Oh, short ribs! Of course that’s what you want to make for dinner tonight: tender, fatty, utterly beefy short ribs, prepared in a way you’ve never had before. A tall order, we understand, but we’re here to inspire you with five recipes for this meaty treat, from Filipino Christmas fare to a Southern chicken fried. You heard us. Grab a pile from your butcher, bust out a Dutch oven and get cooking!
One of the joys of cold-weather cooking is using a heavy hand with dark, sweet and deeply flavorful ingredients like bourbon and maple syrup. We borrowed this maple-braised short rib recipe from chef and maple-syrup expert Jacob Griffin of Dutchess County, New York’s Madava Farms, where Crown Maple syrup is made. Frequently referred to as the purest maple syrup available, this is what you want to slow-cook your short ribs in.
The caramelized onion puree balances the beer out with a little bit of sweetness. The idea here is slow caramelization to bring out the sugar in the onions. I bang out the onion puree while the ribs are in the oven, but you can also make the puree the day before, when you marinate the ribs, and stick it in the fridge overnight.
Welcome to Filipino Christmas. There are screaming babies on your left, cases of Miller High Life on your right and approximately 4,000 people in the living room of whatever aunt, cousin or sort-of cousin was willing to host that year. When I was a kid, I’d wait all year for this. It was my opportunity to eat my aunt Catalina’s kare-kare.
What happens when a chef and his coffee-geek friend get into the craft coffee-roasting business? Well, for one, you end up with some pretty choice beans — in particular, excellent blends, which makes for a refreshing change from all the single-origin coffee everyone else seems fixated on. Second, you get a couple great coffee-driven recipes. Like coffee-braised short ribs with polenta and Brussels sprouts.
At Underbelly in Houston, James Beard Award–winning chef Chris Shepherd and his full-time butcher go to work on an entire cow every single week. Which means they have to find creative uses for each part of the animal — including the ribs, which carry a whole lot of meat. “One day we had ribs left over,” Shepherd says, “and we said, ‘Let’s just braise and fry these damn things. It’ll be delicious!’” Indeed they were. In a state where diners take chicken-fried steak very seriously, these ribs are a nod to tradition, but with more beef flavor than the customary eye of round. “It’s chicken-fried steak, but it’s also not,” Shepherd says. “When you bite into it, it’s meaty, tender and thick.”