OK, here’s something I never thought I’d say: I’m done, done with summer!

As a native daughter of California, I grew up in the sun, beached it, soaked it up, loved it and thrived on it. But at my somewhat advanced years, I find this past summer a little excessive.

Here I am sitting on a great cookie recipe, just waiting to see if it can survive my bumbling, and it’s been too darn hot to fire up my oven.

I’m done and hoping the weather forecaster will come to his/her senses and send us some fall weather.

Actually, it’s not as if we haven’t had a few cooler days, a little rain even; but I’m ready for some sweater, not sweating weather.

Supposedly, we’re in line for a little cool-down next week and I, in my gullibility, am trusting their predictions and sharing an all-time favorite, cool-to-cold weather dish.

Who doesn’t love slow-cooked, fork-tender meat, served with fluffy mashed potatoes and bathed in tasty gravy? Don’t know about you, but my mouth is watering.

What I’m talking about is my all-time favorite, go-to, cold-weather dish, short ribs cooked in beer. What could be a better combination? The sauce/gravy in this case is finished with fresh — when possible — grated horseradish.

A terrific dish, perfect for the whole family. And, paired with a hearty green veggie such as broccoli or Brussels sprouts, this is sure to win over the whole family.

Also, I strongly suggest you serve this with my Irish neighbor Catherine Hanson’s fluffy mashed potatoes with chopped green onion.

An unexpected pop of flavor awaits you with this combination. Whip up your favorite mashed spuds and stir in a generous amount of sliced green onions. Do this just after mashing when potatoes are still hot. The residual heat will soften them and bring out their slight sweetness. Delicious!

For the following you can use either bone-in or boneless short ribs. Just remember, pound for pound, bone-in ribs are less expensive, while boneless means more meat for your money.

Short Ribs Cooked in Beer

6 Tbsp. olive oil

6 to 7 lbs. short ribs

Salt

Fresh ground pepper

2 onions, chopped

4 carrots, sliced 1/2-inch thick

4 stalks celery, chopped

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4 to 6 garlic cloves, chopped

1/3 c. flour

4 c. broth, chicken or beef

1 can beer

1 1/2 Tbsp. tomato paste

2 bay leaves

1/4 c. horseradish* or more to taste

Heat oil until hot in large roasting pan with lid or Dutch oven. Add short ribs and brown well on all sides. Do this in batches. Remove meat to plate and season with salt and pepper. Add onion, carrots and celery to cooking pan and cook until carrots and celery start to soften and onion is golden. Add garlic and cook another minute or two. Don’t let garlic burn. Turn off heat, stir in flour and add broth. Add beer, tomato paste and bay leaves. Stir to blend all ingredients well. 

Add short ribs and any juices on plate. Turn up heat and bring to a simmer. Cover pot and place in a 300-degree oven. Bake, covered for about 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until meat is tender. Remove from oven, turn heat off and place ribs on a serving plate. 

Return ribs to oven or cover with foil to keep warm. Allow vegetables in pot to stand for 5 minutes. Skim excess fat from top; adjust salt and pepper to taste and whisk in the horseradish. Spoon gravy/sauce over mashed potatoes and ribs.

*Use prepared or fresh-grated horseradish, not horseradish cream sauce. This is a hearty dish, so the stronger the horseradish, the better.

Santa Ynez Valley resident Elaine Revelle can be reached at thewoodenspoon@juno.com.

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