One thing I like to do is to get something going and then to leave it alone. I have a lot of other things to do beside stand over a stove for hours on end. Really, to stand over anything. It’s probably why I like using the crock pot. But the crock pot is handy only with certain foods, certain recipes cause it doesn’t do what a cast iron dutch oven will do. For the beef short ribs in the recipe below, I use a cast iron dutch oven. Cast iron cookware ROCKS. If you don’t have some, if you don’t have well-seasoned, well-used cast iron, it is about time you got with the program. Properly seasoned cast iron is virtually non-stick and indestructible.
Good cast iron cookware is passed down from generation to generation. It is an heirloom. One of the things many lamented they lost in the aftermath of Katrina was their cast iron cookware that had boiled gumbos for hundreds of years. It is believed that a small part of the food cooked each time leaves a little something behind adding to the food magic that occurs when cooking with cast iron. Given what I know of physics, I think it is true. I can see an atom or two being substituted out with another atom or two displacing the originals. Whatever it is, cast iron that old and well-used makes food magic. Plus it adds iron to your diet. See, multi-tasking at its best.
Beef Shortribs with Creamy Polenta
4-8 Beef short ribs
1cup onion, chopped roughly
1cup carrots sliced
1/2 cup celery, diced
2-3 cloves garlic
2cups red wine
2cups broth, beef or chicken
1-2 bay leaves
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
2. Season short ribs with salt and pepper. Sear on all sides over medium-high heat.
3. Add half the onions, half the carrots, half the celery and all the garlic to the pot. Cook until most of the liquid, if any, has cooked off.
4. Add thyme and bay leaves. Add the broth and wine. Make sure that all the ribs are covered in liquid.
5. Bake in oven, covered, for at least 2 1/2 hours.
6. In the last 45 minutes, add remaining onions, carrots and celery.
7. Take out of oven, remove the ribs from juices. On medium heat, reduce the liquid in the pot by 1/2. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Serve over creamy polenta.
8. Make polenta according to directions on package while liquid is boiling down. Right before removing from heat, add in 1/2-1 cup parmesan.