Tag Archive for Short ribs

Heavy hors d’ouevre party for 35

We had the opportunity to provide a heavy hors d’oeuvre catered party for 35 a couple of weeks ago. It was so much fun to work with the hostess on the menu. The party was a wedding shower and the bride-to-be was gluten-free so we wanted to make sure she could enjoy everything we made. 


The somewhat Spanish themed menu consisted of the following:

Heavy charcuterie and cheese platter with lots of ‘extras’ including a custom-made 5 foot long reclaimed wood board as the focal point. It seemed to be the talk of the party! The platter did not just end at smoked meats, cheeses and crackers. It also had grapes, spiced candied pecans apricots, stuffed peppadews, Habanero and apricot jam, and candied bacon (which there may or may not have been a fight break out over…just sayin’).


Braised Short Ribs on Polenta Round with Cilantro and Pickled Onions

Roasted vegetables (curried cauliflower and okra, squash and zucchini with lemon and basil oil)


Garlic Shrimp – Gambas al Ajillo


Moorish Chicken Kebabs


Quinoa Salad with Orange-Lime Dressing and Avocados

(not pictured)


Dessert was from Alon’s – Chocolate Louise which is Gluten Free and decadent!

Blackberry and Red Wine Braised Short Rib Pie

short ribs in puff pastry

Short ribs! I ADORE these little things. Amazing flavor can be imparted by braising them in a whole hose of different flavors. But, since one of our mystery challenge ingredients was blackberries, I opted to braise them with the short ribs and a bit of wine, then make it into a ‘pie’ using the puff pastry mystery ingredient. Oh my! Since there were not a ton of short ribs, I also added some baby portabella mushrooms to add some volume, texture and flavor. You’ll have to try this blackberry and red wine braised short rib pie!!

Level of Difficulty: Hard
Time Required: Prep Time – 30min; Cook Time ~ 4hours (2 1/2 hours for short ribs, 30 minutes to reduce sauce and 30 minutes to bake the pie).

If you have the time, braise the short ribs one day and make the pie the next. This gives the short ribs plenty of time to soak in the flavors and allows you to skim off the cooled fat as short ribs are a fatty piece of meat.


2 1/2 lbs short ribs

2 carrots, diced small

1 onion, diced small

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 T flour

1 T tomato paste

1/2 bottle dry red wine

1/2 t thyme

1/2 t rosemary, chopped

1 bay leaf

1 pint blackberries

1 pint sliced baby bellas

18oz beef stock

Olive oil

Salt and Pepper

1 package of puff pastry, defrosted when ready to use

1 egg and 1 T water

Special Equipment and Other Items Needed:

Ceramic Dutch Oven – a must!

Wire mesh strainer

Glass Pie Dish

How to make blackberry and red wine braised short rib pie:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Season short ribs generously with salt and pepper.

Blackberry and red wine braised short rib pie

Prepare the Dutch oven on the stove with olive oil over medium-high heat. Sear the short ribs on all sides (work in batches if necessary so as not to crowd the pan) until a deep golden brown. Remove from the Dutch oven and set aside.

Blackberry and red wine braised short rib pie

Add the diced onions and carrots to the pan and sauté until tender. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up the brown bits.

braising short ribs

Add 2 T flour and stir constantly for about 2 minutes. Then add 1 T tomato paste and stir for another minute. This adds a lot of flavor, really!

When ready, pour in 1/2 a bottle of dry red wine (Cabernet will do the trick), then pour a glass for yourself. Stir and scrape up anything from the bottom of the pan. Reduce by about half. It took mine about 8-10 minutes.

Blackberry and red wine braised short rib pie

Add the thyme, rosemary, garlic and bay leaf. Also add the blackberries, portabellas and beef stock. Bring back up to a simmer.

braised short ribs with blackberries

Add the short ribs back to the Dutch oven, cover and put in oven for 2 1/2 hours or until the short ribs easily shred.

Shred the short ribs, remove the bones and any excess fat or other chewy parts. Now, if you have the time, let the shredded short ribs cool in the braising liquid. They’ll soak it up and be amazing. 

Once cooled, place in fridge overnight. The next day, you can gently scrape up the congealed fat from the top. Then place all of the meat and sauce in a colander over Dutch oven and allow the sauce to come out. Since we are making a pie, we need the braising liquid reduced by a lot! Once you get all of the liquid out, simmer the liquid over medium heat until very thick (reduced by about 2/3). Then strain the sauce using a wire mesh strainer to remove the chunks of carrot and the blackberry seeds.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Return the meat back to the reduced and strained sauce and warm. While it is warming, place 1/2 of the puff pastry in the bottom of a glass pie dish and trim to fit. Once the meat is warm, add to the pie dish and top with the other half of puff pastry. Again, trim to fit and crimp the edges to seal. Brush with the egg wash (1 beaten egg and 1T water).

egg wash on puff pastry

Bake in 400 degree oven for 20-25 minutes. Ready your taste buds for a flavor explosion and enjoy!

short ribs in puff pastry

Important Tips:

Season the short ribs well. Sear them well. Cook them at least 2 hours. Reduce the sauce. Strain the blackberry seeds (regardless of what Denise says!)

