Johnny

Dinners With Johnny: Balsamic and Onion Pot Roast with Beer Bread

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Welcome to this week’s edition of “Dinners With Johnny”.

I’m excited to announce that, in addition to the weekly “Dinners With Johnny”, there will be a follow-up type of post called “Dinners With Johnny: The Comment Card”.  This is where Johnny will post his blatant, sarcastic, wry, dry-witted and humorous review of my cooking.  

I’m always on the look-out to try something new when I have time to really play in the kitchen.  A friend shared this amazing Balsamic and Onion Pot Roast recipe with me and I was sold at everything about it.  The one thing that I changed about this recipe: I added mushrooms.  I had a partial container of them in the fridge and they just seemed to want to play.

I have to say, I browned that ro

ast like a pro (not that I didn’t doubt my abilities one bit).

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I tripped and spilled mushrooms into my crocpot! Oh no!

Pot roast, ready to go

Next, I threw together some beer bread, because that seemed appropriate.  Someone very smart told me that it was important to have something to soak up the pot roast juices.  I can’t disagree with that piece of advice.  My sister recommended this whole wheat recipe (1/2 wheat/white) and said that my kids love it when they’re at her house.  I used Guinness Black Lager instead of something domestic (blech).  Because the Guinness comes in 14.9 ounce cans and I only needed 12 ounces, I had to do something with the rest–I poured a Smithwicks, sipped some off the top to make room, and poured the remainder of the Guinness on top.

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Of course, what is a pot roast without a side of mashed potatoes and steamed carrots?  My son would answer: “too many carrots”.  I make him eat three of them, just to say that he had some.

The recipe tells you to reduce down the broth that the roast was cooked in.  Don’t skimp on this.  Do it like your life depends on it.  I had mine at a rolling boil for over twenty minutes before it reduced down enough.  It turns into a sweet, balsamic glaze that is nearly orgasmic.

Johnny has been informed that he needs to turn in his “Comment Card” soon, so that I may update with his review.

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Dinners with Johnny: Give Me Those Baby Back Ribs

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Seven years ago, I went back to work and it was in a little, small-town Rib joint.  We had the best ribs I’d ever had in my life.  Sadly, the place burnt down (leading me to my present place of employment).  I have missed those, fall-of-the-bone ribs and have been very picky about ordering ribs in a restaurant.  

Recently, a friend picked up, and slow roasted, four racks of ribs; they blew the rib joint’s right out of the water.  I’d only ever purchased those precooked ribs and they were only ever “so-so”.   I decided that I had to try my hand at real ones.

I rubbed down two racks with brown sugar, salt, pepper, paprika and a bit of cayenne.  I then put the on a greased, foil lined sheet pan and tented the top.  I let them roast for about two hours, then pulled the foil off and basted them with bbq sauce.  They glazed over just right.

And what goes perfectly with ribs?

Homemade Dijon cheddar mac and cheese, of course.

Many napkins and contented sighs accompanied this meal.

Slow Roasting to perfection
Slow Roasting to perfection
Slather on the bbq sauce!
Slather on the bbq sauce!
The ultimate comfort food meal: Baby Back Ribs and Dijon Cheddar Mac N Cheese
The ultimate comfort food meal: Baby Back Ribs and Dijon Cheddar Mac N Cheese

Dinners with Johnny: A Weekly Series

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I’ve been really lazy in updating my actual food blog and for that I apologize.  I’m going to do my best to remedy that.

I’ve decided that I’m going to start a new category, called: Dinners with Johnny.

Johnny is my brother and lived with me for over seven years.  He moved in when my ex and I were still together and stayed with for seven years after my ex and I divorced.  We had our moments of struggle and frustrations, just like any siblings (especially adult siblings, living together) but he became a major source of companionship and support to myself and my kids.

This fall, I sold my home and we had to part as roommates–him moving just across the lake and myself, down the road.  It was important that I not lose the time with him after we moved into separate households.

With Tuesdays being my day off, we have fallen into a weekly dinner night so that we can keep that connection strong.  This gives us time to visit, watch stupid tv together and for me to feed my culinary passions.  I love the planning stage, just as much as I love the preparing.

So, that said…Welcome to “Dinners with Johnny: A Weekly Series”

Here we are, so young...so many years ago.
Here we are, so young…so many years ago.
We showed up to Christmas dinner with our family, dressed like this.
We showed up to Christmas dinner with our family, dressed like this.

 

Yeah...we've still not grown up
Yeah…we’ve still not grown up