Talking points for today’s smorgasbord episode (for the complete discussion be sure to listen to the full episode in the player above!):
Logical Weight Loss Show
I was a guest on Dave Jackson’s Logical Weight Loss podcast where I talked about how to get started with cooking at home. It was a great conversation and you should check it out!
I have a few interviews in the pipeline for episodes to be released over the next couple of months. I am also working on some fun spooky stuff for October.
Fall is Here!
If you’ve listened to the show for a while you know that Fall is my absolute favorite time of year. Why? Because all my favorite food happens in Fall! It’s time to start fading out all that light summer eating and start cooking the dishes that make my soul sing. One of those recipes? An awesome, slow-simmering sauce for all your pasta needs…
Here is the recipe for the ragu sauce I mentioned in this episode (be sure to listen to get all my commentary and tips):
- 1 Large onion, diced
- 2 large carrots, diced
- 2 ribs celery, diced
- 4 cloves garlic
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 3 pounds ground beef, preferably chuck or round
- 16 ounces tomato paste
- 3 cups dry red wine (cabernet or merlot is great, pinot noir works too)
- 1 Bay leaf
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Water as needed
- **SECRET OPTIONAL INGREDIENT: Anchovy paste…somewhere around a teaspoon.
In a food processor, process onion, carrot, celery and garlic into a coarse paste. If you don’t have a food processor, do your best to mince them all as finely as you can. In a large, heavy, nonreactive pan over medium heat add enough olive oil to coat bottom. Add vegetables and a pinch of salt and cook veggies until their water evaporates and they begin to turn a nice golden brown color.
Add the ground beef and a pinch of salt and brown the beef. If your beef is fatty, you can drain the beef after browning. Add tomato paste and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Then add red wine and cook until reduced by about half, probably another 5 minutes.
Now the slow simmering part: Add water to just cover the meat in the pan. Add bay leaf and thyme. Simmer on low until the liquid reduces. You will want to add a little more water to just cover the meat again. Repeat simmering. There isn’t an exact science to this, so it takes a bit of “eyeballing” and estimating. After about an hour of simmering and adjusting the liquid level you would have a great meat sauce ready to go. Check the seasoning! If you really want to kick the flavor up a notch, do the add liquid/simmer/reduce process for 2-3 hours. Just remember that you can’t remove seasoning from a dish, so taste often and be aware that as you reduce, flavors intensify.
Thanks to my friend Erin for the sauce inspiration many years ago!
A Word About Pantry and Fridge Housekeeping
You have some homework before you get totally into the Fall state of mind. The turning of the seasons are great times to do a deep clean of your pantry and fridge. There are several good reasons to do this; making sure you don’t have spoiled or expired food, gather non-perishable items to take to the food bank, and it can help with kitchen creativity…really! By the way, if you like to be hyper-vigilant about watching when food expires, you might want to check out the Food Keeper App from the USDA (thanks to listener Amy for the heads up)!
We’ve been using our Instant Pot a lot lately. How about a giveaway for a great Instant Pot Cookbook? Laurel Randolph’s The Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker Cookbook is a great resource with recipes and tips to put your pressure cooker to good use. Listen to the episode for details on how to win yourself a copy!
Kitchen Counter Podcast Instant Pot Episode.
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