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Sandwich of the Week: Olive & Thyme’s Braised Short Rib

Sandwich of the Week: Olive & Thyme’s Braised Short Rib


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California’s Olive & Thyme offers a killer eight-hour braised short rib sandwich

Olive & Thyme’s Braised Short Rib is worth a try.

We’re lucky that Melina Davies left her job as a Hollywood producer. Her career change led her to open Olive & Thyme, a gourmet café and marketplace in Toluca Lake, California. There are plenty of options at the café (think pastries, salads, soups, wine, and beer), but you might want to try their sandwiches.

There are a few notable sandwiches to choose from. The tuna sandwich is a baguette with chunks of tuna with sliced egg, arugula, tomato, red onion, tapenade, and pesto mayonnaise. The “B.A.T.” is a bacon, avocado, and heirloom tomato grilled sourdough sandwich.

The customer-favorite, however, is the braised short rib sandwich. The meat gets the utmost attention — Melina sears and braises it for eight hours so that it’s tender and juicy. The short rib is then covered in horseradish crème fraiche and caramelized onions. The horseradish is freshly ground for your best possible sandwich experience. The goods are placed between two toasted slices of country sourdough bread from La Brea Bakery, and the sandwich is served with no frills.

This braised short rib sandwich, made with care and hard to resist, would be a satisfying lunch for just about anyone.

Click here for other featured sandwiches or check out the 2012 Year in Sandwiches and the Sandwich of the Week Slideshow. Know a sandwich that should be featured? Email The Daily Meal or comment below. Better yet, become a contributor and write up your favorite today!


Grilled Cheese and Short Rib Sandwiches with Pickled Caramelized Onions and Arugula

Sprinkle beef with salt and pepper. Melt butter in large wide pot over medium-high heat. Working in 2 batches, cook beef until browned, about 6 minutes per batch. Transfer to large rimmed baking sheet. Add celery, carrots, and onion to pot and sauté until beginning to soften and brown, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Add wine, broth, Sherry, garlic, bay leaves, and thyme sprig bring to boil, scraping up browned bits. Season with salt and pepper. Return ribs to pot, propping up on sides and arranging in single layer. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 1 hour.

Step 2

Using tongs, turn ribs over in pot. Cover and simmer until ribs are tender and sauce is very thick, occasionally rearranging ribs in pot to prevent sticking, about 1 1/2 hours longer. Uncover and cool 30 minutes.

Step 3

Transfer ribs to work surface. Discard bay leaves and thyme sprig. Spoon off fat from sauce in pot. Remove meat from bones discard bones. Cut meat into 3/4- to 1-inch pieces, trimming any fat. Return meat to pot. DO AHEAD Can be made 2 days ahead. Chill until cold cover and keep chilled. Rewarm just until lukewarm before using.

Pickled Caramelized Onions

Step 4

Melt butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions, sprinkle with salt, and sauté until beginning to brown, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes. Add vinegar and sugar and cook until almost all vinegar is absorbed, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to microwave-safe bowl cool. DO AHEAD Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover chill. Microwave in 15-second intervals until lukewarm before using.

Assembly

Step 5

Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with waxed paper. Butter 8 bread slices place 4 slices, buttered side down, on each prepared sheet. Divide short rib mixture among bread slices, about 1/2 cup for each. Divide cheese among sandwiches. Spoon about 1/4 cup onions over each sandwich. Place large handful of arugula atop onions. Top with remaining 8 bread slices. Spread bread with butter. DO AHEAD Can be prepared 1 hour ahead. Cover with plastic wrap and store at room temperature.

Step 6

Heat griddle or 2 large skillets over medium heat. Working in batches, cook sandwiches until bread is golden brown and cheese melts, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to work surface. Cut each in half on diagonal. Transfer to plates and serve.


9 Short Rib Recipes to Feast on All Fall & Winter

Any way you cut it, short ribs satisfy with a juicy layer of fat that adds gobs of delicious beefy flavor to the meat. Their chameleon-like adaptability to a broad spectrum of herbs, spices, rubs, and sauces make it beloved in cuisines the world over.

What Are Short Ribs?

Anatomically, you’ll find short ribs towards the bottom of the cow beneath the pricier prime rib. They’re not to be confused with the Flintstones-sized beef ribs you’ll get from your local BBQ joint—those are the large rib bones that were once connected to prime rib.

Generally, short ribs are available in two distinct cuts:

There’s English, which is butchered into either single or connected whole bones known as a “plate.” These thick, meaty slabs will take some time to reach fork tenderness but it’ll be worth the wait.

Chuck Short Ribs (1 lb), $14.50 from Crowd Cow

Join the waitlist for this 4-bone slab of meaty goodness.

