Red Chili-Braised Short Ribs & Pecorino Grits

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The temperatures have cooled down for only about a week now and I’m already in hibernation mode.

I’M SO TIRED.

I’ve only had enough energy to drink wine and make one-pot meals that cook low and slow in my oven, perfuming my house with goodness for several hours. After that, nap time.

Red Chili-Braised Short Ribs is one of my favorite lazy-day recipes. Once it makes it in the oven you can do whatever you want for hours. Like, take a nap.

Happy Autumn! Give me two more weeks of sleep and I’ll be as good as new.

XO

Red Chili-Braised Short Ribs
& Pecorino Grits

Ingredients:

Short Ribs:

  • 3 lbs bone-in beef short ribs
  • 3 guajillo chilis, dried
  • 2 chile de arbol, dried
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups onion, diced
  • 1 cup carrots, diced
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 5 sprigs thyme
  • 5 sprigs tarragon
  • 1 cup canned tomatoes, (preferably fire-roasted)
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp honey

Pecorino Grits:

  • 1 can hominy (16 oz)
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup Pecorino Romano, grated
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste

Gremolata:

  • 1/2 cup fresh mint
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1 clove garlic
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

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Procedure:

Short Ribs:

  1. Preheat oven to 325ºF.
  2. In a saucepan, add 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Add dried chilis and cover, letting them re-hydrate, about 1 hour. Once the chilis have softened, add the chili peppers and the water to a blender and puree. Set aside. *Use whatever dried chilis you like or have available to you. Be cognizant of the heat level and adjust amounts accordingly. Similar substitutes include: Japones, New Mexico, Pasilla, Serrano, Ancho
  3. Heat EVOO over medium-high heat in a dutch oven. Season the short ribs liberally with salt & pepper. Add to the pan and sear each side of the short-rib until a deep golden brown color. Remove from pan and set aside.
  4. Add celery, onion, carrot & garlic and sauté until soft and golden brown. De-glaze pan by adding the canned tomatoes, scraping up any golden bits with a wooden spoon. Add the beef stock & chili liquid and reduce liquids by half.  The liquid should be reduced enough so that the short ribs can sit on a “bed” of vegetables.
  5. Add the short ribs to the pot–we don’t want the liquid to come up more than half of the sides of the short ribs. If there is too much liquid, simply remove the short ribs and reduce the liquid further.
  6. Add the bay leaf and herbs and bring the stock to a boil. Cover with a lid and place in the oven.
  7. Cook in the oven 2 hours, or until the meat is very tender and falling off the bone. Check the ribs half-way through cooking to make sure there is enough liquid. If the liquid seems to be evaporating too quickly, add another cup of water or beef stock.
  8. Remove herbs and bay leaves. Skim off any excess fat. Remove 1 cup of the cooking liquid/vegetables and add to a blender, along with the honey & apple cider vinegar. Puree until smooth and add back to the pot to thicken the sauce.

Pecorino Grits:

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*Traditionally, we often see grits made from the dry version of broken down hominy. You can totally still make grits this way, if you prefer, and just add Pecorino Romano.  Here, we use canned hominy, as it cuts down on cooking time and offers a nice fluffy texture.

  1. In a sauté pan over medium high heat, add extra virgin olive oil, garlic and diced onion. Cook until softened and lightly caramelized.
  2. Drain hominy, and rinse thoroughly. Add hominy to the sauté pan and cook over medium low heat, about 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add chicken stock and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until the stock has almost completely reduced, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
  4. Add mixture to a food processor and pulse, until the hominy has broken into “grit”-sized pieces.
  5. Add back to sauté pan with milk & butter. Cook over medium-low heat, until the grits begin to absorb the milk and becomes creamy. Add Pecorino. Season with salt and pepper.

Gremolata:

  1. Add all of the ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend until you achieve a pesto-like consistency. Season with salt and pepper.

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