The oven is not just for storage?

Growing up in an Asian household, there were no Sunday night pot roasts or baked apple pies for dessert.  There were no home-made lasagnas or even frozen store bought pizzas that required turning on the oven.  Stir-fry and steaming were favoured over roasting and baking.  The only time the oven was used was once or twice a year for the obligatory turkey dinner during Thanksgiving and Christmas.  During other times of the the year, the oven served a very useful and important function in our house – as a storage unit for large pots and pans.  To be honest with you, I don’t think I used the oven once in my apartment during my years of living alone.  But recently, the oven has become by new best friend.  A very low maintenance friend to be exact.  I’ve discovered how easy it is to throw a bunch of things together in a pot, put it in the oven and then walk away.  And magically after an hour or so, you end up with a delicious meal!  It’s freed up so much of my time to do the more important stuff like updating blogs and Facebook status.  My goto “put everything together in the oven” recipe is braised beef short ribs with sour cream biscuits.

The ingredients.

Sealing in the juices.

Throwing everything together.

Just out of the oven.

Braised beef short ribs with sour cream biscuits

Maybe it’s time for you to dust off the oven, take out whatever’s inside and starting using it?

Recipes (adapted from Steven and Chris):

Braised short ribs

  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 1/3 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/3 cup red wine (optional)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 stalk fresh parsley (or 2 tsp dried)
  • 1/3 cup sliced green olives
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 2 tsp garlic, finely chopped
  • a few grindings fresh black pepper
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 8 beef short ribs (1.5 kg), trimmed of excess fat
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • coarsely chopped parsley to garnish
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Mix beef broth, tomato sauce and red wine in large (lidded) oven-proof pot.
  3. In a bowl, mix water and flour until smooth.  Whisk into broth mixture.
  4. Add onion, parsley, green olives, raisins, garlic and black pepper to pot.  Set aside.
  5. In another bowl, mix chili powder and cumin.  Rub on all sides of beef short ribs.
  6. Heat vegetable oil to medium in large non-stick skillet, brown ribs in batches (couple of minute on each side).
  7. Put browned ribs into pot of broth mixture.
  8. Cover and bake on middle rack of oven for 1-1.5 hours.  The longer the more tender.  Flip ribs half way through.
  9. Plate ribs, spoon sauce over top.
  10. Garnish with chopped parsley.

Sour cream biscuits

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup milk (any kind)
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise (regular)
  • 2 tbsp sour cream (regular or low-fat)
  1. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In medium sized bowl, mix all-purpose flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.
  3. Add milk, mayonnaise and sour cream.
  4. Stir until soft dough forms.
  5. Use a spoon to drop 5 or 6 mounds onto baking sheet.
  6. Bake on rack above pot of short ribs for 25-30 minutes, or until lightly golden.  If you are baking these on their own, you could also bake them on the middle rack.

Notes and Tips:

I like my food flavourful, so I use the same amount (or more) of cumin and chili powder even if I’m only making half the amount of ribs.  The tomato sauce can be substituted with tomato paste, just use less.  You can also add a couple of chopped potatoes and carrots and bake for 1h or until soft.  For the biscuits, you can substitute the mayo with miracle whip.  Also, for more fluffy biscuits, don’t over mix the dough.

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One thought on “The oven is not just for storage?

  1. Pingback: Mother’s Day dinner | trials in food

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