You may have plans for a candlelit dinner in a swanky restaurant this Valentine’s Day. As I write this, you’re dreaming of how you’ll woo your sweetheart through bubbling champagne in tall flutes, juicy bites of filet mignon, and the inevitable dessert that oozes dark chocolate as you and your special someone gaze into each other’s eyes. It sounds wonderful, but I’d like to propose an alternative. I’d like to suggest that you braise something.
Now don’t scoff in disgust at my seeming lack of romance. Braising, while not nearly as sexy-sounding as lobster poached in vanilla butter or dark chocolate molten cakes, is a culinary technique that practically guarantees a night of love.
If you read my post from a couple weeks ago regarding my purchase of 50 pounds of apples, it will come as no surprise to you that I am also an impulse buyer when it comes to meat. Whenever I see meat on sale at the grocery store, I can’t help but buy it. Ribeyes, pork loins, and leg of lamb all find their way into my cart if the price is right. At home, I either incorporate my recent purchase into a meal for that week or into the freezer it goes for a future dinner.
This method of selecting meat led me to pick up a 4 pound piece of meat a couple of weeks ago. The price per pound was ridiculously low and the fact that it was a large hunk of red meat meant that it would be a hit with my husband. I pulled it out of the freezer this weekend to defrost and spent much time thinking about how I would prepare it and how delicious it would be. What I did not think too much about was what type of meat I had bought. And when I finally took a minute to look at the label, I realized that I wasn’t working with prime rib, but rather a somewhat less exciting bottom round roast. No wonder it was so cheap!