As lazy summer days approach, time in the kitchen is displaced by [sunblock-laden] fun in the sun. Meals should be quick and easy, and there is nothing easier than what I put together for tonight. Hands-on time, including making the cornbread, was about 12 minutes. I’m not kidding. TWELVE!
The menu consisted of boneless beef short ribs, carrots, and those delicious little potatoes from Melissa's Produce, slowly cooked in a beef/wine broth, with a hunk of freshly-baked cornbread on the side. I used a 1.5 quart Crockpot, into which I poured 1 cup of beef stock, 1 cup of red wine, a packet of onion soup mix, a pinch of salt, and generous grindings of fresh pepper. The ribs (1 pound weight) went in next (I turned them to coat with the mixture), and simmered on low for about 5 hours. At this point it was time to add the washed potatoes that I nestled alongside the meat. I allowed them to simmer for 45 minutes, wherein I dumped what was left of a bag of baby carrots, adding another 30-45 minutes of cooking time (depending upon the size of your carrots, spear them with a fork to test for doneness).
Clearly this has to be assembled early in the day, but that’s the beauty of it. When you are freshly out of bed, having your coffee and planning your day, this can be thrown together and you’ve finished the dinner preparation for the day.
The cornbread is a clone of Boston Market’s recipe. Nothing could be easier. It’s sweeter than what you may be accustomed to, but it’s a favorite of mine; I found it paired very well with the beef and vegetables.
Boston Market Cornbread
2 (8.5-oz) boxes Jiffy cornbread mix
1 (18.5-oz) box yellow cake mix
2/3 cup milk
1 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
In a large bowl, mix all ingredients until combined. Pour into the prepared baking dish. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
Here is our little dinner for two. Looks delish, no? It was! Try it for yourself, and enjoy your day off.
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