’t know chuck from rib.

Interestingly enough my mother-in-law was not at all snooty or show-offy. Maybe she just wasn’t sure of me at that point.

What she didn’t know then, but learned that very moment, was that I love chuck. For hamburgers, roast beef and steak.

Sure, I love a great rib roast (and my mother-in-law made GREAT rib roast), but for steak and burgers: chuck is king. For me. Because it’s so meaty and beefy tasting.

Today is the perfect day for grilled steak. Weather is glorious in Connecticut and besides, what better way to honor the U.S. soccer/futbol team playing Portugal at the WORLD CUP today?! Nothing better than grilled American steak!

Grilled, Marinated Chuck Steak

2 pounds chuck steak

1/4 cup red wine

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons orange juice

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

1 teaspoon chopped fresh ginger

1/2 teaspoon grated fresh orange peel

1/2 teaspoon Sriracha

freshly ground black pepper to taste

Place the meat in a non-reactive pan. In a bowl, mix the wine, olive oil, orange juice, mustard, thyme, ginger, orange peel and Sriracha and pour over the meat. Turn the meat over once or twice to be sure all surfaces are covered. Marinate for about one hour. Preheat an outdoor grill or oven broiler. Remove the meat from the marinade. Sprinkle with fresh pepper. Grill or broil for 3-6 minutes per side, depending on whether you like the meat rare or medium-well. 

Makes 4-6 servings

Beef Pot Pie

Just because I’m a food writer it doesn’t mean everything I cook is either fancy or comes out tasting delicious. The other night, for example, I made a chuck roast and it was terrible. It was tough and I didn’t particularly like the seasonings I had tried.  But there I was stuck with it. I wasn’t about to throw out 3 pounds of meat.  So I cut some of it up and cooked it into a beef pot pie. Easy and simple enough. I made a fairly standard recipe but I included a small amount of beef bacon which really amplified the flavor.  Ed declared it “great” and had thirds.      BEEF POT PIE     3 carrots, sliced about 1/2-inch thick  2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into bite size pieces  2 ounces beef bacon  2 tablespoons olive oil  1 large onion, chopped  5 tablespoons all-purpose flour  3 cups beef, chicken or vegetable stock  3 cups cooked, cut up beef  1 cup frozen peas  3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley  frozen puff pastry     Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place the carrots and potatoes in a large saucepan, cover with water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Drain and set the vegetables aside. Cook the bacon in a large saute pan over medium heat for about 2 minutes or until the pieces are beginning to crisp. Pour in the olive oil. Add the onion and cook for 4-5 minutes or until tender and beginning to brown. Add the flour, mix it in and cook for 1-2 minutes. Gradually pour in the stock, stirring constantly until the liquid is smooth and the sauce has thickened. Stir in the carrots and potatoes, the beef, peas and parsley and mix to distribute the ingredients evenly. Spoon the contents of the pan into a baking dish. Cover with puff pastry. Bake for about 25 minutes or until the top is golden brown.  Makes 4-6 servings

Just because I’m a food writer it doesn’t mean everything I cook is either fancy or comes out tasting delicious. The other night, for example, I made a chuck roast and it was terrible. It was tough and I didn’t particularly like the seasonings I had tried.

But there I was stuck with it. I wasn’t about to throw out 3 pounds of meat.

So I cut some of it up and cooked it into a beef pot pie. Easy and simple enough. I made a fairly standard recipe but I included a small amount of beef bacon which really amplified the flavor.

Ed declared it “great” and had thirds. 

 

BEEF POT PIE

 

3 carrots, sliced about 1/2-inch thick

2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into bite size pieces

2 ounces beef bacon

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

5 tablespoons all-purpose flour

3 cups beef, chicken or vegetable stock

3 cups cooked, cut up beef

1 cup frozen peas

3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

frozen puff pastry

 

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place the carrots and potatoes in a large saucepan, cover with water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Drain and set the vegetables aside. Cook the bacon in a large saute pan over medium heat for about 2 minutes or until the pieces are beginning to crisp. Pour in the olive oil. Add the onion and cook for 4-5 minutes or until tender and beginning to brown. Add the flour, mix it in and cook for 1-2 minutes. Gradually pour in the stock, stirring constantly until the liquid is smooth and the sauce has thickened. Stir in the carrots and potatoes, the beef, peas and parsley and mix to distribute the ingredients evenly. Spoon the contents of the pan into a baking dish. Cover with puff pastry. Bake for about 25 minutes or until the top is golden brown.

