Friday, August 17, 2012

Tonight's Dinner: August 17, 2012

For dinner tonight I braised a small piece of beef shank with whole tomatoes to put over ravioli.  We're trying to clean out our fridge so I wanted to make sure that we used all of our major proteins and vegetables.  The next few days will be left overs and eggs central.  We have a ton of eggs that need to be eaten, which is fine by me.  I love eggs.  There may be a few Hot Pockets here and there also.  So just be aware that blogging may fall short...unless you want to see a fried egg over a pepperoni Hot Pocket.  

On to tonight's dinner.  I cut my beef shank in half for a faster cooking time since it was a week night.  We were planning to shred it to put on top of the ravioli. The beef turned out pretty well, but it would have been much more fall-apart-tender if it could have braised for five to six hours instead of three.  Once Nick noted that he thought Crock Pot meals were always acidic, that's all I can taste when I make them now even if I add a cream based substance at the end or sprinkle in sugar.  It is such a shame because I used to LOVE Crock Pot meals.  That's all I'd make throughout my Masters program. So it was a regular braising night for us.  I actually enjoyed the sauce more than the meat, but it always seems to turn out that way with me. 


This is a much prettier picture than after the tomatoes burst and wilted into
the sauce. 

Post blending.  

Braised Beef Shank 
1 boneless beef shank
8-10 whole roma tomatoes
1 yellow onion; quartered
2 heads of garlic
2 c chicken stock
1 c red wine
2 tbsp dried marjoram
2 tbsp dried oregano
2 tbsp dried parsley
4 tsp kosher salt
5 tsp black pepper   
Season beef shank with salt and pepper. On separate cutting board, cut tops of garlic and remove as much of the paper as possible without dismantling the head.  Trim only a little bit off of the root of the onion so that the quarters will stay intact.

Using a large cast iron pot, sear beef on all sides.  Add onion, whole garlic, and tomatoes to the hot pot.   Deglaze the pot with chicken stock and wine.  Add herbs, salt, and pepper to taste.  Bring to a rapid boil.  Cover and let simmer for three hours, stirring every 30 minutes.  
For sauce: 
Beef stock from Braised Beef Shank
1 c Greek yogurt 
Remove meat and garlic from broth.  Squeeze the garlic out of the casings into the broth.  Using a hand blender, blend the vegetables together until smooth. Bring Braised Beef Shank to a boil and let reduce. Once reduced by half, add Greek yogurt and blend.  

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