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Italian and Braised Comfort Food…for the High Holidays or Anytime! Yummamia!

My daughter was visiting for a week before we all trotted off to New York for a weekend of culinary satiation and theatre. One of her favourite dishes is short ribs, cut into long strips and broiled with barbeque sauce. I told her I was going to treat her to the braised variety using some ingredients from one of my Italian classes.

Cori was all excited and insisted on my teaching her how to make them…and then my son got into the act with his iphone camera and…well it was family fun all over again! The good thing about short ribs is that you can make a big batch and freeze in portions for cozy comfort food on demand. These short ribs get rather saucy. So they are real delectable over a plate of fragrant rice, like jasmine or basmati…talk about fusion! The High Holidays are coming up, so I thought I would share this for a nice addition to that special family dinner. This recipe is easy to prepare but slow cooked.

So go ahead…make in advance and reheat it while you are spending time loving your family. Happy New Year to our Jewish friends!

Italian Braised Short Ribs with San Marsano Balsamic Jus Serves 4 to 6

coarse kosher salt and freshly ground pepper for seasoning 2 lbs beef short ribs 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 large onion 3 large garlic cloves, minced a couple of thyme sprigs one big rosemary sprig a couple of sage leaves 1 x 28 fl. oz. can whole san marzano tomatoes, squished between you fingers to break them up ½ cup balsamic vinegar ¼ cup barbeque sauce, optional for smokiness

  1. Lightly salt and pepper the short ribs.

  2. In a large soup pot, heat two tablespoons of olive oil. Brown meat on all sides. Take the meat out of the pot and set aside.

  3. In the same pot, pour out excessive fat and sauté onions and garlic until soft. Add the herbs and sauté for a few seconds to release essential oils.

  4. Add San Marzano tomatoes, balsamic vinegar and barbeque sauce.

  5. Then add the meat to the mixture. Cover with the sauce.

  6. Cover the pot and place in a 350 degree F oven to braise for 2 to 4 hours until fork tender.

  7. When they come out of the oven, remove the ribs, and boil the sauce until it reduces a bit and thickens

  8. Return ribs to the pot and cover with the sauce.

  9. Serve over steamed rice or garlicky mashed potatoes

Tip: A lot of fat will be released in the cooking. Put pot of short ribs in fridge overnight, and cut or skim fat solids off once the mixture congeals. Heat up and serve.

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