Braising is one of those fundamental techniques we should all be comfortable with. It’s terribly easy, and unbelievably practical. Just remember: you don’t want to completely submerge your meat ;) Keep the temp. low and slow (I’m a fan of oven-braising, come @ me you stovetop braisers), and you’ll find success without too much effort.
Thanksgiving is a time for great propriety, family gathered at the table, our best manners observed (for as long as we can stand it). But the day after Thanksgiving? Screw propriety. I want to eat a heaping plate of leftovers while sitting on the couch in my sweatpants.
What happens when we cook meat low and slow? Turns out there's a lot of science happening under the lid of your Dutch oven!
Thick, dark, tomato based, sweet, and tangy. This is by far the most popular of the many varieties of bbq sauce around the country. This sauce owes its pedigree to Memphis' location along the Mississippi River.
From 1730 into the 1750s South Carolina recruited and paid ocean passage for thousands of German families. These settlers brought with them some of their favorite tastes from home, namely mustard.
Think of this as the ur-bbq sauce. When English colonists arrived in America and settled near Roanoke they brought with them some of their tastes from home. Early British cooking reveals a penchant for tart flavors, and this sauce does not disappoint in that category.
Drying is one of the oldest and most common forms of food preservation. Canning technology is less than 200 years old, and freezing is even more recent (less than 100 years old for households), but drying technology is simple and affordable for nearly any one in the world, which is why jerky can be found around the globe.
Walk into any Jerk shop in Crown Heights and you'll be overwhelmed with savory scents. Now, you might have opened that door planning to purchase the namesake dish, but let me point your nose in another direction. See that sultry, bubbling, brown tray? That's stew chicken, and I think you should give it a try. Brewed from the devilish flavors that make the Caribbean so intoxicating (lime, allspice, sugar), it is the sort of thing you never knew you needed in the depths of winter.
What was once a tool fit only for commercial kitchens has been adapted for your home! The Nomiku is an immersion circulator for the modern cook. Control temperature within a fraction of a degree for perfect cooking.
Forget the grill, invest in a few clay pots and build a tandoor in your backyard this summer! For about $100 you can build a natural convection oven that will make you the envy of neighborhood bbq's.
This is how I will become a grillmaster. Neither changing propane tanks, nor praying at the altar of Weber, but rather with a tandoor. The contraption now sits in my backyard, taunting my with its emptiness. It is neither difficult to build nor challenging to maintain and at the risk of sounding alarmist I want to scream through the digitas WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?
Corned beef is, by far, my favorite deli meat (don't you have a favorite?). In honor of St. Patrick's Day I present the history and science behind this perfect, pink meat. Though there may be better foods to celebrate Ireland's pride, there are few Irish foods as scientifically unique as corned beef. Check it out!
Dinnergeddon is a truly magnificent event and Andrew Hyde is a dinner party hero. This is the seventh incarnation, by far our largest gathering. Thank you to the guests who make this a true joy. As usual the menu was entirely Paleo friendly: tamarind-citrus chicken, mashed plantains, and cilantro-jicama slaw. This will be my last dinnergeddon in Boulder for a while and I'll miss it. Love all around.
Don't want to cook dinner in the oven tonight? Grab a wok and work the stovetop, it's quick, easy, and will keep the heat down in your kitchen this summer.
Don't wait for the summer to start grilling. Invest in a cast iron griddle/grill pan and you'll be set through the colder months of the year. I brined the pork loin in whole grain mustard and garlic to infuse it with flavor before slapping it on the hot grill. The final product is perfectly seasoned, charred on the outside, and juicy in the middle (just where it counts).
- 1/4 cup Water
- 1/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Whole Grain Mustard
- 1/2 tablespoon Salt
- 1/2 tablespoon Honey
- 3 smashed Garlic Cloves
- 1 to 1.5 pounds Pork Loin
- In a small bowl combine all ingredients, except for the pork. Whisk together until everything is combined.
- Trim the silver skin from the pork loin, then place it in a sealable plastic bag.
- Pour the brine into the bag with the pork, then seal it and put it in the refrigerator. Leave it for at least a few hours, and not more than 36 hours (the brine can make it too salty).