Makes 4-6 servings

Beef Chuck Roast with Winter Squash and Dried Cranberries

I love pot roast not just because it is so filling and nourishing and heart warming in the winter when you need food that’s a bulwark against the cold. But also because it is such a forgiving, flexible dish. 
 First of all, you can use just about any meat that’s meant for long, slow cooking and you can play with the recipe and it will still probably come out okay. 
 Every time I make pot roast I add some new ingredient or combination of ingredients. And I use different liquids that have ranged from plain old water to stock to Port wine to mango juice. And all kinds of vegetables like cabbage or potatoes, squash, kohlrabi and dried mushrooms. And fruit, dried fruit (like crystallized ginger and prunes).  
 Seasonings? Oh, just about anything. Thyme, cumin, ginger, nutmeg, ras el hanout.  
 Anything goes.  
 Of course we don’t love every recipe. Sometimes an experiment works, sometimes it doesn’t. But I continue to cook new pot roast recipes all the time. 
 Last week I made one with a portion of chuck,  kaluchel , from  KOL Foods .  KOL Foods produces Glatt kosher poultry, beef and lamb. I like their products because everything I’ve tasted of them is packed with good flavor and also because the company’s mission is to produce humanely treated as well as humanely slaughtered meat, with an eye toward sustainability and animal welfare. All the beef is grass-fed, free-roaming; never given antibiotics or hormones. This is the essence of what it really means to be fit and proper.  
  You can use any cut of pot roast type meat for this recipe.  

  Beef Chuck Roast with Winter Squash and Dried Cranberries  
     
  4-5 pounds beef pot roast   
  1/4 cup all-purpose flour  
  Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste  
  1 teaspoon paprika  
  3 tablespoons vegetable oil  
  2 medium onions, sliced  
  2 stalks celery, sliced  
  2 cloves garlic, sliced  
  6 ounce can tomato paste  
  1/4 cup apple cider vinegar  
  3 cups beef stock  
  3-4 sprigs thyme  
  1 large bay leaf  
  2 dried red chili peppers  
  1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg  
  1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice  
  3/4 cup dried cranberries  
     
     
  Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Rinse and dry the beef. In a dish, mix the flour with the salt, pepper and paprika. Dredge the beef in the flour mixture, to coat it on all sides. Pour 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the meat and cook, turning the meat occasionally, for about 8 minutes, to brown the surface. Remove the meat and set it aside. Add the remaining vegetable oil to the pan. Add the onions and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Stir in the tomato paste, vinegar and stock, stir with a whisk to blend the ingredients. Return the meat to the pan. Add the thyme, bay leaf and chili peppers. Grate the nutmeg over the ingredients. Bring to a boil then remove the pan from the heat. Cover the pan and place it in the oven. Cook for 3 hours. Add the squash and cranberries. Cook for another 1-1/2 hours or until the meat is soft and the vegetables tender. Makes 6 servings  

  

I love pot roast not just because it is so filling and nourishing and heart warming in the winter when you need food that’s a bulwark against the cold. But also because it is such a forgiving, flexible dish.

First of all, you can use just about any meat that’s meant for long, slow cooking and you can play with the recipe and it will still probably come out okay.

Every time I make pot roast I add some new ingredient or combination of ingredients. And I use different liquids that have ranged from plain old water to stock to Port wine to mango juice. And all kinds of vegetables like cabbage or potatoes, squash, kohlrabi and dried mushrooms. And fruit, dried fruit (like crystallized ginger and prunes). 

Seasonings? Oh, just about anything. Thyme, cumin, ginger, nutmeg, ras el hanout. 

Anything goes. 

Of course we don’t love every recipe. Sometimes an experiment works, sometimes it doesn’t. But I continue to cook new pot roast recipes all the time.

Last week I made one with a portion of chuck, kaluchel, from KOL FoodsKOL Foods produces Glatt kosher poultry, beef and lamb. I like their products because everything I’ve tasted of them is packed with good flavor and also because the company’s mission is to produce humanely treated as well as humanely slaughtered meat, with an eye toward sustainability and animal welfare. All the beef is grass-fed, free-roaming; never given antibiotics or hormones. This is the essence of what it really means to be fit and proper.

