I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday! As luck would have it, we got just enough snow for a white Christmas :) A few days at home with my family was fabulous, but all too short...
While I tend not to make meals that take 4 hours to cook, I apparently got stars in my eyes when faced with a few days at home! Awhile back I had seen Dan's recipe and was intrigued by the shortribs + chocolate + cauliflower. While it was a bit intimidating, I knew the three hours of braising time was hands-off and with a good plan of attack it would be totally do-able. This is definitely not a weeknight meal, but was perfect for a nice dinner with some good friends. I bet it would also be perfect for your new year's eve dinner as well!
Here was my plan of attack:
Prep veggies and sear ribs (30min)
Braise ribs (3hr) [prep remaining ingredients during braising time]
Make broth (30min) [put cauliflower in to roast once broth is boiling]
Make risotto (30min)
It worked out to be about 30min on the front end, then about an hour once the braising was done. Understanding the recipe beforehand and mise en place were the keys to success! I've also included a few tips, including the option to make this into a weeknight meal by braising the shortribs ahead of time (on the weekend).
Shortrib Risotto w/Chile Chocolate Cauliflower
slightly adapted from Food In My Beard
For the braised shortribs:
1T extra virgin olive oil
2 1/2lbs bone-in grass-fed short ribs
3 stalks celery, diced
4 medium carrots, diced
1 large onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
salt and freshly ground black pepper
fresh thyme sprigs (I used a small bunch)
1t yellow mustard seed
2t coriander seeds
1 parmesan rind
2 dried chiles (I used 1 pasilla negro and 1 new mexico chile)
Preheat oil in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat. Dry off your shortribs and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Add to the hot pan and sear on all sides, a few minutes on each side. Remove ribs from the pan and set aside in a dish.
Preheat the oven to 300deg.
Lower the heat to medium-low and add celery, carrots and onion to the pan. Stir and cook until they soften and start to brown. Add garlic and cook another minute or two. Return the shortribs to the pan along with any accumulated juices. Add remaining ingredients and then enough water to come ~1/2 way up the meat (mine was probably 2/3, and could be as little as 1/3 of the way up the ribs). Cover the pan and transfer to the oven. Braise the ribs for ~3hours.
This was my first time braising, so I had to do some reading to figure out what the heck I was doing. In case you're in the same boat, the goal here is to heat the liquid to a gentle simmer and have steam forming inside the dutch oven to aid in cooking. I checked mine at one point and it was at a robust boil, so I cracked the lid ever-so-slightly (perhaps it was ok or maybe I should've just lowered the oven a bit).
Tip: While the shortribs are braising in the oven, get the rest of the ingredients ready and then go do a load of laundry, hop on your bike trainer, or do whatever else needs taking care of!
When the meat is done braising, remove the pot from the oven. Place the ribs onto a plate and let cool a bit (mine had completely fallen off the bone at this point). To make a stock from the braising liquid, put the pot on the burner and bring to a rolling boil for ~20min. Strain the liquid through a fine mesh strainer into a fat separator. Press on the solids to remove as much liquid as you can, and then discard the solids. Let the liquid settle for ~5min, and then strain off the fat. Add broth to a medium saucepan and put on low heat for the risotto.
While the braising liquid is boiling, pull off the meat from the shortribs. I don't like fat on my meat, so I was quite... precise ;) I have since read a tip that you can cool the ribs in the fridge overnight for easy removal of fat. Reserve the meat for the risotto and discard the fat.
Tip: This could be prepared in two steps- day 1 braise the shortribs and make the stock, day 2 reheat stock and make the risotto and cauliflower.
For the risotto:
1T extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1c arborio rice
3/4c red wine
1/2c grated parmesan
1oz dark chocolate (70% or higher, I used Taza)
shortrib stock, see above
extra stock, if needed (I used vegetable)
Heat oil in a large pot over medium-low heat (I used the same dutch oven after the stock was ready). Add onion, stir to coat, then saute for 5-8min, until softened but not browned. Add garlic and rice, stir to coat and cook a few more minutes. Add wine to deglaze the pan, scraping off all the flavorful bits at the bottom of the pot. Stirring frequently, add ladles of stock each time the liquid cooks off (I used some vegetable broth once I was out of the homemade stock). Cook until rice is al dente, ~20-30min. dd the shredded beef back to the risotto, and a little more stock so the risotto is nice and creamy, not too dry. Turn off the heat and add the parmesan and chocolate, stirring until melted and well combined. Serve, topped with chile chocolate cauliflower.
For the chile chocolate cauliflower:
1 head cauliflower
2T butter, melted
1-2t chile powder (mine is pretty spicy so I used 1t)
11/2t cocoa powder
Preheat the oven to 400deg.
Chop up the cauliflower into florets and add them to a large bowl. Add chile poder and cocoa powder, then toss to combine. Add the melted butter and toss until coated. Spread on a baking sheet and bake 20-30min, or until tender. Enjoy on its own, or on top of shortrib risotto.
Have you ever made shortribs before? What are your New Year's Eve plans?