I like to think of myself as a fairly organized person. Actually, scratch that, I know I am a very very organized person. I have lists for just about every aspect of my life: to-do list, grocery list, home improvement list, cleaning list, books to read list, books I have read list. I ca hardly function without a schedule or at least some sort of a general plan. I am literally in love with my planner sometimes.
And the whole recipe thing, well that takes like five separate lists. I have a list of the foods I want to make and a list of foods I’ve made. There is a sheet of paper stuck inside every cookbook I own with a list of recipes I want to try and what page numbers they can be found on. And then all that gets translated into a big spreadsheet of ingredients so when I’m making my grocery list I don’t have consult every cookbook/recipe. (Yes, I realize. I am crazy.)
But all of this organization keeps me pretty prepared. Usually. Until you realize that your bottle of bbq sauce that had been stashed away in your pantry holds not 3ish cups of barbecue sauce but 1.5ish cups. And this is where Gerrit comes to save the day, offering to run to the store as I am measuring out ingredients mid recipe. I should have looked more closely at the bottle instead of just assuming that I had enough as I was making my grocery list (and consulting my ingredient spreadsheet–oh gosh, I just sound more crazy every time I say that), but instead I was 1.5 to 2 cups short of bbq sauce and off Gerrit went to the store.
He spoils me, he really does. But he’s set the precedent for it because when we lived in Houston it was so easy…just pop over through the gate from our apartment and you were in the parking lot of my favorite grocery store ever. I think the first time it happened was when I was getting a pot roast ready to make and, not having my carrots and fennel chopped, got distracted and burnt some cipollini onions pretty badly. Five minutes later I had new cippollini onions in my kitchen. Now it’s a little less convenient (a quick drive down the road), but still convenient enough that I didn’t have to make-do with less bbq sauce.
And while I think I probably could have, I’m so glad I didn’t have to, because these were the short ribs of my dreams. When you cook them right, short ribs basically turn into butter. These turned into butter with a barbecue sauce twist. And while I’ve made short ribs in the past, I haven’t made them in the oven (I’ve only simmered them away on the stove), and I found that these required much less babysitting and checking to see if they are done. Here, just cover them in foil and pop them in the oven (after the required meat browning of course) and they come out perfectly cooked. Definitely worth Gerrit having to run to the store. And I’m pretty sure he would agree with that statement. Yes, he spoils me by going to the store whenever I run out of something. But I spoil him with food. So we’re even, right?
BBQ Beef Short Ribs
adapted from Hot and Hot Fish Club cookbook
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Bake Time: 2 1/2 hours
8 (2 inch thick) bone-in beef short ribs
1/4 cup vegetable or peanut oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, peeled and roughly chopped
4 stalks celery, roughly chopped
3 medium-sized carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
6 fresh thyme sprigs (or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme)
3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
1 bay leaf
4 cups beef broth
3 cups barbecue sauce (store bought or homemade)
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Season all sides of the short ribs with salt and pepper. In a large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the short-ribs (probably in two batches) and brown well on all sides. Remove the shot ribs from the pan once they are brown and lay them in a single layer in a large (11 x 14 inches, if you have it) roasting pan or baking dish.
3. Discard the oil in the bottom of the pot, but reserve the brown bits. Add the butter to the pot along with the onion, celery, and carrots, along with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Then stir in the thyme, garlic, and bay leaf. Cook for 2 more minutes. Add the beef broth and the barbecue sauce. Bring the mixture to a boil
4. Pour the sauce mixture over the short ribs. Cover the pan with foil and roast in the oven for 2 1/2 hours.
5. Remove from oven and take the ribs out of the sauce, covering them and setting them aside to stay warm. Pour the liquid into a pot (the same one your were using before is fine) and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Then reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer for 5 minutes or so, until the liquid is reduced by about 1/3.
6. Serve the ribs hot with the sauce spooned over them.