- Let the pork come to room temperature before grilling. Heat a cast iron grill over medium-high flames.
- Grill the pork for 8-10 minutes per side, covering it with a larger roasting pan or domed lid while it cooks on the cast iron. Don't move it around while it grills on each side, let the pork get nice charred grill marks. Cook the loin until a meat thermometer inserted into the center reads ~145 degrees, about 40-50 minutes.
- Remove the pork from the grill and let it rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
While the pork is grilling, make use of the leftover brine by incorporating it into a sauce for the finished dish.
- 1 quart Chopped tomatoes
- 1 Yellow Onion, sliced thinly
- 1/2 cup Brine from above (after the pork is on the grill)
- All Garlic Cloves from above Brine
- 1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar
- In a small sauté pan, combine all ingredients.
- Simmer for at least 30 minutes, until the onions are tender and the sauce is slightly thickened.
Bacon needs no introduction, it begs no accoutrements, but sometimes (just sometimes) it likes to be treated like a GD star. It doesn't take much to put bacon in the spotlight, just of touch of sweet spice and some proper cooking. I like my bacon straight and stiff as a board, thick and crisp. For my tastes, there is no better purveyor of the porky strip than John O'Groats in LA. I base my cooking technique on their expert presentation, and it doesn't fail.
- 1 pound Bacon, thickly cut
- 2 tablespoons Garam Masala
- 2 teaspoons Brown Sugar
- Heat your oven to 475 degrees.
- In a medium bowl mix together both the Garam Masala and brown sugar.
- Dredge each bacon slice through the spice mixture, coating both sides liberally.
- Line a large roasting tray with the bacon slices, keeping them in one layer.
- Place a rack on top of the bacon slices, to keep them flat while they bake.
- Bake the bacon for 15-20 minutes, or until browned and crisp all around.
- Remove the bacon from the oven and, using a fork, take each slice out of the roasting tray while still hot and let it drain on a separate rack.
Eating well doesn’t have to break the bank, monetary salvation lies in knowledge. So, arm yourself with information and get to know your butcher. I’m a lover of lamb, but buying the rack every time will rob your wallet of its health. Lamb spare ribs, however, are often overlooked and if you can get your butcher to save some for you, the price will likely surprise you. Unpopular meat is cheap, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t scrumptious.
2- pounds Lamb Spare Ribs
2 cups Red Wine
¼ cup Poppy Seeds
2 large Red Onions
½ teaspoon Black Pepper
½ teaspoon Salt
Balsamic Vinegar for serving
Trim the lamb ribs of nearly all exterior fat (there will be a lot), leaving a thin layer where you cannot get any closer to the meat without cutting into the muscle. If you are able, pull the translucent skin away from the muscle tissue. If it is too difficult, don’t worry, it will peel away easily after cooking. Add the lamb to a plastic bag or plastic-wrap covered dish for marinating.
Pour red wine and poppy seeds over the ribs and slosh them around in the bag to spread the marinade. Let the ribs soak in wine for at least a few hours, if not overnight (or even a few days).
Hear your oven to 250 degrees. Remove the ribs from the fridge and let them warm up to room temperature while you heat the oven.
Slice the onions thinly and scatter them in the bottom of a large roasting tray.
Remove the ribs from the marinating bag, sprinkle with salt and pepper on both sides then lay the ribs meat-side down directly on top of the onions. The bones should curve up toward you like fingers reaching out of the tray. Pour the remaining marinade (from the bag) over the ribs.
Roast the ribs for 2.5-3 hours, until they're fork tender. Remove the lamb from the oven and crank the heat up to 500 degrees.
Cut the ribs into individual bones and flip them over, so the meat is on top now. When the oven is up to heat, slide the tray back in for 10-15 minutes. The ribs should be crackling and crisp by the time you take them out again.
Remove the ribs to a plate and drizzle a touch of balsamic vinegar over them before serving.
The best way to keep your kitchen cool this summer is to cook outside. Hit the grill and have a taco party. Easy to make for a crowd, simple enough for one.
Toast the new year with a charming dinner for two. Elegant and ever so luscious, you'll be happy to stay at home with a friend and a glass of champagne.