Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Whatever You Had Planned For Dinner Tonight....Make This Instead

As in many families, the kitchen is the hub of our home. EVERYTHING happens in there. So, just over a year ago when we moved into a lovely new house with a FABULOUS kitchen, I was in Heaven. We'll call it a state-of-the-art gift from the previous owners, shall we? And that's exactly what it is. A gift. Sure, it's lovely for our little family, but it goes further than that because there are ALWAYS more people here than our immediate five.  Whether it's Tim's family (all local), our priests or friends from church, neighbors, or my parents, the kitchen is always full. And this doesn't include holidays or birthdays when we're even more crowded!

Yes, we would be that family on House Hunters who comment on how "this kitchen would be GREAT for entertaining!" But at least for us it would be a valid consideration. That makes it less obnoxious, right?  And we won't even discuss how much more fun it is to play "I have my own food network show" while cooking in a nice big kitchen than it was in the kitchen NOOK that was carved into a corner of our old apartment.

Don't even try to tell me that you don't pretend you have your own Food Network show.

ANYWAY.  Having this new kitchen made cooking so much more fun and opened up a world of opportunities for me to try new things. One day last winter during my monthly Costco Meat Counter Prowl, I decided to buy a package of short ribs for minestrone soup. (Yum. Minestrone soup.) Now, I don't know if you've ever bought short ribs there, but surely you know how it works at Costco. Go big or go home. And so I had to come up with something to do with the rest of those ribs.

Thank you, Chef Google.

This recipe is possibly the easiest, most delicious, and DEFINITELY best smelling thing you could ever possibly do with short ribs. Honestly. Here it is, with my modifications:


  • 1 (28 ounce) can tomato sauce (I used one 14oz can and one 14 oz can diced or stewed tomatoes)
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley (instead of parsley & thyme, I use 2 1/2 T Herbes de Provence. DO IT THIS WAY.)
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 medium onion, cut into rings
  • 3 pounds beef short ribs 


  1. In a large pan over medium-high heat, stir in tomato sauce, lemon juice, and Worcestershire sauce. Stir in parsley, thyme, bay leaves, brown sugar, salt, and red pepper flakes. Add onions and short ribs, and stir together until the mixture comes to a boil.
  2. Cover, reduce heat to medium low (LOW), and simmer; stirring occasionally and skimming fat from surface, until meat is tender, about 2 1/2 hours. Remove bay leaves before serving.

**DON'T turn up the heat and DON'T brown the meat first. I made that mistake last time. Just trust me. Throw it in raw, cover it with sauce, put the lid on and LEAVE IT ALONE FOR TWO HOURS.**

YOU GUYS. You will love this. The meat falls apart as you remove it from the pot.  Put the extra sauce on the table and pour it over your meat & mashed potatoes. Oh Sweet Heaven.  And! If you have extra sauce (it makes a lot) marinate and bake some chicken in it a few nights later. It's just as delicious.

You know how sometimes you cook dinner, eat, clean up and every thing's done and then you go into the kitchen a while later and the Dinner Smell just smacks you in the face? And you think, "ugh. Dinner." You know that feeling?  With this dinner, when you walk back into the kitchen, you think, "yum. Lavender." Now that's a nice way to end the day.

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