slow-cooked short ribs

Chile-Coconut Braised Beef Short Ribs

Go ahead and ask my authors — they’ll tell you. Professionally speaking, I’m not a fan of seasonal cookbooks, and I’m always trying to talk writers out of organizing their books that way. I say things like, “that’s now how real people cook,” “seasons vary depending on where you live,” and “the average person shops in the supermarket where they can get anything, any time of the year.” They argue back about how farmer’s markets are growing in popularity, and in-season ingredients are fresher, better-tasting, and more affordable. I’ve heard it all before, and unless you’re a professional chef, I rarely back down. Knowing that about me makes it all the more amusing how much I love Cook This Now by Melissa Clark. It’s not just organized seasonally, it’s organized by month. Now that’s getting really specific. The latest recipe I tried from Melissa’s book is the Chile-Coconut Braised Beef Short Ribs (great with rice, so it’s perfect for my gluten-free lifestyle).

Chile-Coconut Braised Beef Short Ribs

Coconut milk makes it creamy, while chile powder, garlic, jalapenos, fresh ginger, shallots, and cumin spice things up. But as you can see, when you first start the cooking, it’s still thin and light.

Chile-Coconut Braised Beef Short Ribs

Fast forward about 2 1/2 hours, and the dish is transformed. Dark and luscious, this is rich food, perfectly suited to the winter season. The meat is so tender, it falls apart at your touch. Once you start thinking about how you’ll look in your new bathing suit come summertime, dishes like this will be a distant memory. But when there is a chill in the air, this kind of cooking is sure to warm you right up, great for a lazy Sunday when you’ve got time to spare.


11 thoughts on “slow-cooked short ribs

  1. I love Cook This Now – I’m totally addicted to the double coconut granola. And I have grown to love (prefer, even) cookbooks organized by season.

  2. It is bright like spring outside, with buds on trees, yet it is colder than we’ve had in weeks. I don’t care if it’s March (almost April!), I want something like this for dinner. I love Melissa’s book too. This sounds great, Justin.

  3. I actually love it when a book is broken down into seasons. I actually can remember the very first cookbook I picked up that was organized that way, Molly O’Neill’s A Well Seasoned Appetite back in 1995, which not only had chapters for the four seasons, Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter but little sub chapters for “Almost Summer” “Almost Fall” etc. I was enamored with the concept.

    Of course, I might be an oddity when it comes to this sort of organization. I even organize all my old cooking magazine by month so I know which part of the bookshelf to reach for….

  4. I love slow cook meat recipes. These flavors sound wonderful. I could eat this at least three seasons out of the year. It’s still strange to me to be able to get everything at any time of the year after living abroad where things are very, very seasonal (especially in a place like North Africa- I had to survive the winter with no onions. that was rough) Now, back in NYC, it actually bothers me a bit that things are so “convenient” since they were flown or shipped in from who knows where.

  5. Oh my god, the beef looks amazing. It reminds me of a few Southeast Asian dishes in which beef and pork are braised in coconut milk…and you know how hot and humid it gets down there. I could definitely eat this year round (though AC and cold beer would help too.) Can’t wait to look through more of Melissa’s book!

    1. right, it’s very Asian-inspired, and it was so nice to find it in Melissa’s book because she is very talented at making traditional techniques more accessible. it’s a bit heavy for summer though, at least if you’re thinking of hitting the beach any time soon.

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