How to Celebrate Mardi Gras: More Thoughts on Flexitarianism


A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about “Flexitarianism” and some of you complimented me on coining this phrase.  Let me set the record straight by saying that I did not.  In fact, if you are interested there is a whole article about this topic at Wikipedia.

There are some vegetarians who hate flexitarianism because they claim that “one cannot be an occasional vegetarian.”     Respectfully, I say to those vegetarians,  “oh lighten up”.      Vegetarianism is a pattern of eating, not a cult.***

And just to be ornery about it, I am offering here a recipe that epitomizes carnivorism.    If you don’t like red meat with lots of fat you may want to forgo this recipe, but if you are of the camp that observes Lent and want to celebrate this Fat Tuesday in the most literal way, give it a go.

Lori’s Short Rib Recipe

Start with 2.5 pounds of beef plate short ribs. (This same recipe works well with just about any tough piece of beef).

Into a large plastic ziplock bag, mix 1/2 cup all-purpose flour with salt and pepper to taste. Coat each piece of meat with the flour mixture in the bag.

Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a large cast iron skillet on high heat.  When the oil in the pan starts to shimmer, carefully put each piece of meat into the skillet.  Don’t move the meat around once you lay it in the pan and try not to overcrowd the pan.   After about five minutes, turn each piece and do the same.  Don’t be afraid to let the meat get brown.

While the meat is browning, in a small bowl mix together

1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon worchester sauce
1 teaspoon of smoked Spanish paprika (or a 1/2 teaspoon of chipotle powder if you are really brave).
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

Set the mixture aside for the moment.

When the meat is thoroughly browned on both sides, remove the meat from the skillet and put it in a slow cooker.  Turn the heat down to low and carefully pour in 1 can beef broth.

Be careful of the steam and spatter.  Scrape up all the brown bits from the pan.  Turn off the heat and then add 1/2 cup of red wine and the brown sugar mixture to the skillet.   Toss in 2 bay leaves.  Stir the mixture and then turn the heat back on to medium and let it come to a boil.

Turn off the heat and pour the mixture into the slow cooker over the meat.  Add 1 medium sliced onion and 2 cloves of minced garlic. Cover the slow cooker and leave it on LOW for 6 hours.  At hour 6, put in 8 ounces of small white or cremini mushrooms (sliced or whole)  and heat for another hour.  Turn off the cooker and let it sit for about 15 minutes.  The meat should be very tender and falling off the bones.

Serve the meat with the starch of your choice.  Egg noodles, spaghetti, mashed potatoes all work well with this.

In my honest opinion, this is comfort food at its finest.

Bon Appetite, Flexitarians.

***Yes, yes, I know there are religions wherein vegetarianism is a component but I’m not talking about that.  I’m talking about those people who think the rest us are ruining the planet because we like an occasional pork chop.


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