Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The start of ultimate Comfort Food!!

We make the best of every single season around here.  So when there is not much 'fresh' left in the fields and we are stocked to the rafters with storage vegetables, the slow cooker comes out!  There is something soo comforting about coming in from the barn all wet, tired & dirty from sorting storage crops to the warmth of the home and the smell of the slow cooker!!!  A few weeks ago our organic dairy neighbor came by and asked us if we wanted a young bull they had to send to the butcher.  Oh yes, a freezer full of good organic beef for the winter!!  So off Ben and I went to our local butcher over a week later to cut and wrap.  The rules have changed at our butchers, so we now have to 'dress like a butcher' in their white coats, hair nets and Ben had to wear a net on his beard!!  HAHAHA!  We thought we were safe from running into anyone we knew, but no, a friend of ours, Pete, got to see us in our amateur butcher get-ups!  Anyhow, down to the business of beef.  I had our butcher cut the 'Texas Ribs' into a 'braising style' perfect for slow cooking and even BBQing.  There are lots of recipes out there for Braising Ribs.
How we like them:  BRAISED BEEF RIBS W/ WINTER VEGETABLES  Using Organic Sunflower oil I braise the ribs (which I have dredged in flour) on both sides until golden brown. (see pic below - YUM!)  I use a big heavy bottom pot for this. They then go into the slow cooker. 
 Then in all the beefy bits left in the big pot, I add a couple tablespoons of rich organic butter.  Then I add a couple chopped Onions, 5 chopped Carrots, 1 big Leeks Chopped, 2 Bell Peppers  chopped (optional, only because I still had them in our storage cooler), chopped garlic - lots!  Render until onions soft, but not overkill! 10 mins at most.  Now add about 1/2 Cup of Flour to your pot and stir well.  Cook the flour in a bit in and around all your veg.  Now add a few cups to cover of  Beef Broth and Red Wine. On a medium heat stir and let thicken nicely.  Sea Salt & Pepper to taste.  Add herbs you like.  Parsley is a good one, Thyme too. Now dump this magical vegetable stew onto your braised ribs sitting in your crock pot just waiting and stir all together.  Cook on high in your slow cooker for 4-5 hours.  After 3 hours, add some buttery fingerling potatoes!  I cut them in half.  This is one yummy, yummy warm tempting dish to enjoy when the weather isn't pleasant. And guess what?  You can get all the veg in this recipe from us at market this week!! Oh, I lied, not the carrots.  Try Pine River Organics for the most clean, sweet carrots around! Snow is coming!  Get your slow cooker out and ready!