What’s For Dinner?


Photo courtesy of simplyrecipes.com

Photo courtesy of simplyrecipes.com

Beef Short Rib Stew

Wow! Just saying the name makes my mouth water! Ok, props first… Today’s inspiration comes from the cover of Food & Wine Magazine. Take a quick look at the Feb 2013 and you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about! That soup is so amazing looking, I almost ate the cover of the magazine! Fortunately, I managed to catch myself in time to remember that it’s paper, and not actually food. My sense of smell helped a little…

And back to today’s meal! In the spirit of the winter, I’ve been doing a lot of focusing on comfort foods, and there isn’t much more comforting than a great beef short rib recipe! Well, hopefully we can combine two of our most comforting foods in to one: Beef Short Rib with a nice winter stew. Let’s see how this breaks down:

What you’ll need:

  • 2-3 lb beef short ribs (I prefer bone-in)
  • 3 large carrots
  • 1 bunch radishes
  • 2 large sweet onions
  • 1 head fennel
  • 4 oz white button mushrooms
  • 2 chive onions
  • 4-6 cups bone broth (beef or chicken broth will do as well)
  • Spices: Ginger, Garlic both finely diced
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Serves about 4
Prep and Cook time: about 60 minutes

First, begin cooking the steak. This is going to be almost like a stewed meat, but we’re going to crisp it right at the end. So, put the steak, with the spices, about 1 cup of water, and 1/2 tablespoon of coconut oil in a large frying pan, turn the heat to about 4 out of 10, and cover the pan. Let this cook for about 25 minutes, then flip it. When you flip the steak, check the water levels. You want the water to be all used up at the end of the next 25 minutes of cooking, but only just at the end.

Next we’re going to caramelize the onions, fennel, and mushrooms. If you’re up for it, you can do all the chopping and prep work before you flip the steak. You’ll want to start cooking the mushrooms at just about the same time as you flip the steak. The mushrooms take the longest to cook, so we’re going to start those first. Chop the mushrooms up, put them in a pan with 1 tablespoon of coconut oil, and turn the heat on to medium-low (2.5 out of 10) with a lid. Let this sit for a good 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Put the broth in a large cook pot and turn the heat on medium low. This should start getting ready at this point. Chop the carrots and half the radishes to similar sizes and add them to the pot. Cover this and let it come to a simmer.

If you haven’t already, chop the onions and fennel. These should be coarsely chopped to a similar size as the mushrooms. As the mushrooms are starting to cook down and show some color, around 10 minutes of cooking, add the onions and fennel to the pan. Turn the heat up to about 3.5, and stir regularly, leaving the pan covered in between stirring. Keep stirring regularly until the extra water from the onions and fennel has been used up, and they are starting to show some color as well, then turn the heat back down to 2.5 and keep covered. You may need to add some more coconut oil – so if the onions or fennel are sticking to the pan at all when you stir periodically, add another half tablespoon of coconut oil. Keep stirring and covering until the onions and fennel have turned a nice shade of brown. This should take another 10 minutes or so.

Now turn your attention back to the steak. At this point, the water should all have boiled off. If there is water left, drain it, but make sure there is a bit of coconut oil left – you’ll need it! Turn the heat up to a medium-high (about a 7) and crisp each side of the steak. As soon as the steak is done, turn the heat off and attempt to de-bone it. Usually, since we stewed this, the bones should just come right out. If they present some trouble, that’s fine, you can serve this dish with bone-in short ribs and it will still be great! Just remember to serve a bones-platter.

Last: slice the remaining radishes, and the chive onions. The radishes can be sliced in large round slices, very thin. The chive onions can be sliced the long way, leaving long noodle-like strips of chive. These will be served over the top of the finished product, like a garnish.

Serving:

Serve the soup first. Ladle the soup in to a bowl and add the short ribs to the soup. Stir this up just the slightest bit, so the steak is a part of the dish. Now, in the middle of the soup, right on top, serve a portion of the caramelized onions, fennel, and mushrooms so that they sit right there in the middle. The person eating will love the presentation. Last: sprinkle the radishes and chives over the top of the soup bowl, getting relatively even distribution. And enjoy!

As an after-thought: any leftovers can be combined in a slow cooker for 2-4 hours and cooked down. Just add some sweet potatoes around 60 minutes before serving, and you’ll have a delicious stew!

Give it a try! Let me know what your thoughts are, which wines you paired this with, and what your alternate vegetable/meat choices were in the comments section!


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