Friday, October 24, 2014

Don't Play With Your Meat: A Braised Short Rib Recipe that You Can (almost) Forget About

You know what's great?  Actually being able to see the words you're typing on your screen.  

I've had glasses for the last 14 years of my life. Unfortunately, the last time I got new glasses was about 4 years ago.  Since then, my prescription had changed so I ditch my peepers and have been squinting at computer screens for the last 2 to 3 years.

A few days ago, I went to the eye doctor to pick up my glasses and now, as I type this on my computer screen, the words are crisper, the colors are brighter, and shit is generally less fuzzy.

God Bless America.

In the spirit of fall, as I type this wearing leggings and an oversized sweatshirt, cozed up on my couch with a glass of red wine and the dog snuggled up next to me, I'm going to continue on with comfort food.

Generally, when people think of ribs, they think of barbecues with friends, fireworks, or coolers full of beer.  In fact, if I'm having ribs for dinner, I think of rubbed, smoked and slathered pork or beef ribs served on a checker-cloth covered picnic table with corn on the cob, potato salad, and watermelon.

But when I think of short ribs, I think of braised, rich, deep fall-off-the-bone flavor.  And quite frankly, I don't know why it isn't served more.  I don't know why I don't make short ribs more.

Short ribs are a decadent and popular cut of meat that make me think of life's simple pleasures. They're cozy, delicious, mouth-watering, melt in your mouth, and so incredibly delicious, I'm drooling on myself just thinking about nibbling on the tender meat.

Is there something about short ribs that make people shrivel in fear?  Is it unknown to some cooks?  Do people think it takes hours of preparation? Sure braising meat can take time, but once you get some general prep out of the way, it's more of a "set it and forget it" which is something I think most cooks can appreciate.

It's easy.

Really.  If I haven't said it before, short ribs are amazingly easy and so ridiculously delicious.

I want to shout from the mountain how amazing this recipe is.

I - as a rule - don't post things that I wouldn't at least make again.  In fact, most of the time I cook, I don't repeat dishes.  And trust me when I say there have been some things I've made, documented, taken pictures of, and I've been dead set that it will make an entry.

But this.

I want to make this again as soon as possible.

I want to come home to the smell of the short ribs braising.

It's pure. Simple. Heaven.

I really like braised meat, but I don't really like having to worry about my apartment burning down while I'm at work.  So even though I'd normally sear the beef in a large pot and then add all ingredients to that pot to cook, I didn't want to leave an open flame while I was out of the house.

Enter my crock pot.  You might be getting sick of it since I think the last 3 or 4 recipes involved my slow cooker, but it's perfect for this recipe.   Enjoy!

Braised Short Ribs

2-3 pounds short ribs
1/2 c. yellow onion, minced
6 whole cloves garlic, peeled
1 c. dry red wine
1 c. beef stock
2 bay leaves
1 T. Olive Oil
salt and pepper

1. Bring your ribs to room temperature and season your short ribs with salt and pepper.

2. Heat a pan and your olive oil over high heat until the olive oil begins to lightly smoke.  Sear short ribs on all sides, about 2 minutes per side.

3. Remove short ribs from pan and place in the bottom of a crock pot.

4. Add garlic, onion bay leaves, red wine and beef stock.   Season liberally with salt and pepper (liberally, here people).

5. Cook on low for 8 hours. Or until the meat begins to fall off the bone (you'll know.  I came home to one of the bones mysteriously floating in the beef-y, wine-y goodness).

6. Plate up while hot.  I like to put my beef on mashed potatoes and then top it all with some of the liquid from the crock pot.  Yum!

Along with the braised short ribs, I also made some Balsamic and Honey Glazed Roasted Rosemary Carrots.

Say that three times fast.

Wait.  Does that title make me sound a little self-important?  It might.  If so, my basies.

I really like carrots.  It's an unhealthy obsession.  If we're eating out together and you get wings, I might eat all of your carrots.

I could peel a bag of carrots and eat them raw.  I'd be a happy little carrot-eating rabbit.

Glazed carrots are one of my favorite side dishes.   And while you could boil some carrots and then strain and toss in some butter and brown sugar and call it a day, this is a bit more adult-version of a kid-friendly way to eat your veggies

Balsamic and Honey Glazed Roasted Rosemary Carrots

2-3 pounds carrots, peeled and sliced into 1-2 inch pieces on a diagonal
2 T. olive oil
salt and pepper
1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
2 T. honey
2 T. fresh rosemary, chopped

1. Preheat your oven to 400°.

2. Prepare your carrots and place on a baking sheet.  Drizzle carrots with olive oil and toss to coat. Season coated carrots with salt and pepper. Toss again and roast in a preheated oven for 40 minutes.

3. After the first 20 minutes, pull your carrots out and sprinkle with half of the rosemary.  Turn your carrots and sprinkle the remaining rosemary.

4. Roast your carrots for the remaining 20 minutes.

5. During the final roasting, prepare your glaze by heating balsamic vinegar and honey in a small saucepan over high heat until boiling.  Reduce the heat to a simmer and stir occasionally until thickened.

6. Once your carrots are finished, remove from roasting pan and place in a bowl.  Drizzle carrots with the glaze and toss lightly to coat.

I also made mashed potatoes to go with the short ribs.  Since it's mashed potatoes and nothing fancy, I decided not to photograph the process and figured it wouldn't be anything different than what I normally do.

Well fuck.

These were amazing.  They're really not anything fancy and you can do a million different variations of mashed potatoes.   BUT....I loved them.  So I'm going to give you a pictureless recipe.

Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes with Green Onions

2-3 pounds, Yukon gold potatoes, washed and medium-diced
Salt and Pepper
6 oz. cream cheese (I used whipped since that's what I had leftover from my Pinterest Fail-Penis)
1/3 c. milk or half and half (I used almond milk since that what I had in my fridge)
3 green onions, chopped

1. Fill a large pot with water and season with salt.  Add diced potatoes and heat over medium-high heat.  Allow to boil and reduce to a simmer.
2. Cook your potatoes for 25-minutes or until the potatoes are fork-tender.
3. Drain potatoes and return to the pot.  Turn off your burner; however, place your pot back over the warm burner.
4. Begin to mash your potatoes using a potato-masher.  Add cream cheese and half of the milk or half-and-half in.  Season liberally with salt and pepper.  Mash away!
5. When your potatoes get to your desired consistency (people get so picky about their mashed potatoes!), taste and season or add more cream cheese and half-and-half as appropriate.
6. Once seasoned to perfection, stir in your chopped green onions and enjoy!

So I think I might be navigating my blog to Wordpress.  I'm not completely sure and will probably be messing around with it shortly, but I'm thinking that Wordpress might be a little bit more customizeable than Blogspot.  Additionally, I really want to get a recipe plugin.  And a camera.  Or better lighting in my kitchen.  Or learn how to take pictures that are a little bit um... better. I dunno. Probably I'll just hang out here on Blogspot and keep taking photos with my Android because that's what I know and that's comfortable

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