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Posts Tagged ‘Grass-Fed’

Braised Korean Beef Short Ribs | Relishing It

Full disclosure: this is a blog post in two parts.  First, I lure you in with this recipe for these amazing ribs.  Then “POW!”, I hit you with some truth about what’s wrong with the way we as a society eat and what we can do about it.  Deal?  Alright, let’s start with the ribs.  My husband was still raving about them days later– they’re that good.  Honestly.  Subtly-sweet and balanced with just the right amount of salt.  The ginger, garlic, and orange juice are key.

Braised Korean Beef Short Ribs | Relishing It

I happened to have some gochugaru (Korean red chili pepper powder) left from making homemade kimchi. It worked wonderfully in this dish, but don’t worry if you don’t have it– it will still be amazing without it. Oh, and don’t forget to buy your ribs from someone you can trust, because quality matters.  These beauties came from Bar Five.  Braising season is here, and you really should put these ribs high on your priority list of things to make.

Braised Korean Beef Short Ribs | Relishing It

Now for my sermon.  I was on a run this summer listening to a podcast– because tricking myself into forgetting that I’m running by listening to something interesting is the only way I can tolerate it.  I believe the podcast was the brilliantly-titled ‘Go Fork Yourself’ with Andrew Zimmern and Molly Mogren.  The hosts were discussing the documentary ‘Fed Up‘– an excellent take-down of the Big Food industry.  After hearing them chat, I had to see the film, which came out on DVD a few weeks back.  Now I read a fair amount on food and health, so I was mostly aware of the threats that the large-scale processed-food industry pose.  Even so, this film was eye-opening.  As a passionate food blogger that cares about eating healthy food and really wants the best for not only my family, but yours too– I really think you need to see this documentary.

Braised Korean Beef Short Ribs | Relishing It

So, what is ‘Fed Up’ all about?  Basically, it’s an investigation into why we as a society have become morbidly obese over the past few decades.  It follows food fads, big corporations, nefarious political lobbying efforts, the costs to our health and healthcare system, and in the end provides an answer.  The real reason we’ve become so overweight, why childhood diabetes has exploded, why for the first time children will have a lower life expectancy than their parents comes down to… sugar.  Intrigued?  You should be.

Braised Korean Beef Short Ribs | Relishing It

The industry would have you believe that we’ve become overweight because we’re lazy, or that they’re just offering more choices and it’s up to us to make healthy decisions.  But that is a finely-crafted message backed by millions of dollars in advertising and lobbying payouts to politicians.  It’s hard to make the right decision when there is so much misdirection.  It’s hard to make the right choices when we subsidize sugar, rather than whole fruits and vegetables, making processed foods the the affordable option.  The fact is, we’re addicted to sugar– in all of its confusingly-named forms.  And that’s exactly how they want it.  I was stunned to see how hard people try to make the right food choices– to eat healthy– but to be dead-wrong because of the flood of misinformation.  The most heartbreaking part is watching how children suffer because they have no choice in the matter.  The majority of public school lunch programs have been co-opted by corporations like Coca Cola and Pizza Hut, serving up nachos, soda, and sugary tomato paste (which the government counts as a vegetable).

Braised Korean Beef Short Ribs | Relishing It

Yes, I make homemade food from scratch because it tastes better, but I also do it so I know that my family is eating real, nourishing food.  This is why I rarely buy food in packages– most of it is loaded with unnecessary sugar.  And the key here is “unnecessary sugar.”  I cook and bake with sugar.  There’s a place for it in my kitchen.  But at least I know just how much my family is taking in when we sit down to eat a meal.  And yes, my kids still get to eat ice cream, and cookies, and candy.  But it’s in moderation, and balanced by the fact that the majority of their calories come from real food– not the hidden sugar in a box of so-called “healthy” cereal.  There.  I’ve said my peace.  Sometimes it’s good to get things off of one’s chest.  I really do hope you watch this film, think about it, talk about, and share it with others.  It’ll be difficult, but we can get a conversation going in this country and make things happen.  Thanks for listening, friends.

Braised Korean Beef Short Ribs | Relishing It

The Recipe: Braised Korean Beef Short Ribs

(serves 4)

3 pounds of grass-fed beef short ribs

1/2 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup chopped white onion

6 garlic cloves, minced

3 tablespoons finely minced fresh ginger

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

1/2 cup rice vinegar

1/4 cup fresh orange juice and zest from 1 orange

1 tablespoon sesame oil

1 teaspoon gochugaru (korean red chili pepper powder), optional

salt and pepper

olive oil

toasted sesame seeds and chopped green onions, for serving

Preheat oven to 325°F.