For quicker results, flanken is the way to go. The short ribs are sliced directly through and across the bone plate into thin strips. It’s no surprise this is the cut of choice for the grill.

(You can also ask your butcher to split the difference, cutting across the bone à la flanken, but several inches thick.)

The Best Short Rib Recipes

Below you’ll find some of your favorite recipes that highlight the versatility of short ribs.

Smoky-Sweet BBQ Beef Short Ribs

Beef ribs can be difficult to barbecue, let alone procure, but substituting for short ribs (in this case, thin flanken cut) will make things easier on both fronts. Start them off in the oven for a few hours, then finish on the grill. A few brushes of sweet barbecue sauce over that hot heat will result in a nice smoky char and tons of flavor. Get our Smoky-Sweet BBQ Beef Short Ribs recipe.

Braised Short Rib Dumplings with Sichuan Chili Oil

Tender braised short rib spiced with soy, ginger, star anise, and Asian pear is sure to be your new favorite dumpling filling. Serve up a side of homemade Sichuan chili oil and give your doughy delights a fiery bath. Consider preparing some extra meat to stuff into tacos, baos, and sandwiches. Get the Braised Short Rib Dumplings with Sichuan Chili Oil recipe.

Pressure Cooker Cola-Braised Beef Short Ribs

The addition of cola adds plenty of pop to these spice-rubbed short ribs. Paired with Worcestershire and soy sauce, the fizzy braise results in a sweet and salty coating that’s lip-smackingly sticky and utterly irresistible. Get our Pressure Cooker Cola-Braised Beef Short Ribs recipe.

Beef Short Rib and Ale Pie

If you miss heading out to your local pub, start a Zoom with your favorite barflies and whip up this British classic stuffed with an indulgent beef and beer filling. Top it off with a flaky, buttery homemade crust, and you’re golden. Get our Beef Short Rib and Ale Pie recipe.

Beef Kalbi

Fire up the grill for this Korean BBQ all-star. Most of your time will be devoted to the marinade, a sweet and savory blend of brown sugar, soy sauce, garlic, scallions, sesame oil, soju, pineapple juice, and Korean malt syrup. Thankfully, the cook time is quick, with only a few minutes over the fire required to get your flanken charred and juicy. Get our Beef Kalbi recipe.

Slow Cooker Beef Goulash

This Hungarian classic comfort food is the definition of stick-to-your-ribs. Have plenty of paprika handy, along with caraway, coriander, thyme, and bay leaf to spice things up. Top off the casserole with a dollop of sour cream, and don’t worry if you can’t finish it all—goulash is spectacular as a leftover meal reheated back in the slow cooker. Get our Slow Cooker Beef Goulash recipe.

Short Rib Poutine with Beef Gravy

You don’t have to travel to Montreal to indulge in some north-of-the-border nachos. A three-hour braise yields melt-in-your-mouth meat along with the liquid reserves which are used to create a flavor-packed gravy. Add cheese curds and pour over crunchy homemade fries for a French-Canadian feast. Bon appétit. Get our Poutine with Beef Gravy recipe.

Bull-Market Burger

Daniel Bouloud’s infamous middle finger to McDonald’s arrival in France is a burger so decadent, so artery-clogging that short ribs serve as a mere topping (along with foie gras and black truffle for the ultimate indulgence). This is a special occasion sando, for sure. Get our Bull-Market Burger recipe.

Short Ribs with Frisée-Parsley Salad

Break out the Dutch oven for this simple, mouthwatering braise courtesy of chef Traci Des Jardins. A blend of parsley and frisée offers a fresh, herbaceous counterbalance to the meaty richness of the short ribs. Serve with mashed potatoes or polenta to soak up that extra liquid goodness. Get the Short Ribs with Frisée-Parsley Salad recipe.


Braised Short Ribs

Unbelievably delectable beef short ribs, slow cooked in wine and broth. Served over a bed of polenta, this is a seriously special dish!

Kosher salt and pepper, to taste

whole shallots, peeled and finely minced

beef or chicken broth (enough to almost cover ribs)

  1. Salt and pepper ribs, then dredge in flour. Set aside.
  2. In a large dutch oven, cook pancetta over medium heat until complete crispy and all fat is rendered. Remove pancetta and set aside. Do not discard grease.
  3. Add olive oil to pan with the pancetta grease, and raise heat to high. Brown ribs on all sides, about 45 seconds per side. Remove ribs and set aside. Turn heat to medium.
  4. Add onions, carrots, and shallots to pan and cook for 2 minutes. Pour in wine and scrape bottom of pan to release all the flavorful bits of glory. Bring to a boil and cook 2 minutes.
  5. Add broth, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Taste and add more salt if needed. Add ribs to the liquid they should be almost completely submerged. Add thyme and rosemary sprigs (whole) to the liquid.
  6. Put on the lid and place into the oven. Cook at 350 for 2 hours, then reduce heat to 325 and cook for an additional 30 to 45 minutes. Ribs should be fork-tender and falling off the bone. Remove pan from oven and allow to sit for at least 20 minutes, lid on, before serving. At the last minute, skim fat off the top of the liquid. (Can also refrigerate mixture, then remove solid fat from the top.)
  7. Serve 2 ribs on bed of creamy polenta, spooning a little juice over the top.

