Dinner report

February 27, 2010

Not to get too complex about the whole thing, but, Yum.

Petit Jean Farms free-range, grass-fed beef is SO worth four bucks a pound.

Here you see a cross between meatballs and slider patties; i.e., a meatball flattened out a little, seared on both sides, and then simmered for an hour in a lovely, rich marinara sauce, spooned over orzo, with a side of coriander roasted carrots.

Oh. My. God. This was so good I forgot to add the parmegiano I’d just grated, but it didn’t matter.

And when you consider that pound of ground beef, by the time you add a half-cup of cracker crumbs and an egg to it, made enough meatball/sliders for four, y’know, that ain’t no  bad deal. Not at all. But the meat just defies description. I don’t think I’ll ever buy grocery ground beef again.

I was going to make risotto, but I decided I’d rather sit down with my feet up and let orzo cook by its ownself rather than stir risotto and ladle broth. Risotto remains on the list for one of these evenings.

I made the aforementioned meatball sliders, as described above, plus a little salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. Regular saltine cracker crumbs; about half a single stack of crackers, squashed in a plastic bag with a rolling pin. One egg. Squish, squish with the fingers. Sear, sear in a medium hot skillet with olive oil.

Another thing about this PJF beef. Because it has no extra liquid or preservatives added, it sears SO well. I mean, a great, gorgeous, tasty brown crust on those babies.

Took them out of the pan, sauteed an onion until  it was soft, threw in about four cloves of garlic. Added a healthy dose of red wine (maybe 3/4 of a cup?) Added two cans of tomatos and a can of tomato paste. Fennel, basil, oregano. Stirred it up, let it cook down a little. Put the meatballs/sliders back in. Covered it and forgot about it for an hour while I drank wine and roasted carrots. Grated the cheese, cooked the pasta, forgot the cheese, plated and thoroughly enjoyed.

Breakfast this morning was at the racetrack kitchen, followed by a walk through the stables. Grits and bacon, and then the smell of fresh hay and horses. Bright winter sunshine, moderately decent temps. Can’t beat it. I am beginning to feel halfway human again, and the sunshine and the fact I don’t have to put on all the clothes I own just to stay warm certainly helps.

Plus good red wine and good food and friends.

Hope it’s pretty where you and y’mama ‘n ’em are, and you enjoy the weekend.

Tonight I believe is going to be butter chicken, aka chicken markhani or something like that, but it has cumin and coriander and cardamon and onion and garlic and cayenne and sounds damn good.


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