A twist on meat and potatoes

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A twist on meat and potatoes

When I think of meat-and-taters, I usually imagine a big steak with a loaded baked potato. Unfortunately, that meal isn’t going to win any healthy awards anytime soon. If you read/remember from the last post, I bought beef short ribs at the farmers’ market on Saturday, so I decided to cook ’em up with some lightened up mashed potatoes. Ok, so it’s not a huge twist on the norm but it is a little healthier and it was super easy to make.

Asian Style Short Ribs

Adapted from a recipe at Blisstree.com

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar (or sub for 2 tbsp white vinegar + 1tsp lemon juice)
  • 2 tbsp minced fresh ginger
  • 4 cloves of crushed garlic
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 lbs beef short ribs
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • 3 tbsp cold water

Directions:

1) Mix soy sauce, sugar, oil, vinegar, ginger, garlic and red pepper in a small bowl.

2) Place ribs in a slow cooker and pour sauce over. Cover and cook on high for 6 hours or on low for 9 hours.

3) Transfer ribs to a platter, and skim and discard excess fat from liquid. Place liquid in a saucepan, combine cornstarch and water and add to liquid. Bring to a boil and cook for two minutes, stirring constantly, until thickened.

4) Remove meat from ribs and discard fat. Top meat with sauce.

This was my first time making short ribs and I kinda imagined that they would be cut similar to pork ribs. Nope. It was a giant block of meat and fat with 2 little bones at the bottom. That sorta confused me but I followed the recipe anyway (except that I cooked mine for 4 hours on low and then 2 hours on high). It wasn’t the tenderest beef I have ever eaten (but it certainly wasn’t tough!) so maybe I cooked it too long or not long enough. Something to think about for next time, I suppose!

Also, I had some cornstarch lumps in my sauce (blech!) even though I was whisking it constantly. Maybe the cornstarch and water should be mixed together before going in the sauce? Or maybe not added until the sauce is already boiling? I’m not sure. The sauce did get wonderfully thick; it just grossed me out a little when I bit into a lump of undissolved cornstarch.

Garlic Scape Mashed Potatoes

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb potatoes (I prefer Yukon Golds)
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic scape, chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

 Directions:

1) Set a pot of salted water to boil on stove. Peel and quarter potatoes; add to water when boiling.

2) Boil uncovered 10-30 minutes or until fork tender (soft enough to mash); drain.

3) Add potatoes, butter, and milk to bowl; mash until satisfied with consistency (you can use a potato masher, a large spoon, or a fork).

4) Add garlic scape, olive oil, salt and pepper to bowl; stir/beat with fork until well mixed. Top with leftover short rib sauce.

I added the olive oil so that I could use less butter and milk (minus bad fats, + good fats!) but I realized today that plain Greek yogurt would have worked as a substitute for the milk. Greek yogurt has little/no fat and tons of good gut bacteria; it its a good substitute for mayo (if you season it) or for sour cream. If you want to go the olive oil route with the taters here, be aware that more olive oil = more olive oil taste; if you want traditional tasting mashed potatoes, I recommend going the butter/milk (or Greek yogurt) route.

As usual, I made a salad to accompany the ribs and mashed potatoes and filled half of my plate with the salad. I think eating healthy isn’t about denying yourself the things you love (in this case red meat and carbs), but indulging a little while also filling up on healthy things (giant salad of deliciousness!).

Short post today. Go make (or eat!) something!

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