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When Things Go Quiet :: On Braising + Motorcycle Drive Bys

September 6, 2010

Summer dies and swells rise, the sun goes down in my eyes… -Third Eye Blind  “Motorcycle Drive By”

When things go quiet… It’s hard to imagine putting a lot of effort into cooking at home when you’re cooking only for yourself.  I now see how easy it can be to thoughtlessly backslide into eating nothing but an old tin of almonds or a wedge of cheese for dinner.  I ate like this for the better part of the last couple weeks, but soon enough it got to me.  How could I get around this when I’ve spent so much time improving my everyday eating habits?  Worse yet, what would I write about? And what fun is photographing Mr. Peanut?

Make the problem the solution, right? Keyword: thoughtlessly.

Braising is thoughtless, especially when you have the ingredients on hand.  To make a long story short, braising is a two step cooking process where you sear your food over high heat then add a variable amount of liquid and allow it to finish cooking over low heat.  Generally speaking, the longer you can braise something over low heat (without burning it) the better it gets.  Braising is the best way to use cuts of meat that, by any other cooking method, would be tough or unpalatable.  In this case I seared off some spareribs in a heavy dutch oven and deglazed with an aging half bottle of Three Buck Chuck.  I added a few spices and some orange zest, threw the lid on and popped it in the oven at 275deg for five hours…the perfect amount of time to take a motorcycle ride along the river road then come home to brood over Radiohead and Low records.  And by the time you get through the last track on “The Great Destroyer” your home will smell like a hunting lodge.  Whip up a quick batch of champ (crushed potatoes with cream and green onions), take a quick picture aaaaaaand…you’re done.  And really, you’ve only put in 15 minutes of actual cooking.  The rest is thoughtless…

3 Comments leave one →
  1. September 6, 2010 5:15 pm

    how did i never know about your blog? I can’t wait to read through it and pick out what i want you to cook for me.

  2. Susan Wright AKA Theo's Mom permalink
    October 17, 2010 2:31 pm

    I have enjoyed going through your blog. I look forward to more. Great pictures! Congrats on your new job.

  3. Jeff Peterson permalink
    January 2, 2011 4:45 pm

    This looks amazing. I will add that authentic champ is made with potatoes and leeks.

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