Leesten. And heer me. (West Side Story reference. Sorry. &ldquoLeesten. And heer me. You must go and stop eet.&rdquo)

But seriously. Leesten. You must make this as soon as you can. If you&rsquove never had beef short ribs before, you&rsquore missing out on one of life&rsquos great pleasures&mdashand I&rsquom not exaggerating this time. Beef short ribs are like the most flavorful, delectable, tender, soft pot roast you can possibly imagine&mdashbut the meat is on a handy stick for your eating convenience. And really, if you make &rsquoem right, the stick is only incidental&mdashthe meat falls off the bone if you so much as breathe on it. Oh, is it ever a treat.

I made short ribs the other night. Though I served Marlboro Man&rsquos with mashed potatoes, for my plate I went the route of a restaurant in Denver called North, where Missy, my mother-in-law, and I ate the night we arrived a couple of weeks ago. Missy ordered Osso Bucco, but instead of using veal shank (which is what&rsquos used to make classic Osso Bucco) the restaurant used beef short ribs&hellipand they served it over a bed of creamy polenta. The combination (yes, I stuck my fork in Missy&rsquos plate without asking) was out-of-this-world, and I&rsquove been fixated on it ever since. To add insult to injury, though, and because I can&rsquot leave well enough alone, I stirred a surprise ingredient into the polenta just before serving. It turned out to completely make the dish.

Even now, days later, I&rsquom dying from bliss. It was so, so good.

I&rsquoll be splitting this recipe into to two parts since it&rsquos so long&mdashI don&rsquot want to fry your retinas or your brain. But please stick it out through tomorrow&mdashyou&rsquoll be glad you did, and I&rsquoll reward you with a very handsome, beautiful, and glamorous contest Wednesday. It&rsquoll make your skirt fly up.

Pancetta! It&rsquos a very thinly sliced Italian variety of bacon, and I&rsquom using it in this dish because I just happen to have it. If I didn&rsquot have this, I would use just a little regular bacon, but I&rsquod do the thinly sliced stuff&mdashnot the thick, peppered bacon that i usually have in my fridge.

Isn&rsquot it beautiful? I love its circular shape.

Grab two or three carrots. Wash &rsquoem but don&rsquot peel &rsquoem.

Cut the carrots into thin sticks&hellip

Shallots! Again, I&rsquom using them here because I have them, and because they really have a unique, lovely flavor. But if you don&rsquot have any (and I very often do not), just skip &rsquoem.

But when you do use them, dice them really finely.

Shallots need to be minced finely. It is written.

You also need some beef short ribs, sometimes called &ldquoshort ribs bone in&rdquo.

The &ldquobone in&rdquo is the key, baby.

This is a short rib. Take a moment. You&rsquore in the presence of greatness here.

See those beautiful striations of fat throughout the ribs? They&rsquore what will eventually make these babies so irresistibly delectable later on.

Just you wait, &lsquoEnry &lsquoIggins. Just you wait.

Let&rsquos do it! Grab several pieces of pancetta&hellip

And throw it into a dutch oven over medium heat.

We&rsquore going to cook the pancetta until it&rsquos very crispy, because at that point we&rsquoll know all the fat has been rendered.

It&rsquos the flavor we&rsquore looking for here.

It takes a little while to totally cook it and render the fat, and I always find pancetta renders far less fat than bacon here in our neck of the woods.

After ten minutes or so, this is how much fat I had. And oh, does it ever smell good.

Lay all the short ribs on a flat surface&hellip

Then sprinkle on some kosher salt, which isn&rsquot in itself &ldquokosher&rdquo&mdashdid you know that? It&rsquos called kosher salt because the salt&rsquos flat grains adhere more easily to meat and is prepare kosher meats.

I&rsquom going to call this photo&hellipThe Grain.

It is not to be confused with this photo, which is beautifully entitled&hellipMany Grains.

Season them liberally with freshly ground black pepper, too.

Next, throw some all-purpose flour into a bowl and dredge the ribs in flour.

Then set them aside while you get the pan ready.

Oh, are you going to love this.

Turn the burner on high heat, then drizzle olive oil into the pan with the pancetta grease.