You can use any cut of pot roast type meat for this recipe.

Beef Chuck Roast with Winter Squash and Dried Cranberries

 

4-5 pounds beef pot roast

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 teaspoon paprika

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 medium onions, sliced

2 stalks celery, sliced

2 cloves garlic, sliced

6 ounce can tomato paste

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

3 cups beef stock

3-4 sprigs thyme

1 large bay leaf

2 dried red chili peppers

1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg

1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice

3/4 cup dried cranberries

 

 

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Rinse and dry the beef. In a dish, mix the flour with the salt, pepper and paprika. Dredge the beef in the flour mixture, to coat it on all sides. Pour 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the meat and cook, turning the meat occasionally, for about 8 minutes, to brown the surface. Remove the meat and set it aside. Add the remaining vegetable oil to the pan. Add the onions and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Stir in the tomato paste, vinegar and stock, stir with a whisk to blend the ingredients. Return the meat to the pan. Add the thyme, bay leaf and chili peppers. Grate the nutmeg over the ingredients. Bring to a boil then remove the pan from the heat. Cover the pan and place it in the oven. Cook for 3 hours. Add the squash and cranberries. Cook for another 1-1/2 hours or until the meat is soft and the vegetables tender. Makes 6 servings

 

Pearl Fein’s Standing Rib Roast

Today is my husband’s birthday. He’s an almost impossible person to buy a gift for. But he is the most possible, positive and terrific person to cook for. 
 He eats and enjoys whatever food I prepare. He is a good sport and will taste and comment on all the recipe creations and experiments I work on for my newspaper articles and blogging. 
 So, what to make him for him birthday dinner? (He prefers to stay at home instead of go out, especially ever since our favorite local restaurant closed.) 
 I thought about Chinese take-out but he nixed that (maybe because he knows it’s not my favorite). 
 He would be happy with anything he could pour ketchup over, so maybe hamburgers or beef stew? (But those don’t seem festive enough.) 
 He would really love a corned beef sandwich on rye bread but our local deli’s stuff is awful and I don’t feel like driving into New York City and downtown to Katz’s to get one (even though they have some of the best corned beef sandwiches in the world). 
 He isn’t much of a dessert eater, so even though I make decent pie and cake, none of that would do it for him (although he does like European style, dense chocolate cake with apricot filling …). 
 He adores candy, but I usually don’t make my own, so I bought him his favorite dark chocolate-almond bark and a bagful of red-colored, chocolate coated candies filled with pomegranate. 
 After thinking it all over, I decided I’ll make Rib Roast. The way his mama made it. He really really loves that. It was his mother, Pearl Fein, who taught me how to make a Rib Roast. She would always make this dish for special family occasions. They were always so wonderful (the beef and the occasions). 
 So, that’s it. And here is her recipe, which I’ve posted before, but it’s worth doing again: 
     
  Pearl Fein’s Standing Rib Roast  
 1 2-3 rib beef roast 
 kitchen string 
 1 tablespoon paprika 
 1-1/2 to 2 teaspoons salt 
 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
 1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons garlic powder 
 water 
 Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Carve the meat from the bones as close to the bone as possible so that you are left with a round beef roast and L-shaped bones. Tie the meat back onto the bones with kitchen string. (This procedure makes it much easier to carve the cooked meat.) In a small bowl, combine the paprika, salt, pepper and garlic powder plus enough water to form a paste. Brush the paste on all of the meat and bone surfaces. Place the roast bone side down in a roasting pan. Roast for 20 minutes. Lower the heat to 350 degrees and cook for about 15 minutes per pound or until it is cooked to the doneness you like. Use a meat thermometer (place it in the middle of the meat) and remove the meat from the oven when it reaches 115 degrees F for rare and 130 degrees F for medium. Let the roast rest for 15-20 minutes before you carve it (the temperature will rise a bit during that time). Snip the strings and place the now-boneless roast on a carving board to slice. Makes 4-6 servings

Today is my husband’s birthday. He’s an almost impossible person to buy a gift for. But he is the most possible, positive and terrific person to cook for.

He eats and enjoys whatever food I prepare. He is a good sport and will taste and comment on all the recipe creations and experiments I work on for my newspaper articles and blogging.

So, what to make him for him birthday dinner? (He prefers to stay at home instead of go out, especially ever since our favorite local restaurant closed.)

