This time of year, every year, corned beef brisket returns in force to the butchers section of your local grocery store. Corned beef is a guilty pleasure of mine, and we’ve gone through 10-15 lbs every March. The pink interior of the brisket you’ve known and loved is from using either pink salt with sodium nitrate or other added nitrates/nitrites. Skipping this will result in a grayer brisket, but still great flavor.
This year, we decided to take the plunge and figure out how to make our own corned beef. Fun fact: the “corned” in corned beef has to do with salt-curing, or brining, the brisket. We experimented with a quick corning, and while the flavor was good after 24 hours, the brisket was dry and less tender. Make sure to allow the brisket to brine for at least 5 days, if not 6-10 days. If you don’t have that kind of time, find an already corned brisket and throw it in your Instant Pot—you’ll be up and running for St. Patrick’s day in record time.
Over the past few months, we have been making arrangements for our first child as well as learning the ropes of pregnancy. One of the most common tropes we’ve heard is the random, off-putting, late-night food cravings; in most stories, the dutiful spouse rushes off to a store or restaurant to buy whatever will satisfy the craving. This hasn’t been our experience, however. It’s true that we may have more coconut- and cashew-based ice cream on hand than normal; but we also finished wiring the outlet for our chest freezer very recently. The extra space for frozen foods also meant buying 36 pounds of grass-fed lamb.
Even before the pregnancy, there were regular requests for curry dishes. Our local international market has a great red curry paste, that we’ve since found online, and we have a homemade green curry we love. This recipe was another excuse to make curry, and it does not disappoint. We ate it for days, and it was a hearty meal by itself or paired with cauliflower rice.
We have had some pretty cold and dreary weather lately, and this kind of weather always causes me to crave soup. This weekend, Brent was eager to experiment with something new. Brent discovered Solyanka, a spicy and sour soup that originates from Russia but is also popular in Germany and former Eastern Block countries.
Solyanka is traditionally prepared in three different varieties: meat, fish, or mushroom. When Brent shared our recipe development with our friend Russ, who you might know as The Domestic Man, his first question was “Meat, fish, or mushroom?” As someone who specializes in recreating traditional recipes, it was no surprise to us that he was already familiar.
For the start of 2017, I’m trying something that I normally despise—eating breakfast. Most mornings, I don’t find myself particularly hungry and I get by with a cup of black coffee and wait until lunch. That said, it’s always been a hunger decision rather than a dislike of breakfast foods. You can see from our multiple breakfast recipes that we’re pretty keen on breakfast foods (although Heather is a much bigger fan of pancakes and waffles).
This recipe hits a number of must-haves for me: you can make it in one pot, it makes multiple servings, and you can make it spicy. This skillet dish reminds me a bit of chili, but the addition of cauliflower and the final step of baking the dish brings the texture closer to a breakfast casserole. And if you’re like me, and like things spicy, you can cover it in hot sauce with no regrets.
Without further ado, I hope you’ll enjoy this recipe for our tex-mex style breakfast bake.
If you’re like us, you often put extra meat into the freezer and then promptly forget. We try to be good about this, but when we received a great selection of meats from Butcher Box, we could only use so much at once! One of the remaining cuts we had were these boneless short ribs. Boneless short ribs are not a regular buy for us, but we are now loyal converts. See for yourself how you can get high quality, sustainable beef, chicken, and pork on a regular basis without buying a full side of beef with Butcher Box.
We decided to braise these short ribs with raw apple cider vinegar, onions, and fresh figs. Our tree won’t stop producing these figs, so we keep using them. If figs aren’t your cup of tea, or are not in season, feel free to substitute figs for an equal amount of peaches, apricots, or plums. These tender, delicious short ribs will allow you to eat like royalty for the entire week, and smell fantastic while cooking. We know you’ll enjoy.