Friday, November 14, 2008

Beef Short Ribs in Chipotle & Green Chile Sauce, and The Politics of Change

A week ago I'd planned on a political post but I got sidetracked with a rant about early onset Christmas caroling. A couple of you asked about that story.

Back in the late '90s the Crabby family was
living in Minnesota, with SSSal working for the worldwide leader in transport refrigeration. The company was set up much like the automobile industry with manufacturing taking place in centralized locations and sales and installation being the responsibility of individual franchisees. SSSal's position required her to meet with individual franchisees from time to time.

At the time, Minnesota was going through a period of political upheaval. Well not upheaval actually, more like raging indifference. A governor's campaign was in full swing; the electorate was demanding, well suggesting anyway, "change".

Their prayers were to be answered. From the prairie rose a candidate unlike any before him. Actor, athlete, Navy Seal, professional wrestler: Jesse "The Body" Ventura. With a combination on unapologetic straight talk and a take-no-prisoners attitude, Ventura would engineer a grass roots victory that in today's world of sterilized and sanitized candidates is incomprehensible.

Minnesotans were giddy and a bit bemused. Not only had they "shocked the world", they could now proudly display their "My Governor Can Beat Up Your Governor" bumper stickers.

Right after the election, SSSal was visiting a franchisee in the deep south. The original owner was a gentleman well into his 90's. His sons had taken over the business, but he always insisted on having lunch with anyone who visited from headquarters.

He sat next to SSSal during the meal and besides introducing himself, said little. During a lull in the conversation, her turned to her and asked if she was from Minnesota. "Yes, yes I am", she said. He said nothing for a few moments, then looked up at her and matter-of-factly said, "Y'all got a wrassla for a guvna." He turned back to his dessert and didn't say another word all day.

Some candidates are polished to a high sheen, others are more gristle and bone. Here's a recipe for all you "wrasslin' guvnas". Enjoy...

Beef Short Ribs in Chipotle & Green Chile Sauce
from Bon Apetit, January 2003


1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
5 pounds, meaty beef short ribs (Rule of Thumb: 1 Pound short ribs/person)

Mix the first five ingredients in a large bowl. Massage rub into both sides of the ribs.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and preferably overnight.

Beef Ribs Recipe

2 TBSP Olive Oil
1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion
6 large garlic cloves, minced
28 ounces low sodium chicken broth
1 cup drained canned diced tomatoes
1/4 cup lime juice
1/1/2 TBSP chopped canned chipotle chilies

3 large fresh Anaheim chilies, stemmed seeded & cut into 1/4 " rings
Chopped fresh cilantro for garnish
Lime Wedges

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Over medium-high heat, heat olive oil in a dutch oven or other large ovenproof pot.

Working in batches, making sure not to crowd the pot, brown ribs on all sides, about 5 - 7 minutes per batch.

When all the ribs have been browned, transfer them to a plate. Reduce heat to medium and add onions and garlic, cover and cook until onion is soft, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.

Add broth and bring to a boil, scraping up any brown bits in the bottom of the pot.

Add tomatoes, lime juice and chipotle chilies (Note: If you like your meals on the mild side, drop the amount of chilies to a 1/2 tablespoon).

Return ribs to pot, meaty side down. Arrange the ribs in a single layer. Bring the mixture to a boil; cover and transfer the pot to your oven. Cook ribs for 1 1/2 hours.

After 90 minutes, remove ribs from oven; using oven mitts, tilt the pot so you can spoon off accumulated fat, (Note: Short ribs are fatty, there will be a fair amount of fat floating on the surface. I use a ball baster to suck up as much fat as I deem reasonable. There will be some fat left in the pot!).

Place pot over medium heat and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes or until the sauce coats the back of a spoon, (Note: I have made this recipe a few times. Sometimes nearly all the liquid boils away in the oven and I add more broth on the stove top. Sometimes the vegetables don't quite disintegrate and I use a stick blender to make a rough "rustic" sauce. Learn to improvise).

When the sauce reaches your desired consistency, add the Anaheim Chile rings and simmer an additional 10 minutes, or until the rings soften.

Serve in large bowls, garnish with chopped cilantro and a lime wedge. You can serve this meal with warm crusty bread, garlic mashed potatoes, or my celery root brandade. WWBob suggests an Australian Shiraz, you want a lot of fruit to complement the spiciness.

OK crablings, another inexpensive but flavorful meal to add to your arsenal. I can hear the thundering feather beats of Thanksgiving approaching. Next time I'll post the Crabby household stuffing recipe. Until then, remember, you can do it, you can cook.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

this looks fabulous! i want to try this in the pressure cooker and see how it goes.