There was never anything wrong with instant ramen. But there was never anything wrong with not being on the moon, either. That didn't stop Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and that other guy* from changing the course of human history with a few daring steps and a super dope catchphrase. So too shall journalist and blogger Josh Scherer change the course of late-night, often-insane, sometimes-smart-but-always-monstrous munchie food that puts your MSG packet garbage to shame.
You'll find more than seventy creations broken into the ten "brossential" food groups like: Beer, Fried Things, Tacos, and Struggle Snacks (because money is hard). Josh's recipes range from indulgent eats like Beer-Poached Bratwurst Party Subs and Mac 'n' Cheese Nachos to hella-classy dishes like Broccolini with Burnt Lemon Hollandaise and Pork Belly Tacos with Fish Sauce Caramel. Sprinkled in are the unholy commandments for bro cooking, such as "bagged wine is the only wine you need," and Josh's expert advice on how to beat a hangover (it's mostly just pastrami and emotionally purging movies).
The Culinary Bro-Down Cookbook is full of irreverent essays and anecdotes, but running throughout is a deep sense of soul and self that strives to answer the question: Why can't the deep-fried nonsense you eat with your bros at 2 a.m. have the same emotional gravitas as an intimate family dinner?
Oh and there's bacon, too. Like, a lot of it.
MAKES 12 TACOS
The most interesting thing white people have done to the taco is to try to re-architecture the tortilla to fit their white-taco sensibilities. To white people, tacos are crunchy, but crunchy taco shells are small and break easily, which is how the giant taco salad in a fried tortilla bowl exists.
Now, white-people-facing taco companies are coming out with new innovations like crunchy taco boats and crunchy taco shells that stand up as you fill them. They’re fun to make fun of, but even more fun to cook with. I wanted to shed any faux-Latin pretense of your typical white-person taco and go with full on white-people ingredients like arugula and horseradish. White people love arugula.
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 3 pounds bone-in English-cut short ribs
- 1 large white onion, roughly chopped
- 3 large carrots, roughly chopped
- 24 ounces (2 bottles) brown ale
- 2 (15-ounce) cans white beans
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice Black pepper
- 12 taco-size flour tortillas
- 12 crunchy taco shells (I use Old El Paso’s Stand ’n Stuff)
- 1 bunch wild arugula
- 8 ounces Gruyère cheese, shredded
- Preheat your oven to 300°F. Heat a large, heavy-bottomed sauté pan (hopefully cast iron) on high heat with the vegetable oil. Season up the short ribs with a whoooooole lot of salt and, when the pan’s hot, sear them off for 3 minutes per side, all around. Work in batches. When they’re all seared, transfer to a deep casserole dish.
- In the same sauté pan, add the onion and carrots, then deglaze the pan with that brown ale, scraping at the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to get the tasty bits. Add 2 cups water and 1 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil. Then carefully pour that mixture over the short ribs. Cover the casserole with tin foil and throw in the 300-degree oven for at least 4 hours, until the ribs are falling off the bone.
- Remove the short ribs from the braising liquid and let cool a bit. When they are cool enough to work with, shred with a fork and put in a large mixing bowl. Splash about 2 cups of the fatty braising liquid in there and add salt to taste.
- Drain the beans in a colander and rinse them with cold water to get the can stink off them. Puree the beans in a food processor with the olive oil. Transfer the puree to a pan and heat on medium, just to warm it through; reserve.
- Whisk together the sour cream, horseradish, and lemon juice and add a few cracks of black pepper. Reserve that too.
- Heat the tortillas in groups of three in a large skillet on high heat, just until they’re a little toasty. For each taco, spread about a tablespoon of bean puree evenly over a tortilla, then fold that around a crunchy taco shell. Spoon some of your braised short ribs into the taco shell, then top that with wild arugula, some of your horseradish sour cream, and shredded Gruyère.