Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Beef Short Ribs and Orzo Casserole

Sunday April 12 was dedicated to one thing: getting to 9pm and episode one of the fifth season of "Game of Thrones." But we still had to eat. During our morning coffee ritual, Ann asked the question, "Do you have any meat?" As in, were there any unloved proteins in the cooler at work?

Poking around the cooler at work yielded some local beef short ribs: the amount Martin's delivered last week was just too much to fit in our braising pan. And Ann had a plan to make an orzo casserole, so we grabbed some of that too while we were in town. I sensed that the short ribs pleased Ann greatly: she's definitely the carnivore in our family. I could live pretty happily without any meat at all, except for pork. But if I have to eat beef, there is none better than our local beef from Martin's Angus Beef.

Beef Short Ribs
Back at home, I rubbed the ribs with salt and pepper and put them in a 350F oven so that they would be done by dinner time. They ended up in the oven for 5 hours and were as tender as could be.

Meanwhile, the kitchen full of great smells was driving us crazy. There is nothing to stoke hunger more than something delicious roasting away in the oven and perfuming the entire house with hunger-inducing scents. We desperately needed to eat some lunch as we binged on the new season of the "Breaking Bad" prequel "Better Call Saul" before watching the last couple of episodes of "Game of Thrones" season 4 in preparation for the season opener, so I warmed up some focaccia in the oven and pulled out a local goat cheese crottin and a salame. If you feel like you've seen this before somewhere on this blog, you might be right. Bread, cheese, and salame is one of our favorite casual meals.

Orzo Casserole with Gruyère and Dill
Ann wasn't feeling super well, so I made her orzo casserole by tossing cooked orzo with a quick chicken stock velouté, grated Gruyère, and fresh dill. The sprinkle of grated pecorino on top browned very nicely after about 45 minutes in the oven.

Orzo Casserole, Roasted Beef Short Ribs
When I say that beef doesn't float my boat, I really mean steak doesn't float my boat. Braised or gently roast beef is a very different matter. I thoroughly enjoyed this delicious meal and judging from the lip smacking sounds across from me, I would say that Ann did too. Even Carter made a rare appearance to eat something other than peanut butter or cereal.

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