It’s Monday. Well, actually it’s Sunday night, but you’ll be reading this on Monday morning so I’m just going to pretend we’re already there.
I was initially so stinkin’ excited to write this post, because today’s meal is just knock your socks off good. Seriously one of the best meals I’ve made…ever. Really.
But now that it’s time to write, I can’t quite get the motivation. I keep checking back and forth between Facebook and Instagram, and procrastinated even more by taking this quiz on Buzzfeed to determine what kind of food matches my personality. Apparently I’m a spaghetti and meatballs kind of gal.
Here’s what they told me:
You’re classic and fun and a little messy. Sometimes even a little out of control. AND you have many wonderful talents (those are the meatballs).
I’d say almost all of that matches up except for the many talents thing – sadly, creative cooking is basically the only “talent” I have. I played pretty much every sport imaginable as a kid, and was terrible at every single one of them, well, except for the one sport that was meant for us short people, gymnastics.
I would cry when I had to go to softball practice. I’m pretty sure I just stood around on the soccer field. And I was so bad at basketball, I got a standing ovation from all the parents when I made my first and only basket in the five-year span I played – it was the one game my parents missed. I even took ice skating lessons for a hot minute where I quickly found out that I’m no Nancy Kerrigan.
Major digression there. Focus. Short Ribs. Short Ribs. Short Ribs.
With Valnetine’s Day coming up, I wanted to do a whole week’s worth of Valentine’s Day recipes. I don’t know about you, but Kevin and I hate to go out to dinner on actual day; it’s crowded, you always have to wait even if you made reservations a month in advance, often there are set menus and generally the service isn’t great. So instead, I cook a big fancy meal on the actual day, and Kevin takes me out on Friday or Saturday, but since the big day falls on a Friday this year, we’ll be going to our annual spot, Garrozzos on Saturday – I can’t wait.
Since Kevin is such a luck boy, we had a faux Valentine’s Day dinner this weekend so I could share the V-day recipes here, in plenty of time for the big day. Today, we’re starting with the entrée, and like I said, this meal was hands down one of the best meals I’ve ever made. Your husband/wife/girlfriend/boyfriend/fiancé will seriously swoon after taking a bite, and fall in love with you a million times over.
The initial sear creates this insane caramelized crust, which lasts all throughout the red wine, pomegranate and beef stock braise. I braised them low and slow for about three hours until they were fork-tender, but not completely falling apart. My favorite part about these is definitely the sauce, it’s just SO flavorful, during the cooking process it reduces and concentrates into a seriously heavenly sauce. I was literally licking my plate when Kevin wasn’t looking, which I’d normally just do in front of him, but I can’t have my husband see me act like a caged animal on faux Valentine’s Day, now can I?
Butttt, we aren’t finished yet. We HAVE to talk about the spätzle. Have you had it before? I LOVE spaetzel, if you’re not familiar, they’re tiny little German dumplings made up of flour, milk and eggs, cooked in simmering water and then bathed in melted butter and parsley. I took them up a notch and bathed them in browned butter and served them underneath the short ribs so the braising liquid would trickle down onto the spätzle. Umm mind-blowing.
Andddd….now I’m straving…
Take my word here, beef has never tasted better.
- 2 pound short ribs (about 6-7 ribs)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup red wine
- 1 ¼ cup pomegranate juice
- 2 ½ cups beef stock
- 1 carrot
- ½ medium onion, cut into quarters
- 1 bay leave
- ½ cup pomegranate arils
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup milk
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Season short ribs very liberally with salt and pepper on all sides.
- Heat a large dutch oven or heavy pot over a medium-high heat. Add olive oil. Brown short ribs on all sides until crusted and dark brown.
- Remove ribs, and deglaze pan with red wine, scraping up bits with a wooden spoon. Add 1 cup pomegranate juice, beef stock, carrot, onion and bay leaf. Add ribs back to pot and coat with sauce.
- Transfer to oven and cook for 3 hours or until the meat is fork tender but not falling apart, turning every 30-40 minutes.
- Once ribs are fork tender, and done cooking, remove the ribs and set aside. Also remove carrots, onion and bay leaf, discard. Return pot back to the stove. Whisk ¼ cup pomegranate juice and 1 tablespoon flour together in a small bowl.
- Slowly whisk into sauce. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 2-3 minutes until slightly thickened. Serve with spaetzel and sprinkle with pomegranate arils.
- Whisk flour, salt and pepper together in a medium bowl.
- Using a wooden spoon add milk and egg, alternating with half of the milk, following by half of the eggs, remaining milk and remaining eggs.
- Bring a medium stockpot to a rolling boil. Season with salt.
- Using a large grates on a flat handheld grater, push the spaetzel dough through the grates and into the boiling water. Do not crowd pot. Give them a stir after you drop them in so they don’t stick to the bottom.
- Cook for 3-4 minutes until puffed and cooked through.
- Transfer to a plate while you make the remaining spaetzel.
- In a large sauté pan, melt butter over a medium heat. Swirl pan until butter begins to turn a dark brown and smells nutty. Add spaetzel and toss, cook until they begin to brown and crisp up.