Short Rib Stew
Loaded with Root Vegetables
In a Red Wine Sauce
Serve with Fresh Bread
2010 Sandrone Barolo ‘Le Vigne’ (Piedmont, Italy)
Kale Salad with Dried Cranberries and Toasted Pecans
With a Honey Dijon Dressing
Assorted Cheeses sprinkled with Poppyseeds and Honey drizzled on top
2010 Baumard Quarts de Chaume (Loire Valley, France)
Pears and Nutella for dipping
Definitely make this a day in advance, refrigerate, the next day skim off the fat, and reheat. I made this recently for a book group dinner and learned a valuable lesson. The table was set with a fork to the left and a knife to the right. The meat after cooking for 2 hours comes out like butter (or as we pronounce it in NJ “butta”) therefore you only need a knife if you are serving butter with your bread (which you definitely must do for sopping up the gravy). The ladies asked for a spoon, which I took as a huge compliment because they wanted to get all that gorgeous gravy. So serve this dish with a big soup spoon!!
SHORT RIB STEW Serves 12
4 lbs. boneless beef short ribs, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2cup flour (adding more if needed to coat all pieces of meat)
3 tablespoons olive oil (adding more if needed with each batch)
3 cups red wine (oh hell pour the whole bottle in)
3 cups broth (veal preferable if you can find it otherwise beef or chicken)
6-8 carrots, sliced (or cut in ½ then sliced if very large)
3-4 Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into ½ inch pieces
3-4 parsnips, peeled and cut into ½ inch pieces
½-1 onions, cut into 1 inch pieces (I don’t like a lot of onions)
½-1 pound Cremini mushrooms, quartered (I love mushrooms)
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped (hassle I know but so great)
8 sage leaves, chopped
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
In zip lock bag, toss the short ribs with the flour.
Heat oil in a big pot and sauté your ribs a few at a time over medium heat until browned all over, about 6 minutes per batch.
Return all the meat and all the juices back into the pot.
Add the wine and increase heat for about 5 minutes.
Add the stock, lower the heat and cover until meat is tender, about 2 hours.
Stir in the carrots, potatoes, parsnips, onion, mushrooms, thyme and sage.
Cover and simmer over low heat until the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Make one day in advance. If it needs more gravy add a cup of beef or veal broth while reheating. Reheat in 350 degree oven covered for approximately 45 minutes.
Serve with crusty bread or rolls.
KALE SALAD WITH DRIED CRANBERRIES
AND TOASTED PECANS
Everyone knows kale is good for you. Growing up we only had it on Thanksgiving and my mother boiled the hell out of it and depleted all its nutrients. You need to apply your vinaigrette 5 to 10 minutes before serving so that the kale gets moist.
¾ cup of chopped pecans
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon of honey
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
Kosher Salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
5 ounces kale *(generally 1 container)
¾ cup dried cranberries
½ cup grated pecorino cheese
In a skillet over medium to high heat toast pecans, stirring often for about 3 minutes. Set aside to cool.
In a bowl, whisk together mustard, honey, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Slowly drizzle in olive oil whisking constantly.
Stir in thyme.
In a large bowl combine kale with pecans and dried cranberries.
Toss the vinaigrette and sprinkle some cheese on top.
*If you can find baby kale you do not have to chop it but some other kales available need to have their stems cut away and the leaves sliced thinly. Experiment as there are so many varieties of kale available now.
Makes 2 ½ dozen
I love the smell of my kitchen when I am baking these cookies. Once the Fall comes I’m driven to baking them. It’s a classic Molasses Cookie that has a soft chewy center. Some people call them ginger snaps but I prefer to call these Molasses as they come out a dark brown color.
Preheat oven 350 degree
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon each ginger, ground cloves, cinnamon*
1 ½ sticks sweet unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar(plus extra for rolling)
1/4 cup molasses
1 beaten egg
In one bowl add your flour, baking soda, spices. (You can put them through a sifter- I don’t always).
In a larger bowl cream your sugar and butter. Add molasses and beaten egg.
Add your dry ingredients to your butter mixture.
Roll into small balls, about a large tablespoon full at a time.
Optional: Roll the balls into a pie plate with granulated sugar. (As the years go by I have started to exclude this step – less sugar in our diets is better – and they are still delicious without the extra sugar).
Place 2” apart on cookie sheets with parchment paper. (This saves dishes).
Bake 8-10 minutes.
*If you really like the taste of ginger – just add a little more. Make these the way your family likes them. Some kids like more cinnamon and less ginger. Experiment!
FALL MENU – SHORT RIB STEW NOTES
3 DAYS BEFORE: Set table. Prepare playlist. Choose and purchase wine.
2 DAYS BEFORE: Food shop (including meat).
1 DAY BEFORE: Make stew.
DAY OF DINNER: Earlier in day take stew out of refrigerator. Skim off fat. Clean kale and make honey Dijon vinaigrette. Put these in refrigerator. Toast pecans and leave out to cool.
JUST BEFORE GUESTS ARRIVE: Reheat stew. Prepare cheese plate. Take out fruit and place in a nice bowl. Put out Nutella. Place cookies on a nice tray.
WHEN GUESTS ARRIVE: Toss salad. Serve stew and salad together. Put out a basket of bread to pass.
AFTER CLEARING PLATES: Drizzle honey over cut pieces of cheese and sprinkle poppy seeds over. Serve at center of table with individual plates so people can help themselves. Put out a bowl of pears for those that don’t eat sugar. Put out a tray of cookies to be passed.
FALL MENU BOOK GROUP PLAYLIST
By Laurie McFarlane
15 Step - Radiohead
I Feel Like Funkin It Up - Rebirth Brass Band
The House That Jack Built- Aretha Franklin
Never Give You Up - Raphael Saadiq
Forever Mine – Audra Day
Retrograde - James Blake
As - Stevie Wonder
Autumn Leaves - Eva Cassidy
Can I Get A Witness - Marvin Gaye
Bottom of The River - Delta Rae
Something to Talk About - Bonnie Raitt
I Learned the Hard Way – Sharon Jones
Fool For You - Alice Smith
The Hot 8 Brass Band - Sexual Healing
Dorothy Dandridge Eyes (feat. Esperanza Spaulding and Janelle Monae)
Cream – Prince
Available on Spotify (Megan O'Block)
17 songs – 1 hour 10 minutes