As we get into the cooler months, quick turns on the grill turn to long, slow cooking techniques. The kitchen is the hub of the house, warm with oven heat and steaming dishes, and people naturally congregate there perched on kitchen bar stools or leaning against the counter.
Slow braised and fresh baked goods are like a warm hug when you come in from the storm and this meal is bound to melt the heart of even the frostiest sort.
Michael Symon uses big, meaty shortribs but I was only able to find smaller braising ribs - no matter, I just cut the recipe and time down and was able to serve them same day. I did increase the ratio of seasonings though, in my dish I was heavy handed with the garlic, chilies, and anchovies. I served the shortribs with garlic mashies - easy enough to toss in some peeled garlic cloves in the last 10 minutes of boiling the spuds and mashing them right in with the butter. If you plan ahead, you could even roast the garlic first. Mmmm, roasted garlic...
Symon pairs his rich shortribs with a flavourful salad and pickled tomatoes - they complement the flavours wonderfully. You could choose one, I decided to go with both as I had pickled some of my neighbour's green tomatoes earlier this season. They'd also be awesome on a burger. Technically burgers are year-round fare - that's why they invented indoor grills!
Braised Shortribs with Orange and Olive Salad
Michael Symon, FoodNetwork.com
For Michael Symon Sundays
8 to 10 servings
* 4 tablespoons olive oil
* 6 pounds meaty beef short ribs on the bone
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 2 celery ribs, coarsely chopped
* 1 carrot, coarsely chopped
* 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
* 1/2 cup tomato paste
* 5 fresh thyme sprigs
* 3 anchovy fillets, chopped
* 1 bay leaf
* 1 head garlic, cloves separated
* 1 quart chicken stock
* 2 cups dry red wine
* 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
* 2 oranges, cut in segments
* 1 shallot, thinly sliced
* 1 cup pitted kalamata olives
* 2 tablespoons capers
* 1 cup packed parsley leaves
* 4 ounces olive oil
* 1 lemon, juiced
For the short ribs, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large enameled cast iron casserole. Season the ribs with salt and pepper. Add half of the short ribs to the casserole and cook over moderately high heat until browned, about 6 minutes. Transfer the ribs to a plate. Repeat with the remaining oil and ribs.
Add the celery, carrot and onion to the casserole and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 7 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, until glossy, about 2 minutes. Add the thyme sprigs, anchovies, bay leaf and garlic and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the stock, wine and vinegar and bring to a boil. Return the short ribs to the casserole, then cover and braise at 325 degrees F for 1 hour. Drop heat to 225 degrees F and cook for 4 more hours or until meat is tender. Remove ribs and strain liquid. Pour liquid back over ribs and let cool overnight in the refrigerator.
For the salad, place all ingredients in nonreactive mixing bowl and toss together.
To serve, skim fat off liquid and reheat ribs in their juice. Remove from pan and reduce liquid by half. Top ribs with liquid and orange salad.
Pickled Green Tomatoes
Michael Symon, FoodNetwork.com
for Michael Symon Sundays
* 6 Fresno chile peppers, halved lengthwise
* 4 bay leaves
* 1/4 cup coriander seeds
* 1/4 cup cumin seeds
* 2 cinnamon sticks
* 2 teaspoons whole cloves
* 2 teaspoons ground mace
* 4 tablespoons black peppercorns
* 10 cloves garlic
* 8 cups cider vinegar
* 1/2 cup honey
* 4 tablespoons kosher salt
* 4 pounds green tomatoes
What you'll need:
* 4 quart-size canning jars with lids
* Large deep pot with lid
* Round wire rack that fits inside the pot or clean empty tuna cans (to keep the jars from direct heat)
* Jar lifter or tongs
* Rubber spatula
* Clean dish towels
Sterilize the jars. Wash the jars and lids in hot soapy water; rinse well. Place a wire rack or empty tuna cans in the pot to keep the jars from touching the bottom. Fill the pot halfway with water and bring to a simmer (do not boil). Submerge the jars in the water and let simmer until you're ready to fill. Sterilize the lids in a separate small pot of simmering water.
Make the brine. Combine the chiles, bay leaves, coriander and cumin seeds, cinnamon sticks, cloves, mace, peppercorns, garlic, vinegar, honey, salt and 1 cup water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil; cook for 3 minutes. Cool slightly. Remove the chiles and bay leaves with a slotted spoon
Pack the tomatoes. Slice the tomatoes into wedges using a sterilized knife and cutting board. Remove the jars and lids from the simmering water with a jar lifter or tongs; fill with the tomatoes and some chiles and bay leaves
Fill and close. Pour the warm pickling liquid over the tomatoes in each jar, stopping 1/2 inch from the top. Slide a clean rubber spatula around the inside of each jar to remove air bubbles. Wipe the rims with a clean towel, then position the sterilized lids on top. Screw the lids shut, being careful not to overtighten.
Boil the jars. Return the pot of water to a simmer; add the jars, making sure water covers them by a few inches. Cover and boil for 15 to 20 minutes. Turn off the heat, uncover and leave them in the water for 10 minutes
Remove and let cool. Transfer the jars to a kitchen towel. Let sit, undisturbed, for at least 12 hours. A vacuum seal will form as the jars cool
Label your pickles. Write the date on each jar and store for up to 1 year at room temperature; refrigerate after opening. The tomatoes will be at their prime about 3 months after canning.