I know, I’ve made this or something very similar before. But I switched up a bunch of the ingredients this time, and then I changed up what I did afterwards, it just tasted so good this time, I couldn’t help it. I took more pictures. Then I brought some to my brother at work, so all of his friends are begging for the recipe… well, I guess I better comply!
It was the same basic concept… but I’ll reiterate.
∙couple pounds of short ribs from FreshDirect (of course! though not on sale this time, boo)
∙kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper
∙thinly sliced onion (these break up, so no worries on cutting them nicely)
∙juice of one lemon
∙a bottle of Dogfish Head “Raison D’etre” beer
I like to let my meats come to a room temperature before cooking, so they’re easier to heat, plus on some cooking show, I think it was Alton Brown’s, the host said that throwing cold meat into a hot pan “shocks” it and “hardens” the meat quickly, and I totally love soft, tender meats. After rinsing the short ribs and patting dry, I seasoned them on all sides with a bit of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, then seared them in a hot pan/pot big enough to hold all of the ribs in a flat layer and deep enough that I could cover the ribs easily.
After they were nice and brown on all sides, I removed them and deglazed the pan with a bit of the beer. Added the onions and let those start to soften. Once those were looking all nice and melty (if the pan starts to look dry, add a bit more beer), I stuck the ribs back in, on top of the onions and then began squirting ketchup over the ribs, a spoonful of dijon mustard, mad dashes of Worcestershire sauce, the juice of one lemon, and lots of honey to take the edge off the ketchup. After all that, I added more beer to thin out the sauce a little- maybe 1/4 of the bottle, a bit more- eyeball it.
Turn the heat to low-medium and let it come to a slow bubble. Stir occasionally, but basically, just sit back and enjoy the wonderful scents coming out of your kitchen for 2-3 hours. The meat should be falling-off-the-bone tender when all is said and done…
Of course, there’s so much fat on top of the sauce at this point that I try skimming it off. I got so frustrated that I took a plastic container, poured the sauce into it, and stuck the sauce in the freezer for about 30 minutes. This still didn’t get all of the fat off, but I got a large portion off, and then I poured it all back into the pan to re-heat. I also pulled the bones out (I reserved these for my dog) at this point, then put the meat back in the sauce as well.
The meat was so soft at this point, I wanted to just stuff it all in my mouth and swallow, no chewing necessary. Instead, though, I recalled that last time I’d made these, HerBoudoir had suggested serving on top of fluffy white rice, which I promptly did, sans bones. The meat melted beautifully into the rice.
However, BF, while pleased I’d made short ribs again, suggested serving over pasta. I kind of feh‘ed his idea until I recalled… well, ShB had ordered pasta with short rib meat before and liked it, so I decided to try our own version. BF wanted penne, but at the moment, I had an open box of curly macaroni, which resulted in the pictures you see here (I didn’t take my own pictures). Both BF and brother loved the pasta version, so the next night, with some short rib meat still leftover, I opened up a box of mini penne.
I reserved a cup or so of the pasta water from making the penne, then threw the short ribs- sauce and all- into a pan, and added the pasta water a few spoonfuls at a time until I reached a consistency I liked. After I broke up the short rib meat a bit with my wooden spatula, I tossed the penne in to coat, adding more pasta water when I saw fit, and the end result? PERFECTION. The soft rib meat with the chew of the al dente pasta was absolutely delicious, with the oil being absorbed into the pasta for an even better flavor the next day. I have to make this again soon, but I fear for my waistline.
I highly recommend breaking up short rib meat, prepared anyway you like, as long as it’s tender, into a bowlful of pasta. It is an amazing experience that I never thought to try but now will be a set part of my recipe collection.