Some foods are just made to go together. For instance, there’s orange juice and oatmeal. And how about olive oil and tomatoes? And there is a reason, according to epidemiologist David R. Jacobs, Ph.D., of the University of Minnesota. He calls it food synergy.
One of my favorite food combos is beef and carrots, one of the most powerful food synergies known to man. The pair make for a hearty meal (think stews and soup) while at the same time helping boost your immune function. The Vitamin A in the carrots is best absorbed when bound to a protein. Plus, the beef delivers an extra dose of zinc, which protects against weakening of the immune system.
I came across an interesting beef and carrot dish while on Facebook today. The recipe, from Betty Crocker, was being shared by a friend, Mary Gilmour Sorlie of Bemidji. Mary said she was making the recipe, with a few slight changes, and wasn’t sure how it would turn out. I’m betting that it will taste great considering the main ingredients.
Here’s the recipe, which I also hope to try soon, using some fresh carrots from my garden some elk or venison, more of my 2011 bounty.
Oven-Braised Beef Short Ribs
3½ to 4 pounds beef short ribs, trimmed of fat
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
½ cup beef broth
½ cup Zinfandel wine or cranberry juice
¼ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup chili sauce
½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves
½ teaspoon dried marjoram leaves
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon garlic-pepper blend
2 cups fresh baby carrots
1 medium onion, halved, thinly sliced
Heat oven to 325 degrees. Spray 12-inch nonstick skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Heat over medium-high heat until hot. Add short ribs; cook 6 to 8 minutes or until browned on all sides.
In ungreased 13-by-9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish, combine tomatoes, broth, wine, flour, chili sauce, thyme, marjoram, salt and garlic-pepper blend; mix well. Add browned ribs, carrots and onion; stir gently to mix. (Baking dish will be full.) Cover with foil.
Bake covered at 325 degrees for 2 hours.
Uncover baking dish, bake an additional 20 to 30 minutes or until ribs are tender and liquid is slightly thickened.