When the oil is heated, place the ribs into the pan.

Brown the ribs on all sides, no more than about 45 seconds on each side. We wanna get them nice and seared and brown.

Without cleaning the pan, of course, throw in the carrots, onions, and shallots. Stir them around&hellip

And cook them for a few minutes, until the veggies start to soften.

And now. And now it&rsquos time to get serious. Pour in 2 cups of red wine. (White wine will work, too! Just make sure it&rsquos dry&hellipnot sweet.)

Use a whisk to scrape the bottom of the pan. We want all of that flavor from the bottom of the pan&hellipman.

Bring the mixture to a boil, then cook it for a few minutes.

Pour in an equal amount of beef broth. Unless you&rsquore me, that is. If you&rsquore me, you&rsquoll find that you&rsquore totally out of beef broth&hellipso just use chicken broth instead.

And let me tell you: it works just fine.

That&rsquos my sad, sad story and I&rsquom stickin&rsquo to it.

With tongs, place the browned short ribs right into the cooking liquid.

But wait. We&rsquore not finished.

Grab a couple of sprigs of both rosemary and thyme&hellip

And throw them right into the pan.

I&rsquom in love with this world. Just look at what it provides us: root vegetables from the ground. Fragrant herbs from the fertile soil. Meat, to nourish our bones. Wine, to nourish everything else.

I&rsquom not quite sure where the pancetta fits in yet, but I&rsquoll get back with you on that.

Finally, because I don&rsquot want you to waste it, throw in the cooked pancetta.

Now place the lid on the pot and put the pot into the oven for a good 2 1/2 hours. Just walk away. Let the magic happen.

If you can handle the truth, I will show you the magic.

Take a moment to center yourself.

What you&rsquore looking at here, and I hope this doesn&rsquot gross you out, is the beautiful meat&rsquos attempt to hang on to the bone. But it can&rsquot. It&rsquos just so fall-apart tender&hellipit simply can&rsquot hang on.

And just wait till you see what&rsquos underneath.

I cover the pan, though, and let it sit for a little while before serving&mdashabout twenty minutes or so. This will let the meat relax a little bit, but it will also allow the fat to rise to the top of the cooking liquid.

You can use a regular ladle just carefully lower the rim just under the surface of the fat, and it will start spilling right into the ladle. The point is to get as much fat and as little juice as you can. Discard the fat when you&rsquore done.

Alternate method: If you have the time, you can actually cover the pan and refrigerate it for several hours. The fat will solidify and will be much easier to remove, and you can just reheat the ribs and cooking liquid at that point. (It&rsquos ever bit as&mdashif not more&mdashdelicious reheated.)

Once a lot of the fat is gone, you can scoop the delicious cooking liquid into the ladle&hellip

And spoon it over the top of each rib..

And when we make the polenta (which has an out-of-this-world addition that absolutely completes this dish) and place the ribs on top of it, we can spoon more juice over the top at that point.

We&rsquoll finish the rest of this deliciousness bright and early tomorrow morning.

But if you can&rsquot wait&mdashif you absolutely, positive can&rsquot wait&mdashyou can make them tonight and serve &rsquoem over a bed of my creamy mashed potatoes.

It&rsquos what I did for Marlboro Man the other night. He got down on one knee right there on the spot. And we already have four kids together.


Short Rib Sandwiches

Short ribs are heaven. Short rib sandwiches are almost too good for this earth.

whole Medium Onion, Finely Diced

whole Carrots, Finely Diced

whole Baguette Loaf (or Smaller Crusty Buns)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Salt and pepper the short ribs. In a heavy pot, heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil over high heat. Sear the short ribs on all sides over about 2 minutes. Remove to a plate.

Reduce heat to medium high. Add onions, carrots, and garlic and stir to start cooking. After a minute or two, pour in the wine and broth and stir to combine. Set the short ribs back in the pot, put on the lid, and place in the oven for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, or until short ribs are tender and literally falling off the bone.

If you have time, allow them to cool, then store in the fridge for several hours so the fat will congeal on top. Once it's hard, remove it with a spoon and discard (some of the juice and a few pieces of onion and carrot will come out with the fat, but that's okay.) Reheat on the stovetop, then shred the short ribs.

Toast the baguette until warm, then split down the middle. Spoon the short rib meat down the length of the baguette, then spoon the veggies and some sauce over the top. Place the top of the baguette on top, then slice sandwich into pieces with a sharp serrated knife. Serve immediately!

(If you don't have time to refrigerate, you may skim as much fat off as you can, then just shred the short ribs immediately and serve as above.)

Variation: Melt brie cheese on top of the sandwich!

