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.
I always knew getting married would mean compromises, especially when it came to family.Ever since I was a little kid, missing Thanksgiving, Christmas or Easter was a big no-no. Birthdays could be shifted around a bit, and long periods of non visiting were acceptable (particularly when I lived in Philly) but nothing was more important than celebrating with family on these three days. When I got married to, not my high school sweetheart, but still a friend from my hometown, I thought how great life was. Both sets of parents lived within 10 minutes of each other. There was no need to travel halfway across the country, decide whose parents were “more important” to visit for each holiday, then switch it up the next year. It was all well and good in theory, but not so much in practice. Instead of splitting and alternating like many couples, we double celebrate each holiday. That means two Christmases, two Easters and yes, two very filling Thanksgivings. Two food centric events on the same day.
Success! The nontraditional heart and chocolate Valentines Dinner was a success! If you happened to be seated at our dinner table, and didn’t know you would be eating heart, you probably wouldn’t be any the wiser. Beef heart (at least went slow cooked and smothered with mole sauce) tastes a lot like tender steak, think Filet Mignon. At first I was pretty worried the meat would be chewy. When I stirred the pot partway through the cubes of meat seemed very tough and dense. However, the dish was nothing but delicious. I noticed the heart had a stronger beefy flavor and was firm but super tender. I think my next experiment will include it in a stew or maybe chili.
When I think of Valentine’s Day, like most people thoughts of hearts and chocolate flood my brain. While I like to think of myself as a romantic, I tend to lean more towards reality. And sometimes my sweet gestures might come with a bit of my sarcasm. Like Valentine’s Dinner. When we ordered our quarter cow from Lewis Waite Farm, we were fortunate enough to choose our own cuts. We went with a lot of steaks, an average amount of ground beef, and some smaller roasts for 2 or 4. My husband INSISTED on throwing in some organ cuts–liver, kidney, oxtail and heart. He said HE would cook it. Yeah right. I love my husband dearly, but his advanced culinary skills include dishes like (boxed) mac & cheese, tacos and meatloaf that he’s made several dozen times but still relies on the recipe. I’ve tried to introduce him to easy cooking tools, like the slow cooker, with little success. Needless to say, those organs have been buried in the bottom of our chest freezer for close to a year. So I decided on this day of hearts and chocolate, it was best appropriate to serve him a little heart for dinner.