Archive for the 'beef' Category

Braised Short Rib Grilled Cheese with Caramelized Onions

ACE Grilled Cheese 1 Braised Short Rib Grilled Cheese with Caramelized Onions

I feel like I’ve been slingshot (can that be used as a verb?) straight into mid January, and I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for a grilled cheese sandwich.

I’ve decided that if I’m going to eat bread, it might as well be truly fantastic – and preferably used to bookend other divine ingredients, bound together by melty cheese. There are few things I love more than a grilled cheese sandwich, but too often everything gets ignored but the cheese.

Grilled cheese Collage Braised Short Rib Grilled Cheese with Caramelized Onions

Let’s start with the bread, shall we? This is a roasted garlic oval from ACE Bakery, with sweet, mellow roasted garlic right in the dough. It’s a good size – with enough structural integrity and a crisp crust. I used my friend Jessica’s trick – to mix grated Parmesan cheese into soft butter to spread on the outside of each slice, which creates an extra crunchy, cheesy exterior, maximizing those crispy edges.

Garlic bread 2 Braised Short Rib Grilled Cheese with Caramelized Onions

Inside – aged cheddar is my favourite, and I had some old orange and extra old white in the fridge, so I used both. Grated, it easily covers any surface area, and melts more quickly. And a spoonful of caramelized onions – it could be a batch of onion jam, or just chop or blitz an onion or two in the food processor, then saute it on the stovetop in a little oil and a little butter for 10 minutes, or until it all turns nice and dark and golden and sticky. I usually can’t help a quick splash of balsamic vinegar in there too, and a pinch of sugar if you want to help things along.

Grilled cheese 1 Braised Short Rib Grilled Cheese with Caramelized Onions

And that would be enough to make me happy, right there. But I’ve been braising plenty of beef or bison short ribs lately for some reason or other, which reminded me of how delicious bits of leftover short ribs are in a grilled cheese, and so I braised a batch just for this occasion. (The occasion being making them on Global on Saturday morning.)

Grilled cheese 2 Braised Short Rib Grilled Cheese with Caramelized Onions

You don’t need a lot of the beef; pulled off the bone, it’s so rich and intense – more the essence of beef than thinly sliced roast from the deli – a few chunks elevates this sandwich to the truly sublime.

ACE Grilled Cheese 2 Braised Short Rib Grilled Cheese with Caramelized Onions

Add woolly socks + a good book (or Downton Abbey on Netflix!) to get through a January weekend.

The Ultimate Grilled Cheese with Braised Short Ribs and Caramelized Onions

Short Ribs:
canola oil, for cooking
4-6 bison or beef short ribs
salt & pepper
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 cup red wine or beer
1 cup beef or chicken stock (or more wine)

Caramelized Onions:
2 large onions, halved and thinly sliced
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar (optional)
2 tsp. brown sugar
salt and pepper

grated aged white cheddar
ACE Bakery Roasted Garlic Oval loaf
soft butter or olive oil, for cooking
grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Heat a drizzle of oil in a small, heavy oven-proof pot set over medium-high heat. Season the ribs with salt and pepper and brown on all sides; add the balsamic vinegar and cook for a minute, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.

Pour the wine overtop, and add enough stock to come about halfway up the sides of the ribs. Cover and cook at 300F for 2 1/2-3 hours, until the meat is very tender. When cool enough to handle, pull the meat off the bones and set aside. Meanwhile, set a heavy skillet over medium-high heat; add a generous drizzle of oil and cook the onions for 10 minutes, until soft and golden. Add the balsamic vinegar (if you’re using it) and cook for a minute, until it evaporates; add the brown sugar, season with salt and pepper and cook for another 5-8 minutes, until deep golden. Set aside to cool.

To assemble your grilled cheese sandwiches, slice the roasted garlic oval on a slight diagonal and layer with grated cheddar, caramelized onions, short rib and more cheddar. If you like, stir some grated Parmesan cheese into soft butter and spread on the outside of the sandwich; alternatively, brush with olive oil. Grill in a panini grill or in a hot skillet, turning as needed, until the cheese has melted and the sandwich is crusty and golden.

Makes as many as you’d like.

