Whew! What a week! I completely planned on posting this recipe 2 days ago- however, I’ve been SO busy that that turned out to not be possible. Sooooo, Friday is better than never! Anyone else have a super busy week??
Alton Brown, the Good Eats guy, has been an influence in my cooking life for a few years now. He’s creative, funny, and incredibly knowledgeable on the science of food and cooking. Most of the time his shows focus around a certain type of food or cooking or preparation process and he goes into great detail, in a fun and understandable way, on how and why foods are prepared, cooked, put together- all in certain ways. Sounds nerdy and it is, but in a fun way.
One of the sciencey things that Alton has taught me is that low and slow is the way to go. And it’s true! Cooking foods at lower temperatures for longer periods of time helps the cells break down and become uber soft, and create a melding of flavors that can be out of this world!
Although, as much as I love Alton Brown, that’s not really what, or who, I’m talking about today. Today we’re talking about Low & Slow Southern Italian-Style Pork and Rachael Ray.
Low & Slow Southern Italian-Style Pork
Slightly altered from Rachael Ray‘s recipe for Southern Italian-Style Short Ribs.
- 2 thick pork chops, bone-in
- 2 beef steaks (or more pork or all beef)
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 2-oz can anchovy fillets (a MUST)
- 4 cloves garlic, sliced
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 onions, cut into wedges
- 1 large or 2 medium bulbs fennel, cut into wedges, plus 1/2 cup fennel fronds
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- scant palmful chopped golden raisins
- pinch of ground cloves
- 1 bottle spicy Italian red wine (or any red)
- 1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, coarsely chopped
- Orange or lemon zest (or both), for garnish
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.
Sprinkle the pork and beef liberally with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Arrange the ribs on a broiler pan and roast until well browned, 12 to 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large Dutch oven (or oven-proof pot) over medium-high heat. Add the anchovies and stir to melt them into the oil. Add the garlic, bay leaves, onions, and fennel bulb, and season with pepper. Stir for a few minutes to develop some color on the bottom of the pan, then add the tomato paste, raisins and cloves. Stir for a minute or 2 more, then add the wine and cook until reduced by half, about 10 minutes.
Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Add the short ribs to the Dutch oven and stir to coat with the sauce. Cover and roast in the oven until the ribs are very tender, 2 1/2 to 2 3/4 hours. Remove the ribs to a platter and cover with foil. Reduce the sauce 10 to 15 minutes more.
Reserve 4 short ribs for another meal. Add the remaining ribs (on or off the bone) to the sauce. Divide among serving dishes and top with the parsley, fennel fronds, a sprinkle of zest and some pecorino. Serve with the bread for mopping up the sauce.
So, this is truly a *Must Try* dish, as it is SO good. Super tender meat, wonderful, tangy flavor, and filled with fresh hints of spices, (wine), and lemon. The little fennel frons really make the whole dish pop.
I’m a huge fan of what I call, Melty Veggies, where they become soft and injected with flavor. The large chunks of onions and fennel are delicious! So yeah, try it!