Brandy Old Fashioneds + Red Meat = A Mad Men kind of evening.
P.S. The other reason it was like living in an episode of Mad Men is because Lisa and I are outrageously beautiful like January Jones and Christina Hendricks...but I didn't want to go there and sound conceited.
These look even better than the finished product, don't they? Swimming in bubbly lager, encrusted with salt....mmmm...my arteries....Argentinian Short Ribs with Chimichurri Sauce (from Argentinean Recipes)
-6 cloves garlic
-1 white onion, finely chopped
-2 bunches Italian parsley, stems trimmed
-Juice of 2 large lemons
-1/2 tsp chili flakes
-1/4 tsp cayenne
-1/2 cup olive oil
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
-1/2 cup coarsely ground black pepper
-1/4 cup light brown sugar
-1/4 cup paprika
-2 tbs coarse salt
-6 lb beef short ribs, trimmed
-2 bottles beer
1. Preheat oven to 275 F.
2. In a food processor, blend garlic and onion. With motor running, add parsley, lemon juice, chili flakes and cayenne. As mixture starts to become chunky, add oil in a steady stream. Continue to process until relatively smooth and thick. Using rubber spatula, scrape mixture into a bowl. Add salt and pepper. Set aside.
3. In a small bowl, combine pepper, brown sugar, paprika and salt; mix together thoroughly.
4. Rub beef ribs with spice. Place in roasting pan. Pour beer around beef; cover pan with foil. Bake in preheated oven for three hours. Cut into individual rib portions.
5. Preheat barbecue or grill to medium-high. Grill ribs for five minutes or until crusty and tender. Serve with chimichurri sauce. (**I realize now that I completely forgot to grill the ribs for 5 minutes after taking them out of the oven. Ah well.**)
Pepper-Spiked Polenta (from Cooking Light)
-4 cups water
-1 cup yellow cornmeal
-1/2 teaspoon salt (**NOTE: You will need more, unless you are not a fan of things that have flavor. And a crap-ton of extra pepper. Then this is a yummy recipe.**)
-1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
-1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (**OR, do as I very naughtily did and grate some extra mozzarella in there...mmm...cheesy!**)
1. Coat a 2-quart casserole with cooking spray.
2. Combine water, cornmeal, salt, and pepper; mix well.
3. Cover with casserole lid; microwave at HIGH 12 minutes or until thick, stirring after 6 minutes.
4. Stir in cheese. Serve immediately.
Verdict: You are a winner, Argentina. We all seriously enjoyed your tender, spiced meat-stuffs, as well as your refreshingly spicy and tart chimichurri sauce. The polenta is not particularly Argentinian (at least, not that I know of), but it went quite well with the meal.
I'll fess up to the fact that I rarely make meat, because I find meat extremely scary and confusing. For instance, at the butcher, I saw that there were two things labeled as "short ribs," but they looked completely different--one was very thick, the other very thin. What, then, are you supposed to buy when something calls for short ribs? I still don't know. I went for the thick ones, which I was unable to split in half after cooking, due to the dense bone running through each one. I then carved the meat off the bone, only to find that a full half of each rib was solid fat. That means that out of the 3 pounds of ribs I bought (for $16), there was perhaps 1 pound (probably less) of edible meat. Very sad! Delicious, but sad.