There's a Little Nip in the Air! No, it's not Pearl Harbor Day. 'Tis Fall. The leaves are past their ruby/amber seasonal majesty and are browning up nicely for their annual trip into my gutters. The Illinois Football Playoffs begin and the IHSA *comes up with new and ever silly ways to make competitive sports as unappealing as an Andy Shaw witch hunt.
It is time for me to unbox the reliable and multi-caloried utensil for the Autumn and Winter seasons and seasoning - The Hamilton Beach Slow-Cooker. My kids grew up on comfort food stirred in pot by old Dad on the stove-top, or the Slow-Cooker: Chop Suey ala George's from 79th & Ashland, Klondike Chili aped from the recipe of late-great Charlie Orr, who brought Cajun Cooking to the south side via the Maple Tree Inn, Granny Hickey's SlumGullion, Kapust, St. George Illinois Smoked Boudin and Andouille Cassoulet with white beans, Lanacshire Hot Pots, Irish Stews & stuff I just threw together with broth,bacon, noodles and vegetables. The kids' favorite skillet offering was and remains SOS - creamed chipped beef on toast..
I now cook for one - my son of whom I am well pleased and who eats like he's going to the chair.
I plan to braise beef ribs in Guinness over a score and change of hours. I will arise, at some point, an go . . .go to County Fair Foods on Western Avenue and nine bean rows will I pass and arrive at the meat counter.
I shall order beef ribs. While the guy who took over when Mike retired cuts and trims my Moosickles, I venture over to the vegetable section and grab some leeks, celery, spuds ( baby reds), carrots, green onions and parsley.
I have a spice shaker filled with Hickey Mix - Cumin, Coriander, black pepper, paprika and curry powder, onion and garlic salts. I'll empty about four tablespoons of the stuff into a bowl and add 1/4 cup of brown sugar and dash or six of Kikoman Teriyaki Sauce.
I'll go over toCounty Fair's new beer section and grab a four pack of the big Guinness cans and six pack of Bud Lite for Conor. How, he can drink that swill plumb evades me. A bad can of Burgie was better than that equine medical specimen. I will also purchase a large can (16oz.) of whole tomatoes.
In my big black cast iron skillet, I'll make a dark roue and spoon onto wax paper and when cool wrap it up.. Then, I'll set the roue in a dish and stick it in the icebox, 'cuz I won't need it for a day or so. After cleaning the skillet with a paper towel, returning it to low heat on the stove I'll brown the bones on the three sides what's got meat.
Set them aside, when brown and then throw in the vegetables -all but the spuds let them soak up beef. Now, I'll marinade the beef ribs in Guinness ( two big Cans garlic cloves, and black pepper corns over night and into the next day. A good 20 hours. Remove the ribs and toss the marinade.
Out comes the Hamilton Beach and after the porcelain innards gets a good cleaning and returned to the tin frame, I'll set t on slow. . .as slow as an Oberlin Summa Cum Laude.
In go Guinness marinaded cow slats, which shall cook for a minimum of four hours covered in Guinness from the remaining two cans and then stir in the above mentioned Hickey Mix & Brown sugar, a can of whole tomatoes, some sliced garlic gloves and some pepper corns. Then - now here comes the hard part - Stir all carefully. Put the glass lid on and step away from the pot.
After four hours and change, I'll add the browned vegetables and stick the baby red spuds in a pot of ice cold water. Cook three more hours and stir in the roue. If it is night time turn off the slow Cooker and stick the porcelain pot in the ice box. If not cook for another two hours or so
Then, it gets close to eatin' time. I plan to make the Australian spuds. You half-mash the red taters on a baking sheet, sprinkle them with olive oil, salt and pepper and bake like cookies in 450 Degree oven for twenty minutes. Those are base for the marinaded ribs, if there be any meat left on the bone that is. Sprinkle with chopped parsley. Guinness Is maith agat agus Guinness dhéanann oidis mór níos mó.
Eat until you perspire. Make your son do the dishes . . .as if.
* The IHSA is considering proposals from certain schools ( losers) requiring that all schools qualify for the playoffs. WE ARE ALL WINNERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Jesus.