Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Snowmageddon rages on leaving its victims exhausted...and hungry!

Seriously, this weather has got to give us a break! There was so much snow piled up over the porches last week, that we had to hire our wood guy and his helper to come over Saturday morning and scrape the icy mountains off so that the rooves wouldn't collapse from the weight. Then it was 40 degrees yesterday morning and everything was melting, we had a mini-blizzard that evening, and by 8am today, The Weather Channel reported that the wind chill was making it "feel like" 23 below! And yet, they say by Friday, it may hit 50 degrees! BIZARRE! Clearly, winter isn't done having its way with us yet. So we still need some hearty, stick-to-your-ribs fare to carry us through the last few arctic blasts. And I've got a couple for you that are quite YUMMY!

The first recipe is my twist on a dish posted on the Fix It and Forget It website for barbecued black beans with sweet potatoes, which would make a wonderfully flavorful and filling vegetarian meal on its own. But I found some boneless baby back ribs at Sam's Club recently that I decided to involve in the dish. So I spiced them generously with some BBQ rub and browned them in my large Dutch oven in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Then I fished them out and in the leftover oil, I sauteed two celery ribs, one large onion (diced), and two cloves of minced garlic.Then I added 1/2 teaspoon each ground cumin, coriander, and black pepper, two bay leaves, a tablespoon of hot sauce, and about 1 1/2 cups of Sweet Baby Ray's barbecue sauce, mixing it all together. I put the meat back into the sauce, covered the pot, and put it in the oven at 300 degrees. About an hour later, I added a large (29 oz?) can of drained black beans and and two large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut in chunks. I returned the covered pot to the oven, lowered the heat to 275, and let it cook for another 2-3 hours until everything was sufficently tender and super-delicious!

Then tonight, my roommate and collaborated on a pretty easy and very tasty Beef Stroganoff that's worth making a record of for a return engagement in the future. By the bye, I remain completely enchanted by my Le Creuset dutch oven that I bought last year, but both of these dishes would be excellent candidates for the crock pot!

Beef Stroganoff

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 lbs. stew meat
one large onion, chopped
1 lb. mushrooms, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon paprika
3 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon hot sauce, or to taste
1 cup beef broth
1 can golden mushroom soup
1 cup sour cream

Heat a large skillet or braiser, add the olive oil and brown the meat. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Saute the onions and mushrooms in the skillet, and when almost fully tender, add the minced garlic. When the vegetables have cooked through, season with salt, pepper, thyme and paprika. Then stir in the worcestershire sauce, ketchup, hot sauce, beef broth, and the golden mushroom soup. Add the beef back and combine everything. Simmer for 2-3 hours or until beef is tender enough to suit you, then stir in the sour cream, and serve over hot egg noodles.

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