Tag: meat

Restaurant Review: Woodsman Tavern

Jonah and I had been wanting to go to the Woodsman Tavern for a while. When my dad and Darla came to town about a month ago, I was looking for places to eat, and saw that Woodsman Tavern has brunch. It’s a little out of town (east of 39th on about 50th and SE Division), so I figured it’d be a little less crazy than, say, Screen Door or Tasty n Sons. And it was. We still had to wait for a little bit, but there was no crazy line out the door or hour and a half wait. And the little wait there was was well worth it.

Brunch at the Woodsman Tavern

First, let me tell you about the decor. The whole restaurant is a beautiful dark wood, and the tables and chairs have a kind of industrial feel to them. The walls are covered with landscape paintings (many of them depicting the beautiful Mt. Hood). There are big windows along two walls, so the light was really natural and bright for brunch. It immediately felt homey but also chic.

The staff were all extremely friendly. Jonah and I waited at the bar, where we chatted with the bartender about their amazing vintage bitters bottles, our weekend thus far, and this cute puppy sitting outside. Our waitress was very sweet, and I was only mildly envious at how effortlessly she pulled off her white blond hair and bright red lipstick. She handled my dad’s sarcasm and schmoozing very well.

Brunch at the Woodsman Tavern

I decided to start the morning by indulging a bit and getting a mimosa, which the Woodsman does with grapefruit juice and some vanilla. It was a really nice simple twist on a classic. Dad and Jonah got the oven pancake with apricot preserves, ricotta, and pistachios. These pancakes were absolutely beautiful when they came to the table, big and light. And really tasty.

Brunch at the Woodsman Tavern

Darla and I both ordered with the potted egg with creamed greens, country ham (really more like prosciutto, which is my favorite), and a biscuit with apple butter. The egg and greens came in a little jar, with the biscuit and ham on the side. The egg was cooked perfectly atop the creamed greens (chard) and was all just really nice – it somehow was both light and comfort-food-esque at the same time. The biscuit was amazing: really flaky and crispy, and the apple butter was a lovely touch.

After brunch, we went to the little market they have next door. More of a specialty spot, they have a little produce cart outside, as well as some nice meats and cheeses inside (their breakfast sausage is really wonderful). The walls are covered with fancy oils, vinegars, sardines, salts… the list goes on and on. And in their little freezer they have containers of various stocks for sale as well as a small selection of Salt & Straw ice cream. The folks behind the counter were extremely nice and gave us tastes of various cheeses before we made our selection (to be used later for a midday snack). It was, overall, a lovely way to spend the morning.

Braised Short Ribs

Braised Short Ribs

Braised Short Ribs
Braised Short Ribs

Braised Short Ribs

Last Friday Jonah and I were supposed to host a dinner party. We had already gone grocery shopping and planned the menu and everything when Jonah came down with the bug that the family upstairs had earlier in the week. It was not good. So we switched locations, I did all the cooking, and carted it all over to our friend Warren’s house. Jonah ended up feeling better and was able to come. Yay! I made braised short ribs with mashed potatoes and apple pie for dessert (post coming soon). This recipe is adapted from the Gourmet Today cookbook, which is wonderful. It’s really pretty easy.

This meal is so freaking good. The meat gets so tender, the sauce is so rich, the carrots soak up all the juices. Oh man. I whipped up some mashed potatoes to serve it with (peel potatoes, boil them, mash them, add some cream, butter, salt, and pepper and stir). The meal was greatly enjoyed by our friends Erica, Corey, and Warren as a little celebration of their having successfully completed a stressful semester.

Braised Short Ribs

Ingredients

1 bottle (750 ml) dry red wine
4 pounds beef short ribs, cut into 2 1/2 inch lengths by butcher
salt and pepper
2 Tbl olive oil
10 shallots, trimmed
4 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces (or whatever size pieces you like cooked carrots)
3 Tbl Dijon mustard
6 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise

Instructions

In a saucepan, boil the wine, uncovered, until reduced to about 1 cup. Meanwhile, pat the ribs dry and season them with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large pot (5 quart) over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add ribs in two batches, turning occasionally until browned on all sides (about 8 minutes per batch). Move the ribs to a large bowl, set aside.

Reduce heat to medium and add shallots and carrots to fat and oil remaining in the pot. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer to another bowl, leaving behind as much of the juices as possible. Now add the reduced wine and mustard to the pot and stir. Put the ribs in too, meat side down, cover tightly, and let simmer for 1 1/2 hours. (Now is a good time to make the mashed potatoes if you’re going to make some.)

After all that time waiting, gently stir the shallots, carrots, and tomatoes into the pot (I forgot to add our tomatoes, so that’s why you don’t see them in any pictures). Cover again and simmer until meat is very tender, about another hour.

Now, carefully transfer ribs and veggies to a platter. Skim fat off the cooking liquid. To use the liquid for sauce (which you’ll really want to do), it should coat a spoon (and supposedly measure ~1 cup). If you need, you can boil it to reduce it some more.

Balsamic-Glazed Pork Chops

Pork Chops

I made these great pork chops for dinner the other night (actually, the other week by now). It has a wonderfully sweet-and-tangy dark taste. They were really yummy, but to be perfectly honest, they didn’t look the greatest.  Also to be perfectly honest, I had a little trouble making them, although they came out fine in the end.  This happens to me sometimes when I make meats that you fry in pan (or bake… or prepare with heat in any way) with some sort of sugary sauce.  Sugary sauces always seem to start burning really quickly (because of the sugars, duh!), so when you make them — just watch out for the smoking and potential charring.  Turn on the fan above your stove.

Balsamic-Glazed Pork Chops

Ingredients

2 pork chops
Salt and pepper
2 Tb. olive oil
4 shallots, pealed and quartered
2/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 t. sugar

Instructions

Sweet! Only 6 ingredients!

Sprinkle pork with s + p, let it sit out on the counter for 10 minutes to come to room temperature.

Heat olive oil in a skillet.  Add pork and shallots, turning pork until both pork and shallots are browned, about 5 minutes.  Remove the pork to a plate, leaving shallots.

Add the balsamic vinegar, sugar, and some more salt and pepper, and cook.  Stir a lot so sugar dissolves, and let it thicken for about a minute or two.  Put the pork back in there and coat with the sauce.  Cook, turning the pork over once, until its cooked through to your liking, about 3-5 minutes.

Take the pork back out and put on a plate, letting sauce thicken 1-2 minutes more.  Pour sauce over pork, and eat!