Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Priceless Patron

Shortly after Forrest and I moved back home to New Orleans, my youngest brother Kent also moved back after an 8 year stint in Alabama. His move home completed the circle and now my entire immediate family resides back in or around New Orleans, a fact that elated both of my parents beyond belief. Since my baby bro settled back in I have made it a habit of cooking dinner for him fairly frequently. There are a multitude of reasons for hosting him for dinner, some of which include:

1. He is a very adventurous eater and will try anything I make.
2. He is young and single and sometimes has free evenings to spend with us.
3. He is just starting out in a new job, with a new apartment and a new car and my feeding him helps him save money.
4. He and Forrest are really good buddies, despite the fact that they have hardly anything in common, and having him over gives Forrest the opportunity to ask him to do things like throw the football, shoot the bb gun, and insulate the pipes - all to which Kent constantly declines, but Forrest never stops asking.
5. He loves food as much as I do and is always enthusiastic and appreciative of my meals.
6. I want him to feel included and happy in his hometown and hope everyday that he feels he made the right choice to return.
7. He is the baby of the family, and isn't that what you do to the baby? Spoil them!
8. He lives really close to our house, so even if it isn't planned any more than a couple minutes in advance it is still a possibility for him to hop on over.
9. He says annoying baby brother things while I am cooking like, "isn't that just a fancy way of doing it", or "there must be an easier way", and "where did you learn that?" or my all time favorite, "Mom doesn't do it like that, does she?"
10. He is one of the more quiet members of my family and it gives me the opportunity to visit with him sans some of the louder participants and hear what he has to say for a change.

But the number one reason there will always be a place at my dinner table for my now grown up baby brother is......Sometimes when I am in the kitchen chopping, measuring, and sauteing all while taking pictures for this crazy blog, I look up and see this:

Thank God for open floor plans! My baby brother and my baby, Priceless!

The recipe below is one of Kent's favorite things I have cooked for him over the last few months. He talks about it all the time. And trust me, it is well deserved. Although this is an all day recipe (one I made while still on maternity leave and had the whole day to man the stove), it is worth the effort. This is so rich and succulent that it is impossible to forget!

Boeuf Bourguignon Soup
Adapted from Martha Stewart Living December 2010

Serves 6


  • 6 bone-in short ribs (2 inches thick, 2 pounds total)
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 ounces white button mushrooms, quartered
  • 3 carrots, 2 finely chopped and 1 cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 3 shallots, minced
  • 3 strips bacon, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1 cup dry red wine, such as Burgundy
  • 8 cups homemade or store-bought low-sodium beef stock
  • 2 cups water
  • No Yolk Egg Noodles, for serving

Season ribs with 1/2 teaspoon salt and some pepper. Trim white fat. Coat with cornstarch. Heat oil in a large heavy pot (preferably enameled cast iron) over medium-high heat. Lightly brown ribs on all sides, about 6 minutes.

Transfer to a plate.

Add mushrooms to pot.

Cook until browned, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl; add cubed carrot.

Add shallots, bacon, and chopped carrots to pot.

Cook until caramelized, about 6 minutes. Stir in tomato paste.

Return ribs with plate juices to pot. Add thyme and bay leaf. Raise heat to high. Add wine.

Cook, scraping up brown bits with a wooden spoon, until slightly reduced, about 1 minute. Add stock and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer, partially covered, until beef is tender, 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

Remove ribs. Separate meat from bones; discard bones and any pieces of fat left on the beef. Cut meat into bite-size pieces; return to pot. Add reserved mushroom-carrot mixture.

Bring to a simmer; cook until cubed carrots are tender. Skim any remaining fat off the top of the soup. Season with salt. Ladle soup over bowls of egg noodles and serve.


Christina said...

That is such a cute picture of your brother and baby! It must be great having him so close by. Now I miss my brother!

This sounds and looks really good- perfect to make on a weekend.

Anonymous said...

I love this blog post even though it does not mention me or my kids :)

And the food looks good too ;)

The Big Sister,


Fuat Gencal said...

Ellerinize, emeğinize sağlık. Çok leziz ve iştah açıcı görünüyor.


Woody said...

Hey Kent, want to go throw the football after work today?

the husband of your sister,


Anonymous said...

I am so very lucky to have such a wonderful sister and on top of that one who is such a great cook. Since moving home one of my favorite things is to come over to your house after work. After a ten hour day at work it is so relaxing and fun to come over and have Forrest try and explain to me why the computer cant get every question on jeopardy right and have my sister make me a delicious dinner. You guys have made the move back home for me a lot easier. But like Bizzy said, its more then just the food. The last 10 years me and my older sister have not been as close as we wanted to. She left for college in 99 and I went to Alabama for 8 years. Don't get me wrong the food is great, but its much more then that. Plus my oldest sister Jessica had ALL her kids when I was in Alabama and I was not around when they were growing up. I want to make it a point to be there for Rex every step of the way.

On to this dish!!! My mouth is salivating looking at it. I don't care if this takes a week to make, call in sick to work and then show up with this and all will be forgotten. I can talk about this dish for hours. The taste was something that you almost can not imitate. This could be in a five star restaurant. I recommend everyone try this delightful meal.

PS... If you treat Rex half as good as you treat your younger brother (which I know you will) he will be the luckiest kid alive.

PSS.... I think me and Forrest have a lot of things in common.

Tupper Cooks! said...

Awesome soup and a great family narrative. You're all very lucky. I'd say this - your baby bro needs to learn some of your culinary skills-so if I were you I'd train him and then have him cook for you at least once a week!

Kerstin said...

Aww, what an adorable picture - your little cutie is getting so big!

Lovely soup too :)

MaryBeth said...

Your little guy is getting so big, he is adorable. This soup is amazing, it is so elegant looking and I bet is fantastic tasting.

Krista said...

What a sweet post! Reading your words (and your brother's response) brought tears to my eyes. I talk to my 2 younger sisters on the phone everyday and visit when I am able, but we live 4 hours apart and I miss being able to drop in anytime for a visit and to let our kiddos play together. You are blessed!

Great looking dinner too! Mmmm.

Desi said...

Awww you and your bro are so cute! Loving his response in the comments, too. Oh and I can't wait to make this soup... it looks amazing!

alex said...
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