"True wine enthusiasts don’t collect wines.
They collect memories of wines shared with friends and family."

-Dario Zucconi

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Braised Creole Short Ribs: An Expression of Pure Culinary Delight

Every once in a while, you may come across a recipe that just invites you to try it.  It's easy when the recipe comes with a picture because, let's face it, most of us are drawn to try new dishes based on the way they look.  For me, sometimes, the title of a recipe makes me want to try it. Also, the occasion or seasonal setting of the recipe may tempt me to try it. That's what happened with this braised Creole Short Ribs that I made this week.
My husband, Patrick, and I are members of a wine club called Expressions of the Vine.  It's a wine club which allows us to get wines from several different wineries every month, including Simi, Franciscan, Robert Mondavi, Mount Veeder, and Ravenswood). One of the things that I love about this Wine Club is that each wine shipment comes with a really cool newsletter. It's not just a regular newsletter that describes the wines (it does that too amazingly well!), but it also includes some wonderful recipe suggestions. One of those recipes in the February 2012 issue was Creole Short Ribs (recipe is copied below).  I have been wanting to try this recipe.  This week, I thought, was the perfect week for it with Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) and the beginning of Lent and all.  I wanted to make it on Fat Tuesday, but I got tied up with work, and it didn't work out as I had planned. So, I made it last night (Ash Wednesday) to eat tonight.  I started the dish right when I got home from work (I seasoned the meat, cut the vegetables, browned the meat, and sauteed the vegetables right before dinner on Wednesday night).  Then, right before we sat down for dinner, I placed everything in the pot, and braised it on low heat for about 3 hours. 

The result, which we happily enjoyed tonight (Thursday), was truly amazing.  The meat was so tender and succulent.  The dish was exploding with flavors from the cloves, garlic, bay leaf, and onions that just got more intense overnight.  The dish was hearty, but not heavy.  It was fulfilling, but not fattening.  The sauce was, oh my gosh, so incredibly delicious. I wanted to just take a bowl of the sauce, and drink it like soup. Maybe, with the leftovers, I can heat it up, toast some sourdough bread, and just dip it in the sauce.  That's an idea!  Anyway, tonight, I served the meat with some Jasmine rice, and a side of cornbread.  The red and green peppers were perfect vegetables to go with the rice.  I am thrilled that even the kids ate some, and my 4-year-old told me "Mommy, I ate all the beef, and it was good."  Every time my kids eat, and actually like, something new I try, I am ecstatic. 

Patrick and I tried one of our wines that we got from the wine club -- Franciscan Cabernet (Napa Valley, CA  2008).  The wine was a great complement to the comforting short ribs.  It was the perfect ending to a long day. 

I hope you try this dish some time. You probably have most of the ingredients at home already.  For the meat, tell your butcher what you want, and he/she should be able to cut it exactly as you want it.  (For anyone in Oakland/Berkeley, Ver Brugge in Rockridge is my go-to meat shop, and they got me exactly what I wanted.)

Here is to you enjoying the rest of your week and a nice weekend!

Until next time . . . Cheers!


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