Friday, September 6, 2013

Summer, Meet Fall

Ever so slowly we are creeping into more fall like weather.  A couple weeks ago, Tennessee had a cold front come through and we some genuinely early fall-like weather.  It was beautiful!  It made me crave slow cooked meat and rich amber beer.  Luckily, it was right about that week when grocery stores started busting out the pumpkin ales and oktoberfests.  (We opted for the Sierra Nevada Tumbler... it was a good choice.)  The vegetables are still decidedly summer though.  That is how this dinner came about.  Beer braised short ribs, a fresh summer salad, and some cooked down kale with garlic and red onions.
 I didn't write down recipes, but the general concept for all of this is really easy.

The local grassfed beef:  Trimmed off the (rather excessive) layer of fat--it was their cheap weekly special so I didn't complain.  Liberally coat with sea salt and black pepper.  Sear really well over med-high heat. Deglaze with some beer.  Add a couple crushed cloves of garlic and a sprig of fresh rosemary.  Add some more beer, maybe?  Cover and cook over med-low for about an hour adding beer as necessary to keep it all moist; until the beef is tender and falling off the bone.  Turn the heat up to med to cook off the liquid and form a glaze.

The summer salad:  Fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, and corn.  Fresh parsley and some lemon zest/juice.  A little olive oil, some plain lowfat yogurt, and salt and pepper.

The kale:  Caramelize about 1/2 an onion in extra virgin olive oil and/or butter. Throw in a little garlic and fresh thyme.  Add washed, chopped kale and a splash of liquid (stock, wine, beer....)  Cook until it is the desired texture.  ( I cook mine 8-10 minutes usually.)