My unbridled love for short ribs is no secret. I&rsquove written love sonnets about them here before. Short ribs are amazing and beautiful and magical, and while I don&rsquot make them very often, I love them a little more each time I do. For those of you who don&rsquot know about short ribs, they&rsquore pretty much like the most tender, flavorful pot roast you could ever imagine, and they come on a nice, handy little stick. Okay, bone. You get the idea.

I&rsquove got a couple of other short rib recipes on my site. There&rsquos Short Ribs with Wine and Cream, and there&rsquos Braised Short Ribs with Polenta, and there&rsquos Short Ribs in Tomato Sauce, and trying to decide which one I like better is like choosing between three of my children. I love short ribs any way I can get &rsquoem.

Last week I had a package of short ribs in the fridge, and I decided to go the sandwich route.

It turned out to be one of the most profoundly wise decisions of my life.

Short ribs! The answer to all of life&rsquos confusion. But a little bit of a warning: these suckers ain&rsquot cheap. Buy them at a supermarket (not a specialty store!) and buy &rsquoem on sale!

First, preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Then get everything prepped: Mince up 3 to 4 cloves of garlic&hellip

Then peel some carrots, cut them into thin matchsticks&hellip

I love onion and carrot together. And I know celery is supposed to always be a part of this mix&hellipbut I&rsquoll be darned if I&rsquom not totally ambivalent about celery. I can take it or leave it. Especially when I don&rsquot have any celery in my refrigerator.

I like to denigrate things I can&rsquot have.

Salt and pepper the short ribs all over&hellip

Then heat some olive oil in a heavy pot over high heat&hellip

And throw in the short ribs.

Use tongs to turn them so that they&rsquore largely seared on all sides (a hot pan is essential)&hellip

Then, when they&rsquore nice and seared, remove them to a plate&hellip

And turn down the heat just a bit to medium-high.

Throw in the onions, carrots, and garlic&hellip

And stir them around to cook them for just a couple of minutes.

Now, in the 45 years that I&rsquove been alive on this earth, I&rsquove learned that nothing brings out the deliciousness of short ribs more than a good amount of red, red wine. So pour in about a cup or so! You won&rsquot be sorry.

I also like to add beef stock or beef broth. Just gives the whole thing a little more savoriness.

I didn&rsquot realize until just now that &ldquosavoriness&rdquo is a word! No red squiggly line appeared! I just discovered a word that no one ever knew about before, ever!

I invented Post-Its!

Now, what you wanna do is let this bubble up and cook for a minute or so.

Then: the big moment. Nestle the seared short ribs right into the liquid!

Then just put the lid on the pot and stick it in the oven for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. I set it for 3, but around 2 1/2 hours in, I decided to check it.

Oh&hellipmy&hellipgoodness. First of all, they look amazing. Second of all, they look amazing. Third of all, you can not FATHOM how good my house smelled at this point. Beef simmering in red wine and broth. Fourth of all, they look amazing.

I stuck a fork in one of them and thought they just needed a tiny bit longer, so I put the lid back on and stuck them back in the oven for 20 minutes.

When I pulled them out, I spooned the veggies and liquid all over the top.

Now, at this point, you can just move forward with the shredding and the making of the sandwich.

However, I prefer, if I have time, to refrigerate it to get a lot of the fat off the top. So I let the short ribs cool considerably, then just stuck the lid on the pot and stuck the whole dang thing in the fridge overnight.

For lunch the next day, I pulled the pot out of the fridge. You&rsquoll see that all the fat has risen to the top and hardened. Now, if you&rsquod rather not have the fat covering the meat and veggies, you can remove the beef and veggies with a slotted spoon before you refrigerate them. (Just store them separately in the fridge.) That way it&rsquos much easier to get the fat off the top.

I didn&rsquot do that, because I just wanted to stick it in the fridge and not mess with it.

So I just picked around everything and got most of the fat off, leaving a little bit (which never bothers me.)

Is any of this making sense?

Then I just heated it up on the stovetop until the liquid and meat were nice and hot! After that, the meat just needed to be taken off the bones and shredded.

The meat should literally fall off the bones. You can just get rid of these, or you can use them to make stock, or you can give them to your unapologetically carnivorous dogs.

You&rsquoll also notice, as you take the meat off the bones, that there is a tough piece of tissue that you can easily separate from the meat. Just get rid of this, too. (Or again: dogs.)

Keep shredding until you have big chunks of short rib meat. (I like to leave mostly chunks rather than completely shredding it.) And that liquid&mdashyou can not believe how amazing it is! Getting most of the fat out of there just leaves the pure, adulterated liquid. It is a dadgum miracle.

Now, you can do whatever size of sandwiches you want! Use little dinner rolls, regular deli rolls, slices of French bread&hellipbut I decided to use a crusty baguette. It was one of those brown-and-serve numbers, so I stuck it in the oven for a few minutes so it was nice and crusty on the outside, soft on the inside.

