Braised Short Rib Stew With Cheesy Grits

We love braised short ribs in the winter; they are rich and hearty and the ultimate cold weather treat. They are not on our weekly menu very often because they take a long time to cook to get the meat fall off the bone tender. This really is a recipe for a cold weekend day when everyone is hanging around the house and you have the time to give this recipe some love. Each time we make short ribs we experiment with a variety of ingredients, but our favorite base recipe is a red wine braised short rib with lots of herbs like rosemary and thyme. We have braised the short ribs for four hours so that they are fall off the bone tender. We then like to shred them into bite sized pieces and add them back into the sauce that they were braised in. The result is a savory beef stew that is pretty much to die for. To make the final dish really over the top, we have served the stew over cheesy cheddar grits.

Braised Short Rib Stew

  • Servings: 4
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Winter comfort food at it’s finest. We love this stew on a cold day served over cheesy cheddar grits for a ‘stick to your ribs’ kind of dinner.

Ingredients

  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • 5 lbs bone in short ribs, patted dry and seasoned well on all sides with salt and pepper
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 4 whole carrots, peeled and cut into bite sized pieces
  • 4 stalks celery, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 stem fresh rosemary (approx 4 inches)
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 tbs tomato paste
  • 14. 5 oz diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 2-3 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp pepper
  • 3 tbs butter
  • 3 tbs flour
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Heat a large Dutch oven pot over medium-high heat. Add 2 tbs of the olive oil and let it get nice and hot before adding the short ribs to the pot. Sear the short ribs for about 3 minutes per side on all sides, so that the short ribs are nice and brown. Remove the short ribs from the pot and set aside.
  2. Add the remaining 1 tbs of olive oil and the onions, celery, and carrots to the pot. Caramelize for about 4 minutes before adding the garlic. Saute another 2-3 minutes, or until everything is starting to soften and is fragrant.
  3. Add the rosemary, thyme, and tomato paste to the pot. Cook everything for another 3-4 minutes- this helps concentrate the flavor of the tomato paste and give it a nice savory sweetness. Add the diced tomatoes, red wine, and 2 cups of chicken stock to the pot. Season with the salt and pepper and give everything a good stir. Add the short ribs back into the pot, thick side down, and make sure that they are mostly submerged in the liquid. If there isn’t enough liquid to cover them, add additional stock until they are covered. Bring the liquid to a slow simmer, cover the pot, and cook the short ribs for 4 hours. You will be tempted to uncover the lid and peek at the short ribs but keep them covered!
  4. After the 4 hours has passed, remove the short ribs from the pot along with the rosemary and thyme sprigs. Tent the short ribs with foil to keep them warm. In a medium sauce pan, melt the butter and flour to form a roux – an equal mixture of butter and flour that will form a paste. Cook until the roux is a medium brown color. Add a big ladle of the short rib liquid to the roux and continuously stir to thicken the liquid and make sure that the roux is completely blended. Add the mixture to the rest of the short rib liquid and stir well to combine. Bring the liquid to a boil so that the flour cooks through. While the liquid is coming to a boil, shred the meat of the short ribs off their bones. Add the short rib meat back to the pot, stir to combine, and season with any additional salt and pepper if necessary. Serve hot over mashed potatoes or grits.


Japanese Winter Salad with Miso Dressing

A few weeks ago we set out to create a dinner menu for our mom’s birthday. We are typically a family that goes out to celebrate birthdays, but in the world of Covid that isn’t possible. We wanted dinner at home to still feel special and celebratory, and settled on a combination of a catered platter of sushi and a few homemade accompaniments. If you know our mom, you know vegetables are always a priority. We set out to make an appetizer Japanese salad, which is one of our favorites when we eat at a sushi restaurant. To make things more seasonally appropriate for a birthday in November we subbed traditional romaine for baby kale and used radishes and rainbow carrots for some color. The key to this salad, and the reason you should bookmark it, is the miso dressing. It. Is. So. Good. It is the perfect mix of umami, tangy, and savory flavors that bring all of our favorite Japanese flavors to the forefront. We double this recipe so that we can have it as a pantry ingredient. In addition to this salad, it is great drizzled over roasted vegetables, grilled steak, or tossed with chilled noodles.

Japanese Winter Salad with Miso Dressing

  • Servings: 4
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A delicious winter salad with a miso dressing that you’ll want to have over and over again.

Ingredients for the Salad

  • 6 cups lightly packed baby kale, stems removed
  • 4 rainbow baby carrots, peeled with a julienne peeler
  • 4-5 large radishes, thinly sliced and stem discarded
  • 1 avocado, cut into large segments
  • 2 scallions, sliced on a bias

Ingredients for the Dressing

  • 1/4 cup white miso
  • 1 tbs soy sauce
  • 1 large clove garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbs fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 tbs rice vinegar
  • 2 tbs sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cup avocado oil (or any neutral oil)

Directions

  1. Make the salad by preparing all of the vegetables and layering them in the order they are listed on a serving platter.
  2. Make the dressing by combining the miso – water in a blender until the garlic and ginger are mostly smooth. With the blender running, add the avocado oil in a steady stream until it has been fully combined with the rest of the dressing. If the dressing too thick for your liking, add another 1-2 tablespoons of water to get it to the thickness you desire .
  3. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and serve immediately.