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January 12 2014 | beef and cheese and sandwiches | 10 Comments »

12 Days of Recipes: Braised Bison Short Ribs with Balsamic

Braised Bison Short Ribs 1 12 Days of Recipes: Braised Bison Short Ribs with Balsamic

I’m super into braising things these days.

The process of it. The browning of the wodges of meat and their long, lingering time in the oven. (In a cast iron pot, not the slow cooker.) The way the house smells when you walk outside and then back in – I keep going out and coming in, just for the experience.

bison short ribs 12 Days of Recipes: Braised Bison Short Ribs with Balsamic

It feels like cooking. Bringing home an identifiable slab of meat, cutting and searing it (neither of which requires any particular skill), adding whatever flavours you like (balsamic! salt! thyme!) along with liquid and heat and allowing it all to do its thing – to break down tough connective tissues and melt into a delicious stew no different from those our ancestors cooked for their families in a pot on the hearth or over an open fire. Deep for a Wednesday night, I know.

Braised Bison Short ribs 8 12 Days of Recipes: Braised Bison Short Ribs with Balsamic

Braising beef or bison short ribs is just like braising any other tough (read: flavourful) cut of meat. You salt and pepper the meat, patting it dry with paper towels if it’s wet. (This will help it brown, rather than steam.) Put a big cast iron or other ovenproof pot on the stove over relatively high heat, add a glug of oil and brown the meat on all sides, turning it with tongs. Onions and other veggies will help loosen those browned bits, which are essential to the flavour of the finished dish; a big splash of balsamic vinegar helps too. In this case, a wee vial of espresso balsamic from Soffrito.

Braised Bison Short ribs 7 12 Days of Recipes: Braised Bison Short Ribs with Balsamic

Braised Bison Short ribs 6 12 Days of Recipes: Braised Bison Short Ribs with Balsamic

The funny thing about a dish like braised short ribs is that they have this air of dining out in a fancy restaurant; it’s something you might plan to make for an elaborate dinner party or Sunday supper, when really they take about as much effort as a pot of spaghetti. If you plan to be at home for a few hours between school and dinner, you’ll have just enough time. (Or you could go the pressure cooker route. That would speed things up, but keep them dark and laquered, the way they get after a long stint in a slow oven.)

Bison short rib Collage 12 Days of Recipes: Braised Bison Short Ribs with Balsamic

Wine/stock/whatevs.

Braised Bison Short ribs 4 12 Days of Recipes: Braised Bison Short Ribs with Balsamic

Look! Dark, sticky winter meat heaven. And a good excuse to make mashed potatoes.

Braised Bison Short Ribs 2 12 Days of Recipes: Braised Bison Short Ribs with Balsamic

Braised Bison Short Ribs with Espresso Balsamic

canola oil, for cooking
2 lb. bison or beef short ribs (about 6)
salt & pepper
1 small onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1/4 cup regular or espresso balsamic vinegar
1 cup red wine
beef or chicken stock (or more wine)

Heat a drizzle of oil in a heavy skillet or oven-proof pot set over medium-high heat. Season the ribs with salt and pepper and brown on all sides; set aside. Add the onion, carrot and celery to the pan and cook for a few minutes, until they start to soften and loosen any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Pour in the balsamic vinegar and cook for a minute, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.

If you’re going to braise the ribs in the pot, return them to the pot with the vegetables. Otherwise transfer the veggies to a pressure cooker or slow cooker. Pour the wine overtop, and add enough stock to come about halfway up the sides of the ribs.

If you’re cooking them in the pot, cover and cook at 300F for 3 hours. In the pressure cooker, bring it up to temperature according to the manufacturers’ directions and cook for about 45 minutes; cool and release the lid. In a slow cooker, cover and set on low for 8 hours.

Strain the veggies out of the sauce or puree them right in the pot with a hand-held immersion blender; bring to a simmer on the stovetop and cook until slightly reduced, if it needs it.

Serves 6.

pixel 12 Days of Recipes: Braised Bison Short Ribs with Balsamic
button print gry20 12 Days of Recipes: Braised Bison Short Ribs with Balsamic

November 27 2013 | beef and bison | 9 Comments »

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