Then I sliced it down the middle&hellip

I didn&rsquot want to lose any of the flavor of the cooking liquid, so I spooned the onions/carrots all over the top along with some of the juice.

And I sliced it into individual sandwiches.

Oh. And if you want to have a little extra fun?

Lay a wedge of Brie on top and stick it under the broiler for a minute.

I apologize to all mankind and the universe for what I have done.

I put these on a plate to take a pretty picture, but the honest truth is that Marlboro Man and I had already stood at that cutting board a little while before and scarfed down half of them. These were all that were left!

They&rsquore really that good. If you want to make a sandwich you&rsquoll never, ever forget, buy some short ribs and whip this one up.


Recipe Summary

  • 3 1/2 pounds beef short ribs
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small carrot, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1 stalk celery, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1 medium onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup balsamic or red-wine vinegar
  • 3/4 cup red wine
  • 6 plum tomatoes, seeded and quartered
  • 2 cups store-bought chicken reduction, diluted with water until just thicker than chicken stock
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary

Heat oven to 300 degrees. Season ribs with salt and pepper. In a Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Sear ribs, in batches if necessary, until browned all over, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove ribs, and transfer to a large bowl set aside.

Add carrot, celery, onion, and garlic to pot, using more olive oil if necessary saute until browned, about 10 minutes. Add vinegar and red wine stir with wooden spoon until all browned bits have been scraped from the pan and the bottom of the Dutch oven is clean. Continue to cook until liquid is reduced by 1/3. Add tomatoes, chicken reduction, and herbs. Return ribs to pot, bring to a boil, cover pot, and transfer to oven. Cook, turning ribs once or twice during cooking, until fork tender and meat is just barely clinging to the bone, 3 1/2 to 4 hours.

Remove ribs from pot set aside. Strain, reserving cooking liquid, discarding solids. Use a large spoon to remove clear fat floating on surface of cooking liquid. Cook over medium-high heat until reduced and thickened.

Slice meat off ribs, against the grain, into 1/3-inch-thick pieces ribs may be served whole, if desired. Serve drizzled with sauce.


Braised Short Rib Sandwich with Caramelized Onion Marmalade

Did you watch the Super Bowl yesterday? Did you eat way too much junk food and/or consume a few too many adult beverages? I bet a lot of you did. While I didn’t drink (or watch much of the game), I took full advantage of the Super Bowl Sunday excuse to eat junk food, including lots of chips and dip and a bit too much ice cream. But the best thing I ate yesterday, by far, was this braised short rib sandwich.

I’m not a football fan. I try and I try, but I have a really hard time following the game. I grew up watching baseball, and while some people think baseball is slow and boring, I like the pace and I like the tradition. Growing up, we drove to San Francisco and Oakland often to catch the Giants and the A’s. I loved everything about those games and I understand that football has the same hold on lots of Americans as baseball had on my sister and I when we were kids.

Yes, Super Bowl Sunday has become a little too much about the commercials and halftime show, but there is still a thrill when watching the big game, even if it’s just on television, and even if I can’t follow everything that’s happening. I didn’t watch most of yesterday’s game because I was in the kitchen, but I did see the last quarter, which turned out to be exciting and emotional even for me. There’s something powerful about big games and the relationship between the fans and teams, regardless of the sport. I don’t follow soccer, but that didn’t make it any less exciting to be on the streets of Rome at the moment Italy won the World Cup. So no, I’m not a football fan, but I do like the tradition of Super Bowl Sunday and I will continue year after year to use it as an excuse to celebrate and eat.

It wasn’t until Sunday morning that I figured out what to make for game day. I remembered that I had some short ribs in the freezer and that reminded me of a short rib sandwich my friend Amanda and I used to enjoy at one of our favorite restaurants in San Diego. Sandwiches make great eating-on-the-couch-and-watching-football food, so I decided I would braise the short ribs in wine then use the meat for sandwiches with caramelized onions and cheese. The short ribs take a while to braise, so I had plenty of time to make fresh bread and a caramelized onion marmalade. If you’re thinking that sounds like a lot of work for a sandwich, you’re probably right, but the game wasn’t starting until 3:30 and I really enjoy playing in the kitchen on a lazy Sunday. Also, the sandwiches were totally worth it!

While the short ribs were braising in red wine, I mixed up the dough for Peter Reinhart’s Herbed Focaccia from The Bread Baker’s Apprentice. I love that recipe, but normally you let the dough dough rest in the refrigerator overnight to develop the flavor. I wanted bread in a few hours, so I skipped that step. I substituted half fresh ground whole wheat flour to give the bread a bit more flavor since I wasn’t going to let it rest in the refrigerator overnight. I also cut the recipe in half and baked it in a smallish rectangular casserole dish instead of a sheet pan. It turned out great.

