Totally inspired by Surfrunner, I'm posting pics of the dinner I made last night, and sort-of recipes, as best as I remember them.
I made beef short ribs over mashed potatoes and parsnips with an heirloom tomato salad. It was good, if kind of heavy--we were both stuffed. The great thing about short ribs is you can start them like 3 hours or more before you want to eat them, and do other things in the meantime. And they're so yummy.
I started by frying some coarsely chopped onion and bacon in a big enameled cast-iron oval dutch oven. Then I seared the ribs on each side in the same pot, deglazed with some shiraz, added some bay leaves and parsley and a bunch more shiraz and some chopped carrots, covered up the pot, and put it in the oven at 350. I left it there for about 4 hours, checking it occasionally and adding liquid whenever it looked in danger of burning, and ladling the liquid over the ribs a couple of times.
About an hour before we wanted to eat, I chopped up five parsnips and five baby Yukon potatoes, peeled five cloves of garlic, cut a big hunk of butter into little bits, and put all those in a smaller enameled cast-iron oval pot, topped off with a lot of rosemary branches. That went into the oven next to the ribs pot.
About an hour later when the parsnips were soft and roasty-looking, I took the pot out, added more butter and a little cream and some fresh chopped parsley, and mashed everything up with a potato masher, which is easily one of my favorite kitchen tools.
Our friends from whom we got the giant mystery squash (which actually turned out to be a mutant ginormous zucchini) kindly gave us a whole bunch of beautiful heirloom tomatoes that they are growing in their (clearly thriving) garden this summer. I sliced up some of those, poured a bit of olive oil over them, and scattered torn basil leaves around the plate:
and served us each a big rib on top of a pile of parsleyed parsnip-potato puree, which I tried to get Jam Guy to say five times fast, but he didn't want to:
That rib had a bay leaf sort of glazed onto it. I thought that was neat. Hard to get a picture of, also because I was rushing to take the pic before our food got cold.
It was super-yummy, and Toby enjoyed eating the bones. The tomatoes were, as tomatoes continue to be for me lately, an absolute revelation in how good and how diverse tomatoes can be. The deep red-and-orange one was big, fleshy, and very sweet, almost cloyingly sweet but not quite--almost obscene in its juicy meatiness. The little green-yellow ones were crisper and kind of lemony-tart, and so the two types balanced each other really well. I'm excited to grow all kinds of tomatoes here next summer.