On most Friday nights in the early 1960’s, my brother and I would pile in the car with my mom and go to the train station.
Daddy was coming home and we were there to meet the train he was riding on.
Some nights were cold and some were blissfully summer-like. Most of the time it was late enough that it was dark outside. We could watch the red and green lights positioned along the tracks to see when the train was getting near.
My brother was much more adventurous than me. He was the one who would jump down onto the tracks and put his ear on the rail to see if he could hear the train coming. Of course, what he was looking for was to see if he could feel the vibrations on the track. The train might be miles away, but he was convinced he could hear the train. (My brother later studied to be a mechanical engineer, like my dad. Go figure. There’s a start to everything).
Most nights my father was coming from Chicago in those days. Each time he visited Chicago he stayed at the venerable Palmer House Hotel.
You may recall an earlier story I wrote about how the Palmer House Hotel was the place where the brownie was invented in 1893 for the World’s Fair. The chef was asked to come up with a special dessert for a dignitary luncheon and the brownie was his creation.
My father loved the Palmer House Hotel. It wasn’t until I was 18 years old that I got to see the hotel and sit in the grand lobby. Before that I would just hear stories from my dad about how beautiful the place was.
When we arrived home, we were whisked off to bed. The rest of the evening, my parents got to catch up with each other.
I’m not privy to those conversations, of course, but there is historical evidence of at least part of what happened after we were snoozing in bed.
The evidence I am referring to comes in the form of a silver charm bracelet...
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This is a ZReduction recipe. Au jus is just a fancy name for the sauce they give you to eat with prime rib. It can also be eaten with any kind of beef cut; a steak, or even roast beef.
This is a super simple version I made up for a quick weeknight meal. It only takes a few minutes to make and really ramps up the flavor of your beef cut.
Can be doubled or tripled easily.
5 cups of low sodium beef broth (I season with my own sea salt so I get healthy salt instead of processed salt which
doesn’t do your blood pressure any good)
2 tsp of Worcestershire
¼ tsp (or to taste) of garlic powder
grated sea salt and pepper to taste
Take out a small sauce pan. Add the broth. Turn your burner on medium high and bring it to a boil. Then turn down so it just bubbles. You don’t want to boil it so fast that it rises up above the edge of the pan.
Boil this down until it’s about half of the volume. This will take about 10 minutes depending on your stove. Just keep an easy eye on it while you do something else in the kitchen.
When it’s boiled down, add the rest of the ingredients and just boil another minute to meld the flavors. Stir.
I serve this in little bowls on the side for dipping. You can also drizzle it over your beef. It’s also tasty with your veggies you’ll be serving on the side.