Next, I made Onion Marmalade using my favorite recipe from Kevin at Closet Cooking. I left out the fresh thyme since the focaccia was already flavored with herbs. I also added a bit more balsamic vinegar. If you’ve never tasted onion marmalade, I highly recommend you give it a try. It’s fantastic on sandwiches and burgers.

Once all the components were ready, I assembled the sandwiches. First, I sliced open the focaccia and toasted it with a bit of olive oil. Then I stacked one side with tender short rib meat and topped it with cheese (we tried both aged cheddar and a delicious local raw sheep’s milk cheese from Chateau Fresno Organics). The other side was spread with onion marmalade. That was it!

Phillip said it was the best sandwich he’s ever tasted and it was up near the top of my list as well. It was definitely the highlight of our Super Bowl Sunday and since there were leftovers, I’m pretty sure it will be today’s highlight as well. Here are links to all the recipes I used for the different sandwich components:


Thyme-Rubbed Bison Short Ribs

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With its low fat content, bison can easily turn out dry and tough. Braising takes a while, but you’re rewarded with moist and meltingly tender meat. Serve these garlic- and thyme-rubbed short ribs with something that can soak up all the extra braising liquid, such as our Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes or Pancetta and Hominy Polenta.

Tips for Ribs

Instructions

For the rub:

For the braise:

  1. 1 Pat ribs dry with a paper towel and cover on both sides with thyme rub. Let meat come to room temperature, about 20 minutes.
  2. 2 Once meat is ready, place a large, shallow pot with a tightfitting lid over medium heat and add oil. When it starts to shimmer, add ribs and sear until well browned on both sides, about 4 minutes per side (you may have to do this in batches).
  3. 3 Remove ribs to a baking sheet and set aside. Add onion, fennel, and celery to the pot and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir, scraping up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Cook until vegetables are tender and browned, about 10 minutes. Stir in thyme, bay leaf, and broth, then place ribs bone side up in the pot and bring mixture to a boil.
  4. 4 Once boiling, cover the pot and transfer it to the oven. Cook ribs until meat falls apart when pierced with a fork, about 4 hours.

Beverage pairing: Domaine de la Charbonnière Châteauneuf du Pape Cuvée Mourre des Perdrix, France. Thyme grows between the rocks in the southern Rhône, as do hosts of other wild herbs, which makes the wine made from the grapes that grow among those same rocks a perfect fit for this dish.


Braised BBQ Short Rib Sandwich, and Savoring the Last Lingering Days of Summer

Nothing speaks of summer like the saucy, smoky flavor of a braised BBQ short rib sandwich with slaw and nothing compares to the carefree ways and experiences—the freedom—of those last remaining days of wonderful summer.

Do you ever wonder where the summers of our youth go?

Watching all of these back-to-school commercials that are now being played over and over again, I can all-too-well remember being a kid myself during those last fleeting weeks of summer vacation and having that terrible sinking feeling wash over me, one of sheer dread, when I would start seeing all of those darned ads for clothes, shoes, and school supplies begin to air.

“School supplies. Argh. we still have a week or two of vacation left, though!”

Once those back-to-schools ads started airing, it became a sad reality that the school uniform code would soon be replacing my running barefoot through the streets with not much more than my swimsuit on.

And those leisurely, long mornings spent in my pajamas eating cereal with abandon and with uncombed hair…?

Well, those would be mere memories on the wind soon, too, giving way to the rise-and-shine sound of my alarm clock that would now be placing me back on a schedule, all nice and neatly groomed.

See, summers were a time of make believe they were a time of popsicles and of listening for the ice cream truck to come into our neighborhood (a rarity back then), and of grabbing a sandwich on-the-go as mom yelled after me reminding me to come home before it got too dark, her voice fading away as I ran down the street to my best friend’s house to cause a little mischief.

They were a time of smoky scents on the breeze from neighbors grilling and BBQ-ing those delicious little burgers and saucy, messy ribs.

Or for those of us living on lakes or canals, there'd be a faint smell of gas from passing motor boats, and the gentle blip-blip sound of the tiny waves they produced as they lapped the shoreline.

Those scents and sounds of summer were so comforting, indeed.

It's nice to reminisce about that period of life, and to now have some compassion for the youngsters that are going through their own rites of passage, struggling with these very same feelings, and with the reality that responsibility does exist, and is a part of life.

Where do the summers of our youth go to anyway?

Perhaps they rise and fade gently away into that golden sunset that is our memory.

