Saturday, December 18, 2021

Soy Marinated Pork Chops


These thin-cut pork chops make for a perfect weeknight dinner. Easy to prepare, fast to cook and delicious to eat. They only need to marinate for 10 to 30 minutes, as the marinade will also serve as a drizzling sauce when you grill the chops. The chops are served with cilantro and jalapeño, making sticky rice the perfect accompaniment.

These pork chops are going to be a hit regardless of which soy sauce you use. Kikkoman is a delicious and very affordable store brand. But if you want to up your flavor palate by the power of 100, I would encourage you to try Yamaroku Shoyu Barrel Aged 4-Year Soy Sauce, "Tsuru Bisho". This is an artisan soy sauce....very dark, mellow and sweet. A 5-ounce bottle will set you back $18.00. While your wallet may grimace, your taste buds will thank you. It's available at

1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
4, 1/2-inch thick bone-in pork chops
Kosher salt
Cilantro and sliced jalapeños for garnish

  1. Stir first 3 ingredients together in a bowl. Prick pork chops all over with a fork and place in a ziplock bag. Pour in half of the marinade, seal bag and turn to evenly coat chops. Let chops sit on counter in the bag for 10 to 30 minutes.
  2. Prepare grill or grill pan for cooking over medium heat. Remove chops from bag and discard used marinade. Season chops lightly with salt and grill for 2-3 minutes per side, drizzling chops with remaining marinade while they cook.
  3. Top the chops with cilantro and jalapeños before serving.

Wine pairing: Unoaked Chardonnay or Merlot

Monday, December 13, 2021

Anne Serrane's Bone-In Prime Rib Roast


Anne Seranne was born in Ontario in 1913. She moved to the United States in 1936.  She became famous for two things: dogs and food. She was a very serious breeder of Yorkshire terrier show dogs. And she was a serious lover of all things having to do with food. She earned her living as a food consultant and eventually became the editor of Gourmet Magazine.

But she is little remembered these days, for she was a one-hit wonder in the vein of Billy Ray Cyrus and his song "Achy Breaky Heart". But, oh, what a hit she had. She single-handedly created the greatest recipe for medium-rare prime rib. Published in the New York Times in 1966, it was revolutionary. It was beyond simple. And absolutely foolproof.

Her recipe called for blasting the bone-in roast at 500º for a brief period and then turning off the oven...leaving the beef undisturbed for 2 hours. Unbelievably perfect medium-rare, every single time. Plus you can carve the roast the minute you take it out of the oven because it has already been resting for 2 hours.

For the recipe to work, your prime rib roast must be bone-in. You can cook it with the bones intact or do what I do... I have the butcher cut the bones and then tie them back to the roast. That way, I can just make a couple of snips of the butcher's twine and carve the roast up....reserving the ribs for a later snack that only I will get to enjoy.

One, 2 to 4 rib, beef prime rib roast, weighing 4 to 12 pounds
Fresh Ground Pepper

  1. Remove the roast from the refrigerator 4 hours before cooking and let it come up to room temperature.
  2. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.
  3. Place the roast in an open, shallow roasting pan, fat side up (bone-side down). You don't need a roasting rack as the bones will serve that purpose.  Season generously all over with salt and pepper.
  4. Put the roast in the preheated oven (on the second lowest rack) and roast according to the roasting chart below, timing the minutes exactly  When cooking time is finished, turn off the oven. Do not open the door at any time. Allow the roast to remain in the oven until oven is lukewarm, for two hours. The roast will have a crunchy brown outside and an internal heat suitable for serving as long as 4 hours after removing from the oven. Makes about 2 servings per rib.

A.   2 rib roast (4 to 5 pounds)...32 minutes at 500º, then rest 2 hours, door shut

B.   3 rib roast (8 to 9 pounds)...47 minutes at 500º, then rest 2 hours, door shut

C.   4 rib roast (11 to 12 pounds)...62 minutes at 500º, then rest 2 hours, door shut

{Formula = 15 minutes per rib + 2 minutes} 

Wine Pairing: Barolo

Saturday, December 11, 2021

Beef Short Rib Ragu


When I first started shopping at Costco 22 years ago, I was blown away by the selection of beef cuts they offered. One that really caught my eye was something called a boneless short rib. I had only seen bone-in short ribs before. I mistakenly assumed that boneless short ribs were cut from the rib section and the bones had been removed. Dead wrong I was.

Boneless short ribs are actually cut from the shoulder...from the same area that the chuck roasts come from. This is why they have that big beef flavor and do best when they are cooked low and slow by braising. When I first started buying them at Costco, I believe they were about $2.00 a pound. I just picked some up last Thursday and thanks to pandemic inflation, they were $15.99 a pound. Pre-pandemic, that's what I was paying at Costco for USDA Prime Rib Eye Steaks.

This Cook's Illustrated recipe takes the short ribs and turns them into an unbelievably savory, umami bomb. In Italy, this ragu is used to top a bowl of warm polenta. My taste buds prefer buttered egg noodles, so that's how I serve this up. If you can't find boneless short ribs at your store, don't substitute bone-in short ribs. Use 1-inch cubes cut from a chuck-arm roast instead.

1-1/2 cups beef broth
1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms, rinsed
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped fine
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
3 anchovy fillets, minced
1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder
1/2 cup red wine
1, 14.5-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, drained with juice reserved, chopped fine
2 pounds boneless beef short ribs
3/4 teaspoon salt

  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350º. Microwave 1/2 cup of broth and mushrooms in covered bowl until steaming (about 1 minute). Let sit until softened (about 5 minutes). Drain mushrooms in fine-mesh strainer lined with coffee filter, pressing to extract all liquid. Reserve liquid and chop mushrooms fine. 
  2. Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened (about 5 minutes). Add garlic and cook until fragrant (about 1 minute). Add tomato paste, anchovies and five-spice powder and cook, stirring frequently, until mixture has darkened and fond forms on the bottom (about 4 minutes). Add wine and increase heat to medium high, bring to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until wine is reduced and pot is almost dry (about 3 minutes). Add tomatoes and reserved juice, remaining one cup of broth, reserved mushroom soaking liquid and mushrooms, then bring to a simmer.
  3. Toss beef with 3/4 teaspoon salt and season with pepper. Add beef to pot, cover and transfer to oven. Cook for 1 hour.
  4. Uncover and continue to cook until beef is tender (about 1 hour more).
  5. Remove pot from oven. Using slotted spoon, transfer beef to cutting boarding let cool for 5 minutes. Using 2 forks, shred beef into bite-size pieces. Return beef  to Dutch oven to sauce and then season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve.

Wine pairing: Amarone