I’m going to go out on a limb here and make a crazy generalization here: most men like beer. Obviously as a pint but if you can incorporate beer into any other part of their daily nutritious intake, I doubt they would mind.I’ve been quite successful over the years, braising my new best friend–short ribs–in wine and spices but not so much with beer. It was time for another shot. Using Goose Island’s Bourbon County Stout which brought tears to my friends’ eyes–apparently it’s pretty hard to come by and NOT meant for cooking with. Though I learned early on you don’t cook with cheap wine, so why wouldn’t the same apply to beer? Rare ale and all, this recipe might have achieved perfection.
This simple meal has comforted me in both kitchens home and away. When my friend and I backpacked through Europe after college (wow, almost a decade ago…) it because a staple of our diet anytime we had access to a kitchen, whether it was the communal “kitchen” of a hostel or our own apartment for the week. It was a dish that made us feel normal. For a few moments, we weren’t dirty travelers living our of our backpacks for the next 10 weeks, having picnics of bread, fruit and cheese from the local Aldi and saving up for real restaurant dinners when we could (not that it wasn’t great!). But it was the moments when we had access to a kitchen that were magical. When we could pretend that we weren’t moving every few days, but grounded, just for a few days. We dined on pasta, salads, soups and occasionally some chicken or beef. The meals were always simple as we had a limited pantry to work with, but somehow the zucchini over pasta was always a favorite.
Well, the title says two, but really we probably could have fed 4-5 people with the amount of food I made. Did I mention I’m bad at cooking small quantities? The advantage, however, to cooking big is there’s always leftovers. Reducing the amount of nights I cook in a week and replacing that smelly deli sandwich with something actually edible.
My husband and I kept things quiet over New Years. Dinner on New Year’s Eve at Talde (don’t worry, you’ll hear ALL about that soon), then a nice dinner in on New Year’s Day. We got a rib roast as part of our quarter cow from Lewis Waite Farm. Normally, something to savor at a large dinner party, our roast was just shy of 3lbs, so better intended for a more intimate party. The roast has been sitting in our freezer for some time now. Partially because I’ve been to lazy to deal with it but also a bit intimidated to prepare my first roast. Yes, you heard right, I’m a roast virgin.