Meal Ideas:

I served this with the blue cheese and roasted rutabaga puree as a part of the McNack’s Mystery Challenge!

Got Leftovers?:

The pie was great 2 days later even when I reheated in the microwave!!

You lost me at “congealed fat”!! This really looks amazing, though. Please invite me over the next time you make it! ~ Denise

Well, I’d rather scoop out the congealed fat than eat it girlfriend! ~Melissa

Chipotle Beer Braised Short Ribs

Chipotle Beer Braised Short Ribs

McNack’s 1st Mystery Challenge basket included short ribs. I have never made short ribs before and knew that Melissa made delicious ones. I had to find a recipe that would at least hold a candle to what she was going to do. I found a recipe in DRAFT magazine that looked interesting and adapted it to make Chipotle Beer Braised Short Ribs. I have to admit, they were delicious and I would definitely make them again!

Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Time Required:Prep Time – 15 min; Cook Time – 6 hours


2 1/2 pounds short ribs



1/4 c. olive oil

1/2 carrot, chopped

1/2 celery stalk, chopped

2 cans Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

2 limes, quartered

1/2 bunch cilantro

16 oz. beef stock

1 stick unsalted butter

1/4 c. fresh lime juice

12 oz. Pale Ale or “Hearty” Beer (in other words…nothing that says “Light”)

Special Equipment and Other Items Needed:

Roasting pan

Preparing Chipotle Beer Braised Short Ribs:

Preheat oven to 250 Degrees. In a large sauté pan, heat oil over high heat. Season the short ribs with salt and pepper. Sear both sides until browned. Remove from heat and place in large roasting pan. 

Add the celery, carrot peppers, lime, cilantro, beef stock and beer.

Chipotle Beer Braised Short Ribs

Cover tightly with foil and roast 5-6 hours, or until the meat easily pulls from the bone. 

When the ribs have cooled, remove meat from the bone and set aside. Strain the liquid from the pan into a pot and add the butter, lime juice, salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat until the liquid reduces enough to lightly coat the back of a spoon. Put the meat back in the juice. Serve. 

Chipotle Beer Braised Short Ribs

Important Tips:

You can’t rush these. Slow and steady is the key. 

Meal Ideas:

I served this with blue cheese puff pastry with blackberry sauce and roasted rutabaga and Brussels sprouts. 

Ok, so here is Denise already breaking the rules. We said that when you ‘announce’ what you are going to make you have to stick with it. No where did Denise announce she was going to use a major ingredient such a beer to braise her short ribs. Maybe now, she won’t whine so much about me ‘breaking’ the rules. ~Melissa

Well Ex-CU-U-U-U-SE ME!! My recipe clearly had beer in it. I must have forgotten to say that. I get nervous once someone says “it’s recording”. Sounds to me that the root of your issue is that you’re afraid I’m going to win this one. Wa-wa WHAT?? ~Denise

Oh, right! That’s it. I forgot that I’m still shaking in my ‘I’m a chef’ Boots! But thanks for giving away your ‘I’m nervous’ tell. You complain about rules = you’re nervous I’m going to win.


McNacks Mystery Challenge: Basket Number 1

Braised short ribs with puff pastry and blackberries

Last week we told you about a new concept that will be doing about once a month called “McNacks Mystery Challenge.” If you missed that post, click here for the details, or better yet, just watch this little video for the background and the unveiling of the first basket!

McNacks 1st Mystery Challenge is now complete!!! We had our good friend and loyal supporter, Kayla Taylor, bring over an amazing basket. We really had no idea what to expect, but she came through with a killer basket!

The first mystery challenge included the following five ingredients:

  • Blue cheese from Point Reyes
  • Puff pasty
  • Blackberries
  • Rutabaga
  • Short ribs

Denise felt like she was in good shape until saw the short ribs and heard Melissa going on about how she was so glad we didn’t have to cook these in just 30 minutes and all the amazing things she could do with the short ribs. (Denise has never cooked short ribs…the main ingredient..nice one)!

Melissa was trying to remember what that giant round thing was in the middle of the basket but tried to cover up her lack of knowledge by deflecting it onto Denise (as you will see when you watch the video,  Denise had no problem showcasing her ignorance).

After five short minutes of research (Melissa was done in about 3 and Denise needed 10, but rules are rules), this is what we decided we were going to make:

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Chipotle Beer Braised Short Ribs with Puff Pastry and Blackberry Sauce and a side of Roasted Rutabaga and Brussels Sprouts


Blackberry and Red Wine Braised Short Rib Pie with Blue Cheese and Roasted Rutabaga Puree. Melissa made a green vegetable too but hated it. She attempted a simple garlic sautéed broccoli rabe (rappini) but it was uber bitter and she hated it. Have to figure out a better way to cook that next time but luckily, it wasn’t part of the basket!!