So um, yeah, 2011 can still suck it. Two days after my last post, when I thought perhaps the suck that is 2011 might be over, I rolled my ankle while leaving a client’s house after a night of catering. It was sooo dark and I just couldn’t see the edge of the driveway.
After three days of pain, I finally went to the doctor yesterday. After an exam, and a few x-rays, it was determined that no severe damage had been done (no broken bones, no torn ligaments) but it was definitely sprained. Gotta say, this is going to put a hamper on my triathlon training. Swimming is okay, biking is a maybe, but walking is a no go for at least two (but likely four) weeks.
As I am generally a glass is half-full person, I am grateful that the ankle that I rolled was my right ankle and not the left since it has not even been a year since my ankle surgery. The x-rays also showed a pretty awesome bone spur which is the likely cause of heel pain that I have been suffering through for years. So, once this triathlon is over, I can deal with that and hopefully rid myself of some pain.
So, because I have a sprained ankle and can’t really stand for long periods of time, there is not much cooking going on in my house. This makes it kind of hard create a new recipe. However, my cousin Mariah asked me to post the recipe for the short ribs that I posted pictures of in December so this seemed like the perfect chance.
Here’s the line-up:
In a heavy pot, cook the bacon until it is nice and crispy. Now honestly, you could totally skip the bacon and just warm a couple tablespoons of oil in the pan instead. How do I know? Well because I completely forgot to add the crispy bacon to the finished dish and I didn’t miss it at all (the dish ends up plenty rich on it’s own).
While the bacon renders (or the oil heats), combine the flour with salt, pepper and fresh thyme.
Dredge each of the short ribs in the mixture.
Once the bacon is crispy remove it from the pan then brown the short ribs on all side in the bacon fat (or the oil that you have been warming if you are skipping the bacon).
Do the browning in batches so that the pan isn’t too crowded (they’ll brown better that way) and once they are brown remove them from the pan.
Add the chopped onions and the garlic to the now empty pan and cook until they have softened a bit.
You may ask, why use both chopped onion and pearl onions in the dish. Well, over the long cooking time, the chopped onions kind of just melt into the sauce while the pearl onions stay whole and provide a yummy bite all on their own.
Add the wine to the pan and scrape with a spoon to get all the tasty bits off the bottom.
Add the pearl onions and olives to the pan.
Then nestle in the browned short ribs and the fresh thyme. Don’t add any salt to the pot at this point because the olives are going to give a lot of salt to the dish.
Add a lid (or aluminum foil if your pot doesn’t have a lid) and pop the pot into a 350 degree oven.
After two hours take the pan out of the oven (mmm, looking good so far).
And stir in the potatoes. Adding the potatoes later in the process keeps them from getting too soft.
Put the lid back on the pot and pop it back into the oven for another hour.
With the cooking now done, if you have opted to use the bacon, stir it into the dish. But if, like me, you forget, you still get this delicious looking concoction.
Remove the thyme sprig then test for seasoning and add some salt and pepper if you want. On each plate place a rib (or two if you are hungry) and a few potatoes along with some of the olive and onion mixture. A little sprinkle of parsley wouldn’t hurt either.
Unctuous, delicious meat, falling off the bone. Perfectly tender potatoes. And did I mention the aroma in the house? Oh my.
RED-WINE BRAISED SHORT RIBS WITH OLIVES AND ONIONS
serves 3-6 depending on your appetite
This is a bit of a “project” meal with it’s long cooking time, but it is, for the most part, untended cooking. Start it after lunch on a lazy Sunday and by dinner (or supper for those in the midwest) time your meal will be ready.
3-4 strips bacon, cut into 1″ lengths (optional, if not using substitute 2 tablespoons vegetable oil)
3/4 cup flour
1 Tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 onion, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cup red wine
3/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted
1 bag frozen pearl onions, thawed
6 meaty short ribs
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 1/2 pound small waxy potatoes (yukon golds, reds or fingerling potatoes work well)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large, heavy pot, cook the bacon over medium high heat until it is brown and crisp. If not using bacon, heat oil in the pan instead.
Meanwhile, combine the flour with salt, pepper and fresh thyme and stir to combine. Dredge each of the short ribs in the mixture.
Once the bacon is crisp, use a slotted spoon to remove it from the pan then brown the short ribs, in batches, on all sides in the remaining bacon fat or the heated oil. As they brown remove them from the pan. Add the chopped onions and the garlic to the now empty pan and cook until they have softened a bit. Add the wine to the pan and scrape with a spoon to release the fond from the bottom of the pan. Add the pearl onions and olives to the pan, then nestle in the browned short ribs and the fresh thyme.
Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid or aluminum foil and place in oven. After 2 hours, add the potatoes to the pot, stirring to combine. Re-cover the pot and return it to the oven for an additional hour.
If using the bacon, stir it into the dish. Remove the thyme sprig then test for seasoning and add some salt and pepper if needed. On each plate place a rib or two and a few potatoes along with some of the olive and onion mixture.