Heat about 2 tablespoons olive oil a large Dutch oven.  Sprinkle ribs with salt and pepper and then brown for a few minutes on each side, or until they become dark brown in color. You may want to brown the ribs in two batches, depending upon the size of your pan.  Use more olive oil, as necessary.

Meanwhile, in a food processor or blender, blend the soy sauce, onion, garlic, ginger, brown sugar, rice vinegar, orange juice and zest, sesame oil, and gochugaru until smooth.  Pour the liquid over the browned ribs, cover, and braise for about 2 hours, or until the meat is fork tender and practically falling off of the bones.  If after 2 hours, it doesn’t do that, braise a bit longer.

Feel free to spoon off some of the fat that will rise to the top before eating.  Serve ribs with plenty of sauce, rice, toasted sesame seeds, and green onions.  Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by Relishing It!

Laurie

 

 

 

 

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Homemade Cultured Butter via Relishing It

The first time I made homemade butter I was eight years old.  I distinctly recall sitting in a circle with my classmates in Mrs. Peterson’s second-grade class.  We passed around a quart jar filled with fresh cream from a fourth-grade girl’s family dairy farm.  Each student shook the jar to exhaustion, and then passed it to the next.  Hand-to-hand, that jar moved around the circle until it suddenly transformed.  Mrs. Peterson spread a bit of that golden butter onto a saltine cracker for each of us to try.  It was amazing!

Homemade Cultured Butter via Relishing it

Homemade Cultured Butter via Relishing It

I still make homemade butter, though not nearly as often as I should.  And every time I do, I’m reminded of that first experience, and how incredibly simple it is.  You can either shake it in a jar, like I did that first time, but if you have a stand mixer you’ll find it’s even easier.  Really good store-bought butter is expensive, so it’s nice to be able to make my own.  My version is an organic, grass-fed cow, European-style (meaning it has a higher fat/less water content than traditional American butter).  It’s also cultured, which means it has a bit of a tangy flavor.  I add a little whole milk yogurt to the cream to achieve this.  You can control the level of  tanginess by varying how long you leave the mixture out at room temperature.  It’s that simple.

Homemade Cultured Butter via Relishing It

Homemade Cultured Butter via Relishing it

As always, use the best possible ingredients you can find.  Cream that hasn’t been ultra-pasteurized will give you the best result.  Though, if you don’t have access to such ingredients, give it a try anyway.  In Minnesota, my favorite cream comes from the Cedar Summit Farm.  Their products are organic, delicious, and they are the only 100 % grass-fed dairy in the state.  You may remember that I grew up on a small dairy farm, so I have a bit of a soft spot for a good one.  These guys are the real deal.

Homemade Cultured Butter via Relishing It

Homemade Cultured Butter via Relishing It

I prefer my cultured butter with a bit of sea salt.  Remember that your butter will last longer in the refrigerator with salt in it– it acts as a preservative.  Since the water content in this butter differs from regular varieties, it might be a good idea to not bake with it.  Instead, spread it on bread or fresh corn-on-the-cob and enjoy it’s unique, robust flavor.  I recently bought a flat of strawberries and made some jam.  It was absolutely heavenly swiping my piece of bread with butter and then spreading the strawberry jam on top.  Pure bliss.  Enjoy your butter making experience!

Homemade Cultured Butter via Relishing it

The Recipe:  Homemade Cultured Butter

1 pint good quality heavy cream, preferably organic and not ultra-pasteurized

2 tablespoons whole milk organic yogurt

1/2 teaspoon good sea salt, plus more to taste

In a large bowl, whisk the ingredients together and cover with a towel.  Let sit at room temperature until your desired level of tanginess is present, about 2 hours or longer.  When it tastes the way you prefer, pour the mixture into a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, (or into a quart jar with a lid).  Turn the mixer on low.  Then wait and watch for a few minutes until the mixture first becomes somewhat fluffy and homogenous, and then starts to separate.  The buttermilk will separate from the cream.  Carefully pour that buttermilk into a container and save it.  It will be amazing used in your favorite pancake recipe.  Next, pour 1/2 cup of ice cold water into the butter and continue to mix.  Pour out the water and discard as it becomes cloudy.  Continue to do this until no buttermilk remains in the butter.  The whole process takes about 10-15 minutes.  Taste the butter and smooth out with a rubber spatula, add more sea salt, if desired.  The more salt in it, the longer it will keep in your refrigerator.  Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by Relishing It!  Have a great weekend!

Laurie

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