I thought about Chinese take-out but he nixed that (maybe because he knows it’s not my favorite).

He would be happy with anything he could pour ketchup over, so maybe hamburgers or beef stew? (But those don’t seem festive enough.)

He would really love a corned beef sandwich on rye bread but our local deli’s stuff is awful and I don’t feel like driving into New York City and downtown to Katz’s to get one (even though they have some of the best corned beef sandwiches in the world).

He isn’t much of a dessert eater, so even though I make decent pie and cake, none of that would do it for him (although he does like European style, dense chocolate cake with apricot filling …).

He adores candy, but I usually don’t make my own, so I bought him his favorite dark chocolate-almond bark and a bagful of red-colored, chocolate coated candies filled with pomegranate.

After thinking it all over, I decided I’ll make Rib Roast. The way his mama made it. He really really loves that. It was his mother, Pearl Fein, who taught me how to make a Rib Roast. She would always make this dish for special family occasions. They were always so wonderful (the beef and the occasions).

So, that’s it. And here is her recipe, which I’ve posted before, but it’s worth doing again:

 

Pearl Fein’s Standing Rib Roast

1 2-3 rib beef roast

kitchen string

1 tablespoon paprika

1-1/2 to 2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons garlic powder

water

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Carve the meat from the bones as close to the bone as possible so that you are left with a round beef roast and L-shaped bones. Tie the meat back onto the bones with kitchen string. (This procedure makes it much easier to carve the cooked meat.) In a small bowl, combine the paprika, salt, pepper and garlic powder plus enough water to form a paste. Brush the paste on all of the meat and bone surfaces. Place the roast bone side down in a roasting pan. Roast for 20 minutes. Lower the heat to 350 degrees and cook for about 15 minutes per pound or until it is cooked to the doneness you like. Use a meat thermometer (place it in the middle of the meat) and remove the meat from the oven when it reaches 115 degrees F for rare and 130 degrees F for medium. Let the roast rest for 15-20 minutes before you carve it (the temperature will rise a bit during that time). Snip the strings and place the now-boneless roast on a carving board to slice. Makes 4-6 servings

Cooking a Whole Brisket

In the world of Jewish holidays, September means brisket. It’s what’s for dinner.

At least that’s what I hear from most of the Jewish people I know and what I read in the papers.

My mother wanted to make brisket but none of us liked brown meat. We are steak eaters and, when it comes to beef, the rarer, the better. So she gave up on brisket and made a turkey during the High Holidays.

My kids — and their kids — won’t eat brown meat either. UNLESS it’s barbecued. Then there’s never enough of it. So I make brisket, Texas style, grilled and crispy-edged.

The problem with brisket is that even though it’s high on flavor, it can be TOUGH if you don’t cook it right. Most of the recipes I’ve seen say to braise it in the oven at 350 degrees.

Okay, there’s the usual fight about whether to put the meat in the oven or on the cooktop, but I don’t want to get into that one.

Either way, the best way to come out with meat that’s soft, but not mushy, firm enough but not chewy is this: brown the meat first if you like (I never do), season it to taste (I use garlic, black pepper and paprika), smother it with sweet onions (I use Vidalias but common yellow onions are fine). Seal the top with a lid (I use aluminum foil) and place it in a cold oven. Turn the heat to 225 degrees. Go to sleep. Wake up and it’s done. The meat cooks magically while you are in bed.

I love the smell of brisket in the morning.

Of course, this is good only if the brisket is large. I buy a WHOLE one, both first and second cuts, because it feeds a lot of people and has much more flavor. It also has more fat, which bastes the meat and makes it tender and even more flavorful (you can get rid of the fat after you cook the meat). And it is less expensive per pound. A large one also holds together a lot better on an outdoor grill.

If you only buy the flat, first cut, follow the same procedure but don’t let it cook for 7-8 hours. Maybe 4 or 5.

The point is: COOK IT SLOW AT A LOW TEMPERATURE.

For brisket lovers, you don’t have to do anything else, though it’s better to cook the meat the day before, separate the meat from the gravy and refrigerate everything. The fat comes to the top and you can remove and discard it. Then slice the meat, put it into a baking dish, cover it with the sauce and onions and heat it through.

For my family, I brush the meat with barbecue sauce and cook it slowly on the grill until it’s crispy on the outside.

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