Comfort Food and Easy Entertaining

As a private chef, caterer and cooking instructor I am often asked "What do you enjoy cooking when you're at home on a weeknight or entertaining guests at your table?" I started this blog to answer that question. Here I will share with all of you the recipes that I find delicious and comforting. Many of the recipes are my own versions of classic dishes, some are contemporary twists on old ideas, and some are discoveries I made while perusing my grandmother’s vast collection of cookbooks dating back to the early 1900’s. Please enjoy these videos. I have also included links to some of the published articles I have written recently. Please feel free to comment here or email me directly with any questions, comments or general thoughts. My email address and information on my catering, private chef and private cooking classes can be found on my website:

Root Beer Braised Beef Short Ribs

Root Beer Braised Beef Short Ribs – a delicious version of the classic beef stew

3 lb beef short ribs
Canola oil
Salt and pepper
2 medium red onions, ¼ inch dice
3 stalks celery, ¼ inch dice
2 carrots, ¼ inch dice
1 ½ lb crimini mushrooms, quartered
12 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
10 sprigs fresh thyme
2-4 fresh bay leaves
1 sprig fresh rosemary
2 whole star anise
1 tsp cumin
½ - 1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 cup red wine
3 cups dark beef stock
12 oz (or 1 ½ -2 cups) best quality root beer

Heat large cast iron pot over high heat. Add just enough canola (or vegetable oil) to coat bottom of pan. Season beef ribs generously with salt and pepper. Add ribs to pot one at a time, being careful not to crowd the pot (you may need to do this in batches).

Once all the beef ribs are well browned, remove from pot and add onions, carrots, celery, garlic and mushrooms. Saute over high heat until the vegetable begin to soften and caramelize, about 7-10 minutes. Add thyme, bay leaves and rosemary along with star anise, pepper flakes and cumin. Stir to combine and cook for 1 minute. Add wine and allow to evaporate. Add root beer and beef stock. Cover pot and simmer for 3 hours. After 3 hours, remove lid from pot and allow mixture to simmer an additional 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Serve over buttered noodles, polenta or mashed potatoes.

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