When fellow foodie Mia told me she was making a stop at Penzeys on a recent trip to Houston – I had to take her up on her offer to be a spice mule. I had her bring me back some fresh Ancho Chili powder and Smoked Spanish Paprika. Fresh spices FTW!
But what to make with my newfound ingredients…
The recipe below is a bit of work, but the ribs are fantastic, with great depth of flavour, and the mashed potatoes have a subtle horseradish flare that puts the whole plate over the top.
South-Western Braised Short Ribs with Horseradish Mashed Potatoes
Adapted from Fine Cooking and Williams-Sonoma
5 to 5 1/2 pounds English-style beef short ribs (12-15 ribs)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
ground black pepper
1 cup carrots, diced (about 1 1/2 carrots)
1 cup onions, diced (about 1 onion)
1 teaspoon pure Ancho chili powder
2 teaspoons Spanish paprika
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1/2 cup beer
1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
1 cup diluted beef broth (mix equal parts broth and water)
1 cup dry red wine
1 to 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Horseradish Mashed Potatoes (recipe below)
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 325°F. In an 8-quart Dutch oven, heat 2 Tbs. of the oil over medium heat. Season the ribs with 2 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. pepper. Add half of the ribs to the pot (or as many as will fit without overlap), and cook, turning with tongs, until nicely browned on all sides, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer the ribs to a platter and repeat with the remaining ribs. Pour off all but a thin layer of fat from the pan.
- Add the remaining 1 Tbs. oil, carrots and onions to the pan. Season with 1/2 tsp. salt. Cook, stirring and scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan, until the aromatics are soft and lightly browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Add chili powder, paprika, and garlic, and cook, stirring, until well distributed and fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Pour the 1/2 cup beer into the pot and cook, stirring to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot, until the liquid is reduced to about 2 Tbs., about 1 minute.
- Transfer all the ribs (and any juices that have accumulated) back into the pot. Pour the beef broth, tomatoes, and red wine and 1 cup water over the ribs and using tongs, arrange the ribs as evenly as possible and no more than two layers deep.
- Bring the liquid to a simmer, cover, and put the pot in the oven. Cook, turning the ribs with tongs about every 40 minutes, until they are fork tender, about 2 3/4 hours. (The meat may fall off most of the bones about midway through cooking; this does not mean that the ribs are fully tender.)
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Serve the ribs over Horesradish Mashed Potatoes with the sauce spooned over, sprinkled with chopped cilantro.
Horseradish Mashed Potatoes
3 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 1/2 cups half-and-half or soya milk
1/4 cup prepared horseradish
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
6 tablespoons unsalted butter or margarine, at room temperature, cut into pieces
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Fill a steamer pot halfway with water. Place the perforated insert inside the pot so it rests over the water. Set over medium-high heat and bring the water to a boil. Place the potatoes on top of the insert, cover and steam until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife, about 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a saucepan over medium-low heat, warm the half-and-half, horseradish and nutmeg until small bubbles form around the edges of the pan.
- Set the potatoes aside and dispose of the water in the pot. Turn the stove to Low and place the potatoes in the pot with the butter. Mash the potatoes and gradually add the half-and-half mixture, beating constantly with a large spoon until the potatoes are smooth and creamy. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.