The last few weeks have been a whirlwind. I had a week’s “staycation” and my granddaughter came to visit. I enjoyed my time with her thoroughly but I had almost forgotten how much time and energy tending to very young children takes. Even though we were busy people and she helped me work on many projects, there wasn’t much time for the computer. Then the next week almost the whole family got sick and I had to catch up at work, so there was another week of projects but little time to devote to photo editing or writing. So this week will be all of the posts!
I very, very rarely offer “quick” recipes. I just don’t cook that way. An average weeknight family dinner takes an hour to prep and cook, especially since we eat a lot of fresh vegetables and don’t eat many “quick” starches like pasta. However, weeknights have become increasingly hectic. Sometimes dinners are being served at 8pm or later, which isn’t good for any of us. I am trying to embrace cooking in stages, where you prep ingredients for meals the night before, over the weekend, or even before that, and then simply assemble the prepped ingredients to make dinner. The only downside is the planning involved. This is a “happy accident” recipe that oughtn’t work as well as it does, but proves that the “cooking in stages” method can turn out some exceptional meals, all cooked from scratch.
Spicy Grass-Fed Beef Short Ribs Mojo Bowl
Grass-fed beef can be challenging to cook. Marinades and slow-cooking really work to tenderize tough cuts and keep the meat moist.
The night before, put the ribs in your crockpot interior with the mojo criollo. Put the crockpot in the fridge overnight to marinate. Bake the sweet potatoes, let cool, wrap them up and put them in the fridge. Make the harissa while the sweet potatoes are baking.
The next day, cook the ribs on low for 6-7 hours. Use a timer, or have the kids turn the crockpot off when they get home from school. However this works best for you. They are done when they are falling apart.
When you get home, take the cooked sweet potatoes out of the fridge. Split them in half and put them in a baking dish. Remove the ribs from the crockpot with tongs and lay them side by side in a cast iron skillet. Set your oven to “broil”. Put the ribs on the top shelf and the sweet potatoes on the bottom shelf. Broil the ribs until they are nicely browned and crispy. Take the ribs out of the oven and set aside, but leave the sweet potatoes in the oven. Turn the oven off. The residual heat will warm up the sweet potatoes. As soon as the ribs are cool enough to touch, shred the meat and discard the connective tissue and bones. Be prepared to fight to keep other family members from snitching so many “just a taste” that there’s none left to serve for dinner. Scoop some of the mojo criollo gravy out of the crockpot and toss with the shredded meat.
To serve, arrange a pile of shredded meat on the top of each half sweet potato and drizzle with a little more mojo criollo gravy. Top with a dollop of harissa. This dish is very rich, so serve something green and a little bitter on the side like wilted arugula or chicory.