wooden spoon

wooden spoon

I love it when one column begets another.

Case in point, an old friend called requesting a repeat of two oldies after being reminded through my Valentine’s Day recommendation: longtime favorites that call for wine and beer.

One's another sherry wine recipe and the other is a main dish — roast pork rosemary and short ribs cooked in beer.

One can see the connection; both include an “adult” beverage and are tried, true and delicious.

So, here’s to you, Carole, and to quote Julia, bon appétit!


2 tablespoons olive oil

1 lean bone in pork loin roast, approximately 5 to 6 pounds

2 cups dry sherry wine

2 cups water

1 or 2 large sprigs fresh rosemary or 2 to 4 tablespoons dried

3 or 4 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup flour

1/3 cup butter

salt and pepper to taste

Use a heavy roasting pan (or Dutch oven) with a tight-fitting lid and brown roast well in olive oil. Add sherry, water, rosemary and garlic. Cover and cook in a slow oven at 300 degrees for about one hour per pound or until meat is very tender and pulls away from the bone. Remove pork to platter, skim fat and strain juice. 

In a deep saucepan, melt butter and stir in flour. Mix well and add strained liquid slowly, stirring constantly to prevent lumps. Cook over low heat until thickened. Thin to desired consistency with potato water, hot water or more sherry. Add salt and pepper to taste. Slice meat and serve with mashed potatoes and gravy.

This roast has a lot of flavor and makes wonderful leftovers. Take meat off the bone, mix it with any remaining gravy, add sautéed mushrooms (if desired) and serve over rice or noodles. 

A little trick with rice: if serving plain, try it with peas. When done, mix in a generous amount of frozen peas, stir, cover and allow hot rice to “plump up” and heat peas through. Don’t let them sit long enough to actually cook; this way, they have a satisfying pop when bitten into and retain their deep green color.


6 tablespoons olive oil

6 to 7 pounds short ribs


fresh ground pepper

2 onions, chopped

4 carrots, sliced 1/2-inch thick

4 stalks celery, chopped

4 to 6 garlic cloves, chopped

1/3 cup flour

4 cups broth, chicken or beef

1 can beer

1-1/2 tablespoon tomato paste

2 bay leaves

1/4 cup horseradish* or more to taste

In large roasting pan with lid or Dutch oven, heat oil until hot. Add short ribs and brown well on all sides. (Do this in batches.) Remove meat to plate and season with salt and pepper. Add onion, carrots and celery to cooking pan and cook until carrots and celery start to soften and onion is golden. Add garlic and cook another minute or two. (Don’t let garlic burn.) Turn off heat, stir in flour and add broth. Add beer, tomato paste and bay leaves. Stir to blend all ingredients well. 

Add short ribs and any juices on plate. Turn up heat and bring to a simmer. Cover pot and place in a 300-degree oven. Bake, covered for about 2-1/2 to 3 hours or until meat is tender. Remove from oven, turn heat off and place ribs on a serving plate. Return ribs to oven or cover with foil to keep warm. Allow vegetables in pot to stand for 5 minutes. Skim excess fat from top, adjust salt and pepper to taste and whisk in horseradish. Serve with gravy/sauce spooned over mashed potatoes and ribs. 

*Use prepared or fresh grated horseradish, not horseradish cream sauce. This is a hearty dish, so the stronger the horseradish, the better.

An interesting side effect of our COVID-19 quarantine is the food. We are cooking more since we’re eating out less; we’re exploring new recipes, because we’re eating out less and growing gardens, again, we’re eating out less.

Longtime Valley resident Elaine Revelle can be reached at thewoodenspoon@juno.com.