Braised Short Ribs
As the weather changes, so does my appetite. The craving for comfort foods takes over my life and turns me into this crazed food zombie, on the hunt for some meatloaf and mash! Exaggerated much? But there’s nothing quite like turning a chunk of beef into a melty nugget of tenderness over a long period of time. Meats like brisket and pork butt, which can take up to 18 hours to cook properly, become amazing barbecue and roasts. I think it’s pretty cool that a chuck roast and a filet mignon can come from the same animal but taste so off-the-wall different.
One thing you’ll need to slow cook tough cuts of meat into a happy place is either a crock pot or a cast iron casserole dish. Cast iron has been around for years (300ish if your interested) and was a preferred cooking tool by settlers, cowboys and anyone else wandering around the prairies because of its ability to keep the heat. It’s tough too, and cowboys are tough. I just can’t picture John Wayne simmering his beans with a shiny All Clad.
I don’t own a crock pot and up until this blue-enameled cast iron bad boy was sent to me, all I had was a small heavy pot which was the perfect size to feed, umm, one very small cowboy, which in my home is not gonna fly. The pot is from the new Martha Stewart collection and has eight quarts worth of roasting real estate. That’s behemoth! (Don’t you love Thesaurus.com?) They also come in a bunch of different colors so chances are there’s one to fit your kitchen paint job.
I braised the short ribs for two hours in a bath of wine and broth. If I was a rib this is how I’d want to go out. The bones fell right from the meat when they were done and the smell was ludicrous. I strained the leftover liquid and reduced it a little for the sauce. Served alongside some heavily buttered mashed potatoes, this was classic comfort food! The casserole dish performed great, even through clean up which was a breeze considering it had just been in the oven for two hours.