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Someday when I grow up…
… I want to cook like Jenny McGruther of Nourished Kitchen.
I mean, yeah, I do consider myself a fairly decent cook, but there is something about the way that Jenny cooks, photographs, and talks about food that takes it to an entirely new level.
I’ve been a fan of Jenny’s blog for quite a while now, so when I heard she was working on a new cookbook, my mouth started watering in anticipation.
I was lucky enough to receive a copy of the Nourished Kitchen cookbook last week. Heck, I already feel like a better cook just from having this cookbook in my kitchen, and I’ve only made one recipe so far!
The Nourished Kitchen: Farm-to-Table Recipes for the Traditional Foods Lifestyle
It’s not very often that a cookbook could double as a coffee table display book, but this one definitely can. (I’d need to have an extra copy in order to keep in on my coffee table though… As it stands right now, my copy will be busy in my kitchen for a loooong time.)
Jenny has a poetic way of describing the time-honored, nutrient-dense foods that she highlights in her 320-page book. This cookbook is far more than a simple collection of recipes; it takes you on a historical journey through the staples of a traditional-foods diet. From crusty sourdough breads to savory, slow-cooked meats, to impeccably seasoned vegetables, The Nourished Kitchen is a wholesome journey into a better way of eating.
I especially love how the book is arranged. Instead of the recipes being categorized into main dishes, desserts, or sides, they are grouped according to where they are sourced–making this the ideal cookbook for the local food enthusiast:
- chapter 1: from the garden
- chapter 2: from the pasture
- chapter 3: from the range
- chapter 4: from the waters
- chapter 5: from the fields
- chapter 6: from the wild
- chapter 7: from the orchard
- chapter 8: from the larder
And now… on to the recipe!
Braised Short Ribs with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Herbs
What would a virtual dinner party be without a hearty main dish? I made these decadent short ribs last week in my trusty dutch oven and they were to-die for… The smell that filled my home while they were cooking was totally worth the effort–not to mention the flavor!
- 8 bone-in beef short ribs (about 7½ pounds )
- ½ teaspoon finely ground unrefined sea salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter or lard, plus more if needed
- 4 ounces bacon, finely chopped
- 4 carrots, peeled and diced
- 6 ribs celery, diced
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary needles
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 2 cups dry red wine, plus more if needed
- 2 cups Beef Bone Broth (recipe follows), plus more if needed
- 2 bay leaves
- Preheat the oven to 250°F.
- Trim the ribs of any sinew or silver skin with a sharp knife, then rinse them and pat them dry. Sprinkle the ribs with the salt and pepper and set them on a plate.
- Melt the butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat. When it froths, stir in the bacon and fry it until it releases its fat and turns brown and crispy, about 6 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside in a bowl.
- Increase the heat to high and, working in batches to avoid crowding, place the short ribs in the pot. Brown them for 1 minute on each side, then return them to the plate. When all the ribs have been browned, decrease the heat to medium and add the carrots, celery, onion, and garlic to the pot. Fry the vegetables, adding more butter if necessary, until softened and fragrant, about 5 minutes.
- While the vegetables cook, combine the sun-dried tomatoes, rosemary, and thyme in a mortar and pound them with a pestle until they form a uniform paste. Alternatively, process the tomatoes and herbs in a food processor until they form a paste.
- Stir the tomato and herb paste into the Dutch oven, then return the short ribs and bacon to the pan. Stir in the wine and broth. Drop in the bay leaves, then cover the pot and transfer it to the oven. Leave the pot in the oven for 6 hours, until the meat falls off the bone under the firm pressure of a fork. Check on the contents from time to time and add more wine or broth as necessary to keep the ribs covered. Remove the bay leaves and serve.
- 5 pounds beef soup bones
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 sprigs thyme
- 3 tablespoons whole black peppercorns
- 2 large yellow onions, quartered
- 3 carrots, chopped
- 2 celeriac, peeled and chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1 cup red wine
- 2 gallons water, plus more as needed
- Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Arrange the bones in a roasting pan in a single layer and roast for 45 minutes. Transfer the bones to a heavy stockpot. Toss in the bay leaves, thyme, peppercorns, onions, carrots, celeriac, and garlic. Pour in the red wine and water.
- Bring the liquid to a boil over high heat, then immediately lower the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for at least 12 and up to 18 hours, adding water as necessary to keep the bones submerged.
- Strain the broth through a fine-mesh sieve, discard the solids, and pour the broth into jars. Cover the jars and place them in the fridge; you can remove the fat that hardens on the surface and use it for cooking. Use up the broth within a week, or freeze it for up to 6 months.