I hear that hunter green is going to be big this fall. It's a great color-- a classic autumnal hue that stretches the imagination to romanticized notions of fox hunting (the kind where they don't actually hurt the fox) and that sort of thing. Autumn is a great time for stoking the imagination with things like velvet and tweed, burnished leathers and brass, fox hunting and Scottish parties in the countryside. And hunter green is good for that look.
Oh, but people will complain. "That color is boring. It's so overdone," they'll say. And, "How unoriginal," they'll moan. But, so what. What could be called "unoriginal" could also be "time tested and true." What some could describe as "lacking in imagination," I prefer to think of in terms of exciting the imagination. Is that so wrong, I ask you?
After all, it's fun to pretend you're an overburdened aristocrat seeking the soul-soothing greenness of your country estate. Of course, you'd need a riding jacket and a chestnut colored horse with a white star on its forehead waiting for you in the stable and there would be lots of fancy dinner parties and pubs... See? There's lots of fun stuff to imagine.
This is somewhat of a defense for my current and past cooking styles. I could be more inventive and adventuresome. And maybe I should be. But things like hunter green and red meat braised and simmered in wine and stock with aromatics and vegetables are good, too. There's a reason they've both been around for so long.
Braised Short Ribs
6-8 short ribs
1/2 a bottle of red wine
2 C of stock (beef would be preferable, I'm sure. I used some mystery poultry stock from the deep freezer.)
3 stalks of celery
3 cloves of garlic
small can (6 oz?) of tomato paste
1 tbs of sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
fresh thyme sprigs (or dried. Whatever.)
Season short ribs with salt and pepper. Brown the meat in a skillet or dutch oven about 4 minutes a side over medium high heat. It should set off your smoke detectors. If not, turn up the heat on the burners and replace the batteries in your smoke detectors.
Preheat oven to 400° and chopped carrot, celery, and onion into a large dice/small chop sort of thing. Put veggies (include the garlic cloves but leave them whole) on roasting pan and coat them with olive oil, give them a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and roast in the oven for 20 minutes.
In your dutch oven (drain rendered fat from short ribs in you browned them in the dutch oven) heat 1 tbs of olive oil over med/high heat and cook tomato paste for 4-5 minutes.
Then whisk in red wine, stock, vinegar, and raisins (they add sweetness to balance the acids, and red wine and raisins come from grapes so it's not that crazy).
Return meat to the dutch oven, add the roasted vegetables, and bay leaf and thyme sprigs.
Reduce oven temperature to 300° and place tight fitting lid on dutch oven. Braise in the oven for 2 hours then check (mine was read at 2 hours & 20 minutes).
The meet should be fork tender and there should be a nice gravy sort of sauce swimming around the short ribs. If the meat is not ready and/or the sauce is burning away, add water to thin it to your liking. Continue braising for another hour or so if necessary.
Serve over cooked egg noodles.
What it lacks in originality, it makes up for in all around goodness.