At Home

Braised Beef Short Ribs

Our dear friend Nick Edwards comes over every Monday for music time with the Beast (they both have the day off).  When I get home from work we have a meal together, usually one that I prepare Sunday night, and we watch a “cultural” show.  So far, we’ve screened The Godfather, a WWII documentary, and The Merchant of Venice, starring Al Pacino.  It’s been just lovely so far.  

 I really wanted to do a special meal this week seeing as it’s our six year anniversary and it was dear Nick who introduced me to the Beast.  So I asked my friend Tom, with whom I used to work at Swan restaurant, for the braised beef short rib recipe that’s been a staple on that restaurant’s menu since day one.  Tom is a fabulous cook and I think he assumes that most people don’t actually follow recipes so he just provided me with a list of ingredients.  It was up to me to decide on the appropriate measurements of beer, marmalade, dijon, chipotle and tomato paste in which my ribs would braise overnight on Sunday.

When I got home from work on Monday night the Beast and Nick greeted me from the couch where they were pretending to look smart by watching a documentary on evolution. 

Beast:  I already have the ribs heating up in the slow-cooker!

Foodie:  Actually you’re not supposed to use the slow-cooker to reheat food.  

Beast:  Well that’s good news because it wasn’t heating up fast enough so I took the enamel dish out and have it heating up in the oven.

Foodie:  You’re not supposed to do that either!

Beast:  How do you know all these slow-cooker rules?

Foodie:  I read the manual.  


Foodie:  Nick we’re not fighting, we’re just talking.  I think it’s great that the Beast tried to help with dinner but it’s best that I take over now.  

I immediately got the ribs into my Creuset, threw some diced Yukon Golds into some boiling water for our mashed potatoes, and prepared some green beans.

The Beast and Nick, not wanting to be too far away from the action, joined me in the kitchen.  Dinner was served as soon as I finished reducing the rib sauce down to a shiny, chestnut brown thick wonder.   

And instead of eating in front of the TV, we ate like adults do– at a real table.

Thank goodness there’s a chalkboard in our dining room so that the Beast could make a list list of possible conversation points for us to hit on throughout the evening, in case there was a lull.

Beast:  Wow.  This is really, really good.

Nick:  It’s amazing.

Beast:  You know what would be good?  An english muffin, topped with a poached egg, these braised ribs with the sauce, and then hollandaise.

Foodie:  Every one of your food fantasies involves some sort of rethinking of eggs benedict.  

Beast:  If we get a divorce, who do you think would get custody of Nick?

Foodie:  Well, you’ve known him longer, but I cook for him and I think that goes a long way.  

Beast:  Yes but I play more instruments than you do and I also take a more active role in Nick’s education.  

Foodie:  That’s true.  Nick what do you think?

Nick:  (Silence)

Foodie:  Nick, I want to apologize for talking so much last week when we watched The Godfather.  It must have been so annoying.  I hate when people talk during movies.  I really do.  But I just felt it was important for you to know a few things, like how my favourite scene is when Michael is on the steps of the hospital with Enzo the baker and Enzo can’t light his cigarette because he’s scared so Michael lights it for him and notices that his hands aren’t shaking which is sort of like him realizing that he’s his father’s son.  And then everybody thought the studio was going to fire Al Pacino until they saw the scene when he shoots McCluskey the cop and Sollozzo at the restaurant in Brooklyn and then they thought, “Wow, that kid is good.” And how when Tessio is going to get offed and he says to Tom Hagen, “Come on Tom, can’t you get me off the hook, for old time’s sake?” and Tom says, “Can’t do it Sal” and how Wes Anderson stole that scene and used it in Rushmore.

Beast:  We should watch Rushmore next week.  And Nick I really think you should give The Darjeeling Limited a second chance.  

Foodie:  I really like our Monday night tradition.  It’s so nice, the three of us spending time like this.

Nick:  Happy anniversary you two.

Foodie:   ***

Beast:   ****




Categories: At Home

6 replies »

  1. Who here is not jealous of this Nick fellow? I mean I don’t even know the Foodie or the Beast (although I imagine them as an extra-sassy Sophia Loren and a young Frank Zappa–but that is just one of my fantasy combos.) and yet I can’t imagine anything more exciting than having the two of them squabbling over me. Anyhoo, that is not why I am here. I demand a more complete rib recipe. It is cold outside and if I start braising them now they will be ready just in time for breakfast. Not that I will be able to successfully follow the recipe. I essayed Mark Bittman’s five-ingredient version (including the ribs) and discovered the hard way that “coffee” does not mean the undiluted contents of an espresso pot, and that the addition of too many ancho chiles yields a mess of ribs that end up tasting like a dark and fiery stew of crankcase oil and what Withnail euphemistically and fearfully described as “matter”. You get the picture. Au secours, s’ils vous plait.

  2. Wowza–two requests for a recipe! This is how I remember making it–quantities can be adjusted of course to suit your own tastes.

    Braised Beef Short Ribs
    (serves 4)

    -6 beef short ribs (1 ½ per person)
    -1 ½ to 2 cans of good beer (I used a Creemore and a Guinness)
    -1 ½ cups of orange marmalade
    -one big yellow onion (I used a Spanish onion)
    -a good squeeze (about 2 to 3 tbs) of Dijon mustard
    -a little less than half a can of tomato paste
    -salt & pepper to taste

    Brown your ribs over high heat (I also tossed in my slices of onion!) in a pot, preferably an enameled, cast iron one. Remove from heat.Mix up the sauce in a separate bowl and then add it to your pot. Preheat your oven to 250 and transfer your covered pot in there. Let your ribs braise for 5 to 6 hours. Alternatively, transfer your browned ribs and the sauce to a slow-cooker and braise them
    for 10 to 12 hours on low heat.

    When they’re done, you’ll need to skim off some fat (this is easier if you let everything come to room temp, or even refrigerate over night.) Transfer your ribs to a bowl and cover to keep warm, and then reduce your sauce on the stove-top (over high heat) until it’s the consistency you desire. Strain the gunk out, and serve it over your ribs with mashed potatoes and vegetables of your choice.

  3. I have made these ribs a few times and every time I do I usually message Tom Earl, my brother for the recipe as I have yet to write it down…thought I would try Googling and to my surprise your blog showed up with the ingredients…It is currently freezing here on the West Coast and I figured that this is the perfect meal to warm us up…I love these ribs and serve them with a soft polenta instead of potatoes…thanks again for saving me from bugging Tom…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s