Tuscan White Bean Soup

After a pretty mild winter, we have been hit nonstop with snow in Colorado for the last few days. When the weather changes and snow starts to fall, all we want to do is eat a big bowl of soup and binge Netflix on the couch. We love this recipe for Tuscan White Bean Soup because the recipe is pretty light and super easy to make. Minus the proscuitto and mascarpone, you likely have most of the ingredients in your refrigerator already. It is great as is, but also can be amped up with the Garlic Mascarpone Toast if you want to serve it for a dinner party. The toast is creamy and so decadent. While our directions listed below call for one toast per person, Tuck’s dad encourages you to double it- you’ll want at least two for each bowl of soup.

Makes: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes      Cooking Time: 20 minutes         Total Time: 35 minutes6

Ingredients for Soup: 

  • 6 oz pancetta, sliced thick and diced
  • 1 large vidallia onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and grated
  • 2 stalks of celery, grated or diced
  • 2 cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 medium fresh sprigs of rosemary, left whole
  • 2 medium fresh sprig thyme, left whole
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 32 ounces chicken stock
  • 1/3 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 1 tbs hot sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients for Mascarpone Toasts: 

  • 1 baguette, cut into 4 thick slices 
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 2 tbs olive oil 
  • 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese 
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme, leaves removed. 
  • salt and pepper 

Directions: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. Heat a large soup pot on low heat. Add the diced pancetta and cook for 3-4 minutes, until the fats start to cook out of the pancetta but it doesn’t brown excessively.
  3. Add the onion, garlic, carrot, and celery to the pan. If it seems a little dry, add a drizzle of olive oil. Cook for another 4 minutes on medium heat, or until the vegetables start to become translucent and caramelized.
  4. Add the cannellini beans, rosemary, and thyme to the pot. Give the ingredients a big stir, and cook another few minutes.
  5. Deglaze the pan with the white wine. Make sure to use a spatula to really scrape the bottom if any of the brown bits have started to stick.
  6. Add the chicken stock to the pot and cook for about 20 minutes on medium-low heat. The broth should stay at a very low simmer and not boil.
  7. While the soup is cooking, make the mascarpone toasts. Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil, garlic, and thyme to the pan. Cook for 3 minutes, or until the garlic is toasted brown but not burnt. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir the garlic and thyme oil into the 1/2 cup of mascarpone cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide the mascarpone mix over each of the four baguette slices. Bake in the oven for 7-10 minutes, or until the bread is toasted and the cheese is melted. Remove from the oven and set aside until ready to serve. 
  8. Remove the rosemary and thyme from the soup. Add the hot sauce and whisk in the mascarpone to create a creamy texture.
  9. Season to taste with salt and pepper before serving. Serve each bowl with a slice of mascarpone toast. 

Peach & Pecan Brie Bites

We are coming at you today with a quick and easy, crazy delicious appetizer for your last minute New Year’s Eve prep. We love to spend time in the kitchen, but every once in a while we need a quick, throw-in-the-oven recipe to help our entertaining plans take shape. This is where this Brie Bites recipe comes into play. Just a few ingredients and you’ll have a crowd pleasing appetizer in just about 30 minutes.

Peach & Pecan Brie Bites 
Makes: 24 small bites 
Prep Time: 15 minutes     Total Time: 30 minutes 

Ingredients: 

  • 2 tbs flour 
  • 1/2 lb pie dough
  • 1/3 – 1/2 lb wedge of Brie 
  • peach jam 
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans 
  • 1 tbs fresh rosemary 
  • 1 tbs butter 
  • 1 tbs brown sugar 
  • salt 

Directions: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. 
  2. Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add the butter and brown sugar to the skillet, stirring until the sugar is melted into the butter. Add the pecans, rosemary, and a pinch of salt to the butter. Stir and cook the pecans until they are toasted and coated with the butter mix. Remove from the heat and pour onto a flat surface to let cool. You want to make sure they spread into an even layer so that the pecans don’t stick together.
  3. Sprinkle the flour on a flat kitchen surface. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough so that it is approximately 1/4 inch thick and a square or rectangle in shape. Take a small knife and cut the dough into 1 1/2 inch squares, re-rolling the dough as necessary until you have 24 pieces. 
  4. Spray a mini muffin tin with cooking spray. Lay each piece of pie dough into each muffin insert- being careful not to tear the dough or push it too firmly into the tin insert. 
  5. Chop the brie into 24 small squares. Layer the brie, a teaspoon of peach jam, and a sprinkle of pecans into each of muffin tin squares. 
  6. Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes, or until the pie crust is light brown and the peach jam is melted. Remove from the oven and cool completely before removing from the pan. Use  a small pairing knife to gently release each bite from the pan and place onto a serving platter.