Created using an assortment of recipes from Epicurious.com
Although it is spring here in Georgia, we’ve had some cool, damp weather this week which led me in a retreat to a hearty, stick-to-your-bones dish (so to speak). There’s not much more warming to the soul than a bowl of braised meat served over creamy, mashed vegetables. For the meat, Whole Foods had these gorgeous, local, grass-fed beef ribs. For the vegetable, I used my mashed cauliflower recipe, except instead of Parmesan, I substituted a raw cheddar cheese from Wellness Meats – also from grass-fed cows. To top off the grass-fed trilogy, several tablespoons of Kerrygold Irish butter were liberally added to the cauliflower. We certainly got our quota of omega-3 fatty acids from this meal!
A note about this butter – it is exceptional! I have been using good organic butter, but I think I had forgotten what butter is supposed to taste like. Sweet, rich, velvety…oh my. It is made only from milk produced during the summer months from cows grazing the rolling green, green pastures of Ireland. As you might expect, the creamy deliciousness of this butter doesn’t come cheap, so use it where you can taste it best!
This seemed like the yummiest meal ever! I don’t know if it was the high quality of the ingredients or our post-7 p.m. appetites (having wallowed in the aroma of the braise for 3 hours), but man, it was worth waiting for!
- 4 pounds beef short ribs (on bones)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- olive oil
- 2 celery ribs, coarsely chopped
- 3 medium carrots, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 large sweet onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 head of garlic, halved crosswise
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon anchovy paste
- 4-5 springs of thyme
- 1 15 oz can of diced tomatoes (I like the Muir Glen fire-roasted tomatoes)
- 2 cups red wine
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 cups beef stock
- Preheat oven to 325F.
- Season the ribs all over with salt and pepper.
- Heat 1-2 tablespoons of oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Brown beef on all sides in batches; place browned ribs in a bowl.
- Pour off “used” oil. Add ~1 tablespoon of fresh oil to pan and return to medium-high heat. Add onions, celery, and carrots. Cook until softened, stirring occasionally.
- Add head of garlic, bay leaf, anchovy paste, thyme and can of tomatoes. Cook briefly (1 or 2 minutes), stirring frequently.
- Add wine, beef stock, and balsamic vinegar. Stir well.
- Bring to a boil, then return the ribs and any accumulated liquids to the pot. Cover and place in oven to braise for around 3 hours or until the ribs are very tender (as in falling apart tender). Check on them occasionally to ladle off excess fat and make sure the liquid doesn’t get too low. You want the liquids to reduce, but not completely!
- When the ribs are done, carefully transfer the meat to a platter.
- Pour the braising liquids and vegetables into a food mill with a fine strainer, or through a fine-mesh strainer. You may need to do this in batches. Press on the solids to remove as much sauce as possible, then discard the solids. Return the sauce to the empty pan and reheat. Boil if necessary to thicken. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Return the rib meat to the sauce, and it’s ready to serve!
Those ribs were really, really tasty…and we’re about to have the leftovers, so I’ll be quick! During the “white boy blues” craze of the mid ’60s, titans battled- Clapton with Mayall, Bloomfield with Butterfield, but one guy has always been my favorite- and B.B. Kings too- Peter Green with the original Fleetwood Mac. The most soulful guitar you’ll ever hear, and great songwriting (Black Magic Woman, Oh Well and Rattlesnake Shake to name but a few) and vocals from an era of the band you’ve probably never tried. Really, this Mac is nothing at all like the later pop…crap, so don’t be afraid. Just get a copy of Man of the World: Anthology 1968-1988 and cue up “Long Grey Mare” and hear for yourself.
Now… where are those short ribs!