Thursday, January 31, 2013

Bracing ... oh that chill


Ticking off the first month of the New Year also means the coldest, roughest month is about to begin. Thankfully, it is also the shortest month of the year. I don’t remember looking for to the next 28 days except for the two years I lived in Australia. Today’s chilled, blustery winds is the keynote speaker for the weeks ahead. What do I hope the groundhog sees in two days?

Fortunately, the freezer is still packed with summer tomatoes and I will be pulling those gems out of suspended warmth to comfort this household with soups, stews, braises and sauces over the coming weeks. The sun-dried tomatoes I dehydrated over the course of several searing August days is going to enrich more than my palate – maybe, next summer I should try my hand at sun drying my own tomato paste.

Until, I find myself in shorts and a tank top spreading my tomato puree out onto a sheet of ply wood in the blazing sun I will go to the stores I already have to keep me warm physically and emotionally. 



Braised Short Ribs - yields 4 servings
3-pounds short ribs
2–large onions
6-cloves cloves
3-ounces wild mushrooms – such as morels, trumpets, chantrelles
2-ounces sun dried tomatoes – roughly chopped
1-1/2 pound tomatoes – roughly chopped
1-tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary –leaves only
¼-cup chopped Italian parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat an eight quart casserole dish over a medium heat, and add the short ribs and brown them deeply. Remove the ribs to a bowl, and immediately add into the pot the onions and garlic. Cook the onions and garlics for about 5 minutes stirring frequently. Return the ribs to the pot and add the wild mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes, dried mushrooms and tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper, and lower the heat to a simmer. Cover, and cook for 2 to 3 hours. About half hour before serving stir in the rosemary and parsley.


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