Ox Tails

Saw a few ox tails at the store the other day and grabbed them.  I was all “oh boy!  big ‘uns!” but I find that they were not all that.  These were oven braised in a red wine reduction and beef broth over a bed of root veggies, same as the last time we did this.  Alas, the meat to bone and fat ratio was low in these larger cross sections and took some doing to tease the edible portions out.  The gravy was very good, though.  We separately roasted the same sorts of veggies to go with the tails, discarding the pieces that the meat cooked upon.The cloverleaf rolls saved the meal from being ho-hum.  These are the now standard pillow soft recipe rolls.  Yum!

Your dog wants steak

Managed to finish another patio bench for container plantings, and put together a second tomato rig with wire cage to hold a grape tomato I ran across.  I was going to put in a cherry tomato called “Husky Red” but a little reading told me that it was a fairly compact tomato bred for containers and would likely not need the tall cage.  I put it in a container with a relatively short wire frame that I used last year on a grape tomato that outgrew it in no time.

On the bench are cilantro, the compact cherry tomato, and fernleaf dill.  I have been looking for parsley but haven’t found any yet, nor have I seen any Roma tomatoes.  I did plant a couple of “Better Boy” tomatoes and some “Big Bertha” green peppers out in the big garden around back, along with basil that was extra.

The latest bench shows some design improvements over the first one, mitered joints and no end grains showing.  One of these days I may buy some real nice lumber and try something more advanced.

Mmm… Meatloaf

Thawed a couple of links of Italian sausage and a like amount of hamburger this afternoon while I piddled about in the basement.  Nothing special about the recipe, an egg, a splash of milk, a handful of bread crumbs, some Parmesan and an onion, some minced bell peppers.  Odds and ends of spices: dried basil, oregano, onion powder and garlic. Tossed some veggies in after the meatloaf had a head start, then cranked the heat when the meatloaf came out.  By the time the gravy was ready the veggies had some nice color.

Chicken in a cream of onion gravy

I’ve had a can of cream of onion soup in the cupboard for a long time and decided to move it out today.  I bought it for a project that I went a different way on and it became surplus.  I was pretty sure I could jazz it up some by sauteing some fresh onions so that’s the way it went tonight.  First I browned some boneless, skinless thighs in olive oil. I set those aside and browned a couple of small to medium onions in the same pan along with some minced garlic. When the onions had browned a little I poured in a can’s worth of heavy cream, and then the condensed soup.  Returned the chicken to the pan and covered it as it simmered and these veggies roasted in the oven.We are becoming quite fond of roasted parsnips.  Also tonight there were white potatoes, carrots, and Brussels sprouts.  These were tossed with olive oil and seasoned with garlic powder and salt and pepper.  I didn’t time them but about 45 minutes at 375 will do it.  They made a pretty platter with the chicken and onion gravy.

Crockpot Pork Roast

I was happy to see TaMara’s crockpot post yesterday.  They sure make cooking easy.  Mrs J hauled a pork butt out of the freezer and once it thawed we added a bunch of garlic, pushed whole cloves into slits in the meat, salted and peppered it,  and added a few cups of chicken stock.  Six hours on high and it was ready.

We tossed the veggies with a bit of olive oil and seasoned them with salt and pepper.  Tossed a few sprigs of thyme on top and gave them 40 minutes or so at 350.

Slather some butter on that whole clove garlic bread and have at it!  Yum!

Dinner today

We have a standup freezer, so when the grocery has a good deal on meat I tend to go for it.  Last week they had these humongous pork roasts, bone in, so I brought one home and carved it into three portions.

Took one of them out and thawed it today.  When it was thawed I marinaded it in olive oil, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar, kosher salt, fresh ground pepper, and some garlic and onion  powders. Oh, and some dried rosemary.  Gave it a couple of hours.  While it was soaking in all that goodness, I diced some veggies-a couple of potatoes, carrots, some cauliflower, and an onion.  I gave them the same general treatment with a similar marinade.

The meat and veggies, marinades included, then went into a 350 oven in a large stock pot with the cover on for nearly an hour, then I took the lid off to get some browning.  When I judged them ready, I removed the pork and the rest to a serving tray, and made gravy from the liquid in the bottom of the pot by adding some corn starch in a slurry of water.  A wee splash of Kitchen Bouquet for a deeper color as the gravy simmered on the stove top finished it.

It ended up very tasty, though next time I’ll cut the cauliflower bigger, and the other veggies smaller, and take the lid off for the browning step earlier.  The carrots and potatoes were perfect, but the cauliflower was a bit overdone.  The pork was fork tender.  Annie was disappointed when I wiped the plate clean with the garlic bread, she was thinking that job was hers.