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Shortribs with a Side of Mashed Potatoes and Angst

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Since I moved, the following things have happened (in the span of about three weeks):

  1. My dog sustained a debilitating injury that–had it been worse–may have meant her death. (She’s doing fine now.)
  2. My dog has peed in the house–sometimes twice a day–every day ,but two, since I got to my new destination.
  3. My cat did the same. So…I had two pets pissing in the house EVERY DAY. Pooping, too, a couple times.
  4. My son came down with a virus. He was miserable and I was miserable worrying about him. We’ve already been to the doctor THREE TIMES.
  5. My husband left for what will be a year.
  6. I have been having–at times–debilitating panic attacks.
  7. My son has been–understandably–out-of-sorts (temper tantrums, not sleeping).
  8. A few days ago my son was diagnosed with Lymes Disease. He is now receiving treatment. (He is doing fine.)

I’m tired. But the near neverending drama doesn’t seem to be affecting my cooking. Here’s a recipe for

Braised Shortribs with Dilly Potatoes

  • 6-8 shortribs
  • 2 slices thick-cut bacon
  • 1 bulb fennel cut into long wedges
  • 3 large carrots cut into large chunks
  • 2 medium onion cut into large chunks
  • 2 cups or so decent-quality red wine
  • 2 cups beef broth or stock
  • A bouqet garni of sage, rosemary and parsley
  • About  5 cloves garlic, smashed
  1. Cut the bacon into little lardons and, in a large skillet, crisp them to render their fat. Remove with a slotted spoon, and drain/set aside. Remove some of the bacon fat from the pan.
  2. Salt and pepper your shortribs generously. Making sure the heat is medium-high, brown them in the reserved bacon fat.
  3. Put your veggies in a large, oven-safe dutch oven and sprinkle them with around 1/8 cup flour and salt and pepper. Add in your bouquet garni.
  4. Place browned shortribs on top of your veggies, along with half the lardons.
  5. Cover your shortibs with the wine and broth. Braise in 350 degree oven for about 2 hours or until veggies are tender is meat is fork-tender.
  6. Remove meat and veggies from dutch oven with a slotted spoon. Set aside.
  7. Pour all pot juices into a fat separator.
  8. For your potatoes, simply make mashed potatoes as you normally would, adding in some fresh, chopped dill at the end.
  9. Serve ribs over a helping of potatoes, along with the veggies, strained gravy from the fat separator, and a small sprinkle of the remaining lardons.

It all started with a rainbow…

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