Thursday, February 13, 2014

The longest winter

I'm as ready for this latest snowy End Times as I'll ever be, if a whole lot more prepared for End Times with refrigeration. Assuming the power doesn't go out, we're set for some time. I've gotten into the rhythm of an impending storm. Groceries, yes, but this time I'm psychologically prepared for this latest round of not leaving the apartment (with the exception of walking the dog). Having seen firsthand that it's just as cold and miserable in Brooklyn, I'm somehow less bitter about my own New Jersey hermit situation.

I have made peace with the situation, and am currently braising an enormous short rib, one that I brought home on NJ Transit earlier this week, as one does. It seemed the right thing for the weather. Every recipe for this seems to call for a Dutch oven, which I neither have nor have the space for, so this is full-on stovetop improvisation. It's stew, basically, but without flour. I first browned the rib in butter, which seemed very professional. I don't have tomato paste, celery, or - potentially more problematic - any broth of any kind, homemade or otherwise. I am, as the Slate cooking series would say, Doing It Wrong. But my impression is that slow-cooking beef in beer or wine, with whichever likely-candidate vegetables are at hand (in this case, carrots, an onion, garlic, and some fridge-dried thyme), can't lead to disappointment. One can always add more salt. How bad can it be?

I think we have, here, the title for the future WWPD cookbook: How Bad Can It Be?


Britta said...

Do you have bouillon cubes? They are really cheap, last forever, and make instant broth. They're maybe not as tasty as fresh broth you buy, but they work almost equally as well in anything needing broth.

Phoebe said...

Good thinking! I don't have them - not for any principled reason (if I had broth, it would almost certainly be of the long-lasting boxed variety), but because I'd forgotten it existed. On the wild off-chance the roads here will ever be car-compatible again, I should pick some up.