The snow is pounding down. I leave a meeting around 1pm and find out that not only is my board meeting scheduled to be a call instead of a face to face that our dinner plans are cancelled too. What to do? Go to Citarella and pick up four pounds of short ribs, trudge home, and begin a stick to your ribs kind of meal.
Four lbs of short ribs
1 cup flour
1 tbsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. kosher salt
In a dutch oven ( preferably your Le Cruset pot ) coat the bottom with olive oil. Take the flour, cinnamon and salt and mix together in a bowl. Dip each short rib into this mixture and coat. Then put in the pot until really browned on both sides. Once they are browned, take out and set aside and pour out the oil.
3 large carrots peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
2 turnips peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
2 parsnips peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
3 leeks chopped
Put the dutch oven back on the stove. The old oil should be gone but don't wipe the pot down and pour oil in again and cover the bottom of the pot. Heat up and add the vegetables and saute for about 5 minutes or so until the leeks begin to brown.
1 large can of tomato puree
1/2 bottle of red wine
In a spice bag (or wrapped up in cheesecloth) put 3 stems of thyme, 1 cinnamon stick, 1 caradmon pod, a bay leaf and 1/2 tsp black peppercorns.
Add the tomato puree to the pot and stir over a medium heat. Let this really coat the vegetables and toss in a little salt for added measure. Now add the short ribs back into the pot. Cover with the red wine and add the spice bag. You might need a little more than 1/2 a bottle. Bring to a boil and then down to simmer, cover and let sit for about four hours or until the meat slides off the bone.
When the beef is done take out all the bones and beef and put in a bowl. Then drain the sauce into a bowl and put the vegetables on the side. Toss the spice bag. Use one of those containers that separate the fat from the sauce and pour the sauce back into the pot, obviously get rid of the fat. Add the vegetables and the meat ( no bones ) and put back in the pot.
1 head of Swiss chard
1 head of kale
Chop up both heads, leaves only. Heat up the sauce and add the chopped kale and chard. Stir just until the leaves turn a darker green. Now the dish is ready to serve. I turned this off for a few hours while I had my board call and just warmed it up again before dinner.
Separately I sauteed a bunch of mushrooms with olive oil and a little bit of truffle salt. Not necessary on the truffle salt but it is a nice touch.
Make polenta. I used chicken broth instead of water for the polenta.
1 cup corn meal mixed together with 1 cup chicken broth and bring to a boil. Add two more cups of boiling chicken broth and whisk. Add about 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese. I used a little truffle salt in here too. Serve immediately.
The dish has polenta on the bottom, the short ribs on top, then the mushrooms and a few pieces of shaved Parmesean. Seriously delicious.