But I wonder if we listen intently enough, when it's very quiet and our world stands still, if we'll hear the giddy laughter of our childhood and the silliness in that far away place that perhaps it always, somehow, remains protected, and captured as a photograph, there for us to look at, study, and admire as that time when our days were freer, and we were a bit more innocent.

May we never forget those days of summer…

Taste what's good and pass it on.

Braised BBQ Short Rib Sandwich with Creamy Coleslaw
by Ingrid Beer

Yield: Makes about 4-6 sandwiches

Ingredients:

• 3 pounds beef short ribs (roughly 8 ribs)
• Salt
• Black pepper
• Canola or vegetable oil
• 2 onions, quartered and sliced
• 6 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
• 1 tablespoon tomato paste
• 1 cup stout (I used Guinness “Extra Stout” in a bottle)
• 1 cup beef stock
• 1 cup BBQ sauce
• Honey-Wheat Buns, toasted (or other style)
• Mayo, if desired
• Simple Slaw (recipe below)

Preparation:

-Preheat your oven to 325°.

-Place the ribs into a bowl and season with a couple of good pinches of salt and pepper.

-Place a large braising pan over medium-high heat, and drizzle in about 2 tablespoons of oil once the oil is very hot, add the ribs in and allow them to sear and brown on that first side (about 4 minutes), then flip and brown on the other side, a few minutes more remove from braiser and hold.

-Drain some of the fat from the braiser, leaving about 2-3 tablespoons add the onions and saute those until lightly golden and softened, about 5 minutes add in the garlic, and stir.

-Once the garlic becomes aromatic, stir in the tomato paste, cooking it for about 30 seconds, then add in the stout, the beef stock, and the BBQ sauce, and stir to combine.

-Nestle the ribs back into the sauce, and bring to a simmer cover with the lid, and place into the oven to braise for about 2 ½ hours, or until fork tender and meat is falling from bone.

-Carefully remove the ribs from the braiser, and once cool enough to handle, shred the meat with a fork, and set aside for a moment.

-Puree the sauce that's left in the pan with a immersion blender, then place back over medium to medium-low heat, and gently simmer the sauce until slightly reduced, about 10 minutes return meat back into the sauce.

-Assemble sandwiches by spreading a touch of mayo on top and bottom bun, then add some of the BBQ braised rib meat, then top with some of the slaw, and serve.

Simple Slaw Ingredients:

• ½ cup mayo
• 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
• 2 tablespoons sugar
• ¼ teaspoon black pepper
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• 4 cups of shredded slaw mix (red and green cabbage, and shredded carrots)

Preparation:

-Combine the mayo with the remaining ingredients up to and including the salt, and whisk until smooth add the slaw mix into a bowl, and drizzle the dressing over top, and toss to combine serve immediately, or keep cold.

About Ingrid Beer

Ingrid obtained her Culinary Arts degree in 2005 after graduating with honors from the California School of Culinary Arts (Le Cordon Bleu program) in Pasadena, CA.

She has had the pleasure and privilege of being the Executive Chef for two substance abuse facilities in Malibu, Ca., as well as a personal chef for private clients.


How to Make Braised Short Ribs

There are tons of different ways that you can flavor braised short ribs, but the steps to making them remain the same. To start, pat the meat dry and season with salt, pepper, and whatever other spices you want to include. Then you can proceed with browning the meat in a pot with some oil. Patting the meat dry before adding to the pot helps to get a good sear and encourage browning. One important tip with this step is to not overcrowd the pan as doing so makes it difficult to get the nice brown crust that we want.

Next, the meat gets set aside and we move on to aromatics, herbs, and whatever else you might want to include. I keep it simple with onion and thyme in the recipe below, but some other things you could add are leeks, fennel, garlic, tomato paste, carrots, celery, rosemary, mushrooms, potatoes, etc. (Lots of options, obvi.)

After the flavor agents have had some time in the pot, I add a bit of flour. This will help to thicken the liquid that we add later to result in a luscious sauce. As you can see in the photos, the sauce at the end of the braising process isn’t super thick with just 1 teaspoon of flour, so feel free to use more if you prefer a thicker gravy.

Speaking of liquid, this recipe simply calls for beef stock, but some other ingredients to consider are wine, whiskey, beer, tomato sauce/purée, milk, or even cola. (I also add in a few bay leaves to the mix, but don’t sweat it if you don’t have any in your pantry.)

Lastly, just pop on a lid and throw it in the oven until the short ribs are nice and tender. Unless the lid to your pan is super tight fitting, a good amount of liquid will still escape from the pan (as you can see in the images in this post). If you want to keep more of the liquid around to use as a gravy to spoon over mashed potatoes, then you can put a layer of foil on top of the pot before topping with the lid to help seal in more moisture.