Cooking With Honey – Short Rib Tacos

short rib tacos

My family loves pulled pork, but every once in a while I like a change.  These tacos satisfy their hankering for barbecue and my yearning to try a new recipe. We enjoyed these last night!!

Ingredients

3 – 5  T. canola oil

2 lbs. short ribs

2 – 3 shallots, chopped

3 – 4 cloves garlic smashed

Salt, pepper for seasoning, (I also use a few t. of seasoning mix that contains sea salt, red pepper,fennel seed, dehydrated garlic, peppercorns)

Prepared horseradish

Couple of t. flour

1/2 cup of wine

1 qt. beef stock

2 – 3 bay leaves

1/2 t. cumin

1/3 t. all spice

1/4 t. cayenne

Couple of chipotle peppers (canned peppers with a little of the adobo sauce)

2 T. tomato paste

2 t. honey

4 carrots, peeled, halved and then quartered

Warm soft corn or flour torillas

Toppings: guacamole, chopped onion, chopped cilantro, monterey jack cheese, queso fresco, chopped avocado, salsa, sour cream, etc.

Directions

Heat canola oil in large, heavy dutch oven and either heat oven to 425F.

Rinse short ribs, pat dry. Sprinkle salt, pepper and seasoning mix on all sides.

Rub generously with prepared horseradish. Sprinkle with flour so that all sides are lightly coated.

Add beef to heated pan and sear well on all sides — you really want to get a good coating on the beef — if the coating sticks to the pan, don’t worry, it will deglaze.

Add chopped shallots and garlic to pan. Deglaze with wine, let it cook down a bit.

Add chipotle peppers and tomato paste.  Add beef stock. Add spices & honey.

Stir well, bring up to a simmer, cover and place in oven.

Reduce heat after 20 – 25 minutes and cook at 300 – 325 F for about four hours.

With one hour to go, add carrots to pot, stir in and cover; continue to cook for about 45 minutes to one hour.

After about four hours, beef will be easy to pull apart and liquid will have cooked down to rich, spicy sauce.

Pull beef apart and serve with sauce, warm tortillas, and toppings.

Honey Braised Short Ribs With Creamy Polenta And Ragout Of Winter Vegetables

short rib ragu

Eating locally in January is not as difficult as one might think. Winter vegetables such as hearty greens and root vegetables are widely available and at their peak. This is a delicious way to make use of winter’s bounty.

Recipe: Root vegetable ragout

Ingredients

2 each sweet carrots, washed and peeled

4 each turnips, washed and peeled

2 each parsnips, washed and peeled

12 each pearl onions, peeled

12 each red pearl onions, peeled

1/2 teaspoon sherry vinegar

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 teaspoon chopped tarragon

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Preparation

Cut the carrots, turnips, and parsnips into pieces of about the same size and shape, preferably a medium-sized dice. Blanch the cut carrots, turnips, parsnips, and onions together, in a pot of boiling salted water, until tender, about 5 minutes or less. Carefully remove from the blanching water with a slotted spoon and place into an ice water bath. Allow vegetables to cool; reserve in refrigerator until you are ready to serve them.

To serve, put the vegetables in a small skillet along with sherry vinegar, butter, and chopped tarragon. Place the skillet over a medium-low flame and warm just moments before serving. Season with salt and pepper.

Recipe: Creamy polenta

Ingredients

2 cups water

Salt, to taste

1/2 cup organic yellow polenta (can substitute plain cornmeal)

2 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup mascarpone cheese (can substitute cream cheese)

Preparation

Lightly season 2 cups water with salt and bring to a boil. Quickly whisk in the polenta until it has been fully incorporated. Reduce the heat to a low simmer. Add the butter and allow the polenta to cook uncovered for 30 minutes. Stir in the mascarpone and season to taste with salt.

This may be made in advance and kept in the refrigerator. Reheat in the microwave just before serving.

Recipe: Zinfandel braised beef short ribs with creamy polenta and a ragout of fall vegetables

Ingredients

4 pounds beef short ribs, bone in, cut into single rib chops

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

3 cups zinfandel (red wine)

1/2 cup honey

1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic

3 sprigs fresh thyme, picked

3 ounces canola oil

2 cups small-diced onion

.5 cup small-diced celery

.5 cup small-diced carrots

6 ounces canned chopped tomatoes

2 cups beef broth

2 ounces mushrooms, preferably porcini

2 each bay leaves

Preparation

Generously season the short ribs with salt and pepper. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the zinfandel, honey, garlic, fresh thyme and a pinch of salt. Marinate the short ribs in the wine mixture for 12 hours in the refrigerator.

Pour 3 ounces canola oil into a Dutch oven over high heat. Remove the short ribs from the wine and allow the beef to rest for several minutes and come to room temperature. Reserve marinade.

Once the meat has rested, place in the hot pan. Stir and turn the meat often, carefully allowing each piece to brown on each side before removing from the pan. When browned (will take several minutes per side), remove the beef from the pan and add the onions, carrots, and celery. Stir constantly and allow the onions to cook until mahogany in color, about 10 minutes; if onions are browning too quickly, reduce to medium heat. Add the short ribs back to the pot along with the reserved wine marinade. Allow the wine to come to a boil before reducing the heat to a simmer, skimming foam and fat from the surface of the liquid. After simmering for several minutes, add remaining ingredients and allow to simmer uncovered until the meat is fork tender and nearly falling off the bone, roughly 5 hours.

Once the beef has cooked, transfer short ribs to a dish and cover. Reduce the pan liquids until they coat the back of the spoon, simmering about 30 minutes. Strain the braising liquid and return the short ribs to the liquid. Season the short ribs and braising liquid with salt and pepper to taste. Reserve for later use.

This may all be done up to 3-4 days in advance. Reheat in oven or microwave until meat is at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

Assembly: Reheat the three components of the dish separately.

On each of 6 large plates, place a couple of spoonfuls of polenta in the center of the plate.

Carefully remove the bones from the hot ribs and place the beef short ribs over the bed of polenta.

In a pan over medium heat, bring the reserved braising liquid to a simmer. Once the sauce is hot, check for seasoning and, if needed, add a touch of salt and pepper. Spoon the sauce around the beef short ribs and polenta. Carefully place the root vegetable ragout on the beef. Serve and enjoy!

Serves 6