Emancipate Yourself from the Tyranny of Restaurants: It’s Hip to Downshift & Entertain at Home
FASHION-FORWARD: PRACTICAL, AND HEALTHY ALUMINUM FREE LE CREUSET SIGNATURE ENAMELED CAST IRON COOKWARE.
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Several months ago, Vogue magazine featured an article by a woman who had recently moved to Brooklyn, and was extolling the virtues of hosting dinner parties. There has been a movement amongst worldly urban hipsters in the 35-47 age range to explore and rediscover the lost culinary arts.
Never in my wildest imagination did I think I would find myself drafting an article with a Home Economics bent. In fact I am sad to say that in grade 8, I failed Home Economics. Probably due to spotty attendance and my inability to follow directions, coupled by crippling social anxiety.
SNAPPED IN A RESTAURANT:
The 1990’s Supermodel Trinity – Linda-Evangelista (speak no evil) Naomi-Campbell (hear no evil) and Christy Turlington (see no evil).
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It is now hip, fashionable, and cool to ‘downshift’ and take time to relax at home, breaking bread with a close knit group of friends. Dare I say it’s somewhat tiring going to crowded, noisy, restaurants and ordering food you can never be 100 percent assured will be prepared to your standards.
YOU WORK HARD SO FEEL GOOD ABOUT KICKING BACK AND DOWNSHIFTING ON THE WEEKEND
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In the name of research, I embarked on a culinary odyssey last weekend involving Baby-Back Pork-Ribs, which I am about to share with you. If you choose to follow my recipe, I assure you that you will be forced to put your work away and engage in some well deserved relaxation this weekend. You will be inspired to want to share this culinary delicacy with friends or possibly a lover. At first glance, the cooking instructions may appear labor intensive but rest assured, every step is meant to be completed at a relaxed, leisurely pace – punctuated by large spans of downtime in between each step. Do not proceed with making this dish if you have a weekend booked with time sensitive commitments and errands. This recipe has been drafted for Type-A personalities whose temperament dictates they have some sort of purposeful outcome – even when relaxing over the weekend.
STEP 1: YOU MAY BE FORCED TO BRAVE A BRIDGE OR A TUNNEL AND VENTURE TO A SUBURBAN GROCERY STORE.
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1) 7-10 pounds of Baby-Back Pork Ribs.
2) A package of Fajita spice mix to use as a meat rub.
3) XXLarge Ziplock baggies.
4) Anything needed for side dishes, salad, dessert., and copious amounts of alcohol if so desired.
(INGREDIENTS FOR BRAISING RIBS) WHICH WILL LATER BE REDUCED TO A TASTY BBQ SAUCE….
2 1/4 cups maple syrup
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons ketchup
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons W
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons of mustard powder
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2. THE MEAT RUB:
Take the ribs out of the package when you get home from work on Friday, and put in an XXL Ziplock bag. Sprinkle in the Fajita mix. Put them in the fridge and either monitor your Tinder account, ring a friend-with-benefits, or snuggle on the couch for a cozy night at home with your lover.
3. PREPARE THE INGREDIENTS (FOR BRAISING THE RIBS):
Right before bed, mix the ingredients for
braising the ribs
listed above. Add the contents to the XXL Ziplock baggie in the fridge, containing the meat which has been seasoning in the Fajita mixture since you got home from work. Hint: to help prevent a nasty accident, I advise doubling up on the XXL Ziplock baggies. One of the bones punctured my bag and resulted in a sticky, syrupy mess all over my already filthy kitchen floor. Or, to be safe – transfer everything overnight to a puncture-proof marinating bowl.
4. WHEN YOU WAKE-UP IN THE MORNING, COMMENCE THE OVEN-BRAISE:
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and transfer the ribs and marinade to a pot, like the one pictured above into the oven WITH THE LID ON. Maintain a watchful eye over your braising meat. The second the braising liquid appears to start bubbling into a boil, drop the heat instantly to about 250 degrees. Leave the ribs braising in the oven for roughly 4 hours (give or take an hour). At the 2.5-3 hour mark, check to see if the meat appears to be falling away relatively easy from the bone when prodded with a cooking utensil.
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5. PREPARE YOUR SIDE DISHES AND DESSERT WHILE THE MEAT IS BRAISING IN THE OVEN.
6. ONCE OVEN BRAISING IS COMPLETED, REMOVE THE MEAT FROM THE BRAISING POT WITH A SLOTTED SPOON.
Once the meat appears to be falling away relatively easy from the bone, when prodded with a cooking utensil, remove the ribs and any other solid matter from the braising pot.
7. STORE THE BRAISED MEAT IN THE FRIDGE, IN A BOWL. COVER THE RIBS WITH SARAN WRAP. PUT THE BRAISING POT, COMPLETE WITH LIQUID CONTENTS, IN THE FRIDGE MINUS THE LID AND LEAVE FOR AN HOUR OR TWO.
Important, remove the meat and solid contents from the braising pot. Wait about 45 minutes for the braising pot and its liquid contents to cool before placing it in the fridge with the lid off. Leave the pot in the fridge for roughly 2 hours: long enough for the fat to congeal and rise to the top. Once this has happened, skim the fat off the top of the liquid mixture in the braising pot and discard.
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8. PUT THE BRAISING POT WITH THE LIQUID CONTENTS ON THE STOVE WITH THE LID OFF, ONCE THE FAT HAS BEEN REMOVED FROM THE TOP.
Once the liquid hits a rolling boil ,drop the heat and let it simmer with the LID OFF for roughly 2 hours. You want the sauce to naturally reduce and thicken as much as possible. Add one tablespoon of cornstarch to the liquid after roughly 2 hours of reducing, and let it thicken more. Remove from the heat immediately, once this process has finished and stir vigorously with a whisk during this final stage of the thickening process.
9. REMOVE RIBS FROM THE FRIDGE AND TRANSFER TO EITHER THE OVEN (TO BROIL) WITH THE THICKENED SAUCE, OR THE BBQ.
Broil or BBQ the ribs long enough to allow the thickened sauce to caramelize, and the meat to be thoroughly warmed.
10. RELAX WITH YOUR FRIENDS AND LOVED ONES OVER A HIP-RUSTIC MEAL
Drafted By: Angela Krewenchuk
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