Thursday, November 13, 2008

Braised beef short ribs with horseradish

Short ribs are a delicious, cheap cut that benefits from looooong cooking. I don't have a slowcooker, but I bet this would be a great candidate for that device. I make mine in my cast iron dutch oven, when I have several hours where it can cook away, more-or-less unattended. I got these ribs from the meat guy with the pretty eyes at Morningside market, and it was about 1 1/2 pounds. You'd need more if you were cooking for more people than just, say, Jeremy and Melanie. Mel also brought over small red potatoes, so those made their way into the dish at the end, which was a good addition. Meat and potatoes! Classic.

Heat up 2 tablespoons olive oil in your trusty dutch oven over medium-high heat. Get you your short ribs and pop them in, browning them well on all sides. Don't burn them, just brown them well. It took me about 10 minutes for mine, but it might take longer if you have more than a pound. Salt and pepper them as you turn them around in the pot. When they are browned, take 'em out and set aside. Back in the same pot, begin to sauté one minced onion over medium heat until soft and lightly golden, about 8-10 minutes. By the way, if you browned more ribs than I did, you may need to drain out some fat before adding in your onion. I didn't have that much meat so I didn't think it necessary, but if you are feeding a crowd, that pot might get too greasy, so take a look before tossing in your onion and proceeding. When the onion is ready, nestle your short ribs back in, turn heat up to medium-high and add 1 cup beef broth plus some of the wine you are drinking and bring it all to a boil. Turn down the heat to low, cover and simmer for...hours. At least 2 hours. Stir it every now and then, but mostly do other stuff like clean the kitchen or brush your furry dog. Or read the November issue of National Geographic and check out that crazy Mexican crystal palace! Poke the ribs after an hour and a half and hopefully the meat should be starting to fall off the bone. At this point, I added 4 diced red potatoes in with the meat and let them cook for another 30-40 minutes while the ribs finished up. Remove the meat and potatoes to a serving platter (preferably using a big sieve-type spatula so Melanie can enjoy watching--she loves that thing, don't know why), and crank up the heat to high. Stir in 2 tablespoons of prepared horseradish and 1 tablespoon minced parsley and continue stirring for 2 minutes to reduce the liquid left over. Pour this sauce over the ribs and potatoes and serve.

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