Sunday, April 1, 2012

Farmer's Market Short Ribs

Where ever I am, if there is a Farmer's Market I go. Not only do I love the fresh produce, pasture raised meats, unique cheeses and specialty products available, but I believe you can learn a lot about a community at the market. The ethnic diversity and cultural heritage of an area is evident not only in the prepared foods available, but in the faces of the farmer's and other merchants. Spice mixes, baked goods and other treats often compliment local cooking trends and styles.

 While at the Stuart, FL Green Market last week we met Steven and Maya of the Florida Sunshine Company, and left their stand with a handsome package of bone-in short ribs (in my opinion the only way to buy and cook them -- there is so much flavor in the bones) After reading some Short Rib recipes on line, and taking into consideration what I had and did not have in the fridge and pantry, plus the array of vegetables I had picked up at the green market, I put together the following recipe. I served the ribs with market fresh Brussels Sprouts halved and sautéed in a dab of bacon fat and a loaf of crusty bread to sop up the juices.

 By the way, you could taste the grass in the ribs. Delicious. I may never eat non-grass fed and non grass-finished beef again.*

 Farmer's Market Short Ribs (serves 4) 

 3 lbs bone-in beef short ribs
 1 T sea salt ( use a flavored salt, like roasted garlic, if you wish)
 2  t freshly cracked pepper
 1 T dried thyme
 2  t dried rosemary
 4 T coconut oil ( or olive oil, to preference)
 6 carrots, cut into 2" sticks
 1 large white onion, or 2 large spring onions as shown above
 3 cups grape tomatoes
 2 cups red wine
 4 cups beef broth

 Combine herbs and seasonings, rub on all sides of ribs. Let stand 30 minutes.

 Heat oil over medium-high heat in Dutch oven or other oven safe pan .

Add ribs and cook until all sides are browned. About 8 minutes. Remove to plate, set aside.

 Add carrots and onion to pan, cook until browned.
Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Remove from pan and set vegetables aside.

 Keeping heat at medium-high, add wine to pan and scrape to get up all the flavorable bits on bottom.

Return veggies to pan, and cook at low boil until wine is reduced by half.

 Add broth, tomatoes and ribs. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cook ribs, covered, on stovetop for 2 1/2 hours, never letting liquid return to a boil,

This is what mine looked like before I put them in the oven (I was only cooking for 2 here)

or - Cover pan and place in oven. Cook at 325 for 2 1/2 hours. Check periodically, and add more broth if needed. Rib meat will be falling off the bone and fork tender when fully cooked., the tomatoes and other vegies will be soft and slightly roasted.


*Steven told me to look for beef that is grass-finished as well as grass fed, otherwise the cattle may be pasture fed early on and then returned to the barn where they are "finished" with grain feed until they are ready for market, erasing all the benefits of those early months in the pasture.

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