I have many talented friends, and as you know, Anna is one of them! She whips up the most amazing things, and today she’s sharing her friend’s family recipe with all of us here at foggy dress. She’s married, lives in San Diego, and saves lives for a living (literally…she’s a nurse). So….take it away Anna!
So lately, my fellow nurses have been on this cooking kick. Our day jobs may be to nurse the sick and injured, but on our days off we cook up some delicious food. If you’ve ever been to one of our unit’s potlucks, you’ve tasted the talent. To take the food fest a step further, we’ve decided to start cooking lessons with each other. Best. Decision. Ever!
We’ve had a few cooking lessons amongst each other, but when two of our nurses couldn’t make the cooking lesson this past weekend, I realized this would be the best way to share the amazingness. So this week’s cooking lesson is brought to you by my good friend, study partner, and trusty nurse-sidekick Julia Q and her family. Julia’s mom, we call her Mama Q, did all of the cooking, but we can’t forget the good company that also makes for a delicious well-rounded meal. Mama Q just so happens to be the daughter of an Italian fishermen and thankfully consented to teaching us how to cook one of her go-to dinners: Slow Cooked Short Ribs and Creamy Polenta. This is the best dish to prepare on a lazy day when you’re also planning to knock the socks off your guests in the evening.
*Disclaimer: I got a little excited and distracted (see below) so I didn’t take pictures of every single step. These cooking lessons were an experience. Everything from the vintage kitchen to gorgeously worn hardwood floors was a delight. It was also fun to see Mama Q work so naturally in her kitchen floating from one thing to the next. You can tell she is a natural chef/mom/wife/woman. Not to mention she uses only the best organic ingredients like locally sourced duck fat! Who does that?!
Keep reading for more pics (including a super cute doggie) & the recipe…
See?! Very distracting company! OK now to the good stuff. Start with 6 short ribs. These are chuck roast ribs. Coat those bad boys in flour, salt, and pepper.
Heat Sunflower Oil in pan on high heat. Now, I bet you read that and thought, “why sunflower oil?” There has been speculation as to what happens to olive oil at high eats. EVOO has a low smoke point and when it’s heated above that temperature, it starts to break down and loose its nutritional benefits and start creating more free radicals and we don’t like free radicals. At your local grocer, look for oils that say “high heat” and save the EVOO for sauces and light sautés.
Set the meat aside, admire your work, and turn the stove down to a medium heat.
Get your veggies (carrots, onions, fresh garlic) ready and add to the pot. S&P to taste. Brown them for about 10 minutes.
In a separate bowl, add your lemon juice, tomatoes, and tomato paste. And get your fresh thyme and rosemary on deck.
Then add chicken broth and the lemon juice + tomato mixture. (See that big bulb in the center of the pot? that’s the fresh garlic!)
Let this reduce for 10 minutes on a low simmer and then add the fresh herbs. Return the browned meat to dutch oven.
Place the cover on the dutch oven, place in a 150 degree oven, and set a timer for 4 hours. You’ll know it’s done if the meat falls off the bone and is tender to touch. Remove from oven and let stand for a few minutes before skimming the fat from the top. This would be the perfect time to make the polenta. I didn’t take any pics of the polenta process but it’s simple! I have to say one thing about buying polenta. It was hard to find, but I found it at whole foods for about $3 and change. Bob’s Red Mill “Organic Polenta Corn Grits” was in the oatmeal aisle, not in the rice or italian sections.
Great sides include roasted summer veggies, a simple salad, roasted beets, and fresh peonies. Thank you Mama Q and the entire Q family for inviting us over. I promise to be a better photographer with our next cooking lesson, so stay tuned!
Short Rib Ingredients:
¾ Cup Flour
2 teaspoons Salt
1 teaspoon Pepper
6 Beef (Chuck) Short Ribs
1 ½ Tablespoons Sunflower Oil
2 diced carrots
1 diced onion
1 bulb fresh garlic (unpeeled, it looks like fennel bulb when fresh)
10 ounces whole plum tomatoes with juice
Juice of 3 lemons
2 teaspoons tomato paste
½ Cup chicken broth
1 Stem fresh rosemary
1 Stem fresh thyme
Short Rib Instructions:
Preheat oven to 150 degrees. In a baking dish, mix flour, salt & pepper together. Pat dry 6 ribs and coat ribs in flour mixture on all sides. Heat sunflower oil on high heat in Dutch oven and brown short ribs 2 -3 at a time, depending on size of dutch oven. Make sure to brown all sides of ribs before removing from heat. Place meat aside and turn stove down to medium heat. Add carrots, onions, & fresh garlic to dutch oven. Salt & pepper to taste while the vegetables brown (about 10 minutes). Add lemon juice, tomato paste, whole plum tomatoes and their juice to the browned vegetables, and chicken broth. Let this reduce for about 10 minutes on low simmer. Add fresh rosemary, fresh thyme, and meat. Cover and place in oven at 150 degrees for 4 – 5 hours. Let cool and skim fat before enjoying.
Creamy Polenta Ingredients:
6 Cups water
1.5 Cups Polenta Corn Grits (Bob’s Red Mill)
2 Tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon salt
2 – 3 Heaping Tablespoons of goat cheese
Bring water to boil. Add butter and salt. Slowly whisk in polenta and add goat cheese last. Stir well and serve warm.