Monday, October 13, 2014

Tupelo Honey Cafe: Root Beer and Molasses-Braised Beef (or Pork) Short Ribs

The recommended potatoes to go with this dish are 'pineapple mashed sweet potatoes' but we haven't done these yet, so we have been serving them with roasted garlic mashed potatoes.  Zok roasts the garlic in a small terracotta roaster in the oven, he also uses a bit of butter and milk.
This recipe also called for smoked JalapeƱo sauce which Zok did not make 

6 (3 inch long or about 8 cm) beef (we used pork) short ribs
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 (12 ounce or 360 milliliters) cans/bottles of Root Beer (if you are downunder Zok says Woolys has it)
3/4 cup sorghum molasses (Sorghum means molasses from sugar cane, there are a few different types- it is also stocked near the treacle in Australia and perhaps treacle could be a substitute but we haven't tried that yet)
 4 1/2 cups Apple Salsa (recipe on blog)

Zok uses both a cast iron skillet and a dutch oven and of course he loves to cook, so he also loves to buy decent tools for the kitchen- if you have a 'catering' store in your area, they usually also sell to the public, and the prices are usually really good-
This is our local one in Hobart:

Position the rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 325F/165C
Sprinkle the short ribs evenly with the salt and pepper. Heat a large, heavy skillet (or dutch oven) over medium-high heat. Carefully add the oil to the hot pan and heat until hot, but no smoking.
The oil should be just shimmering in the pan.  Working in batches, brown the ribs on all sides, 3 to 4 minutes.  
If you are using a Dutch oven, fill it with the browned ribs piled on top of one another.  
If you are using a skillet, arrange the browned ribs in a deep skillet just large enough to held them.  
Combine the root beer and molasses in a large saucepan and bring to a boil- then pour this liquid over your ribs, coating them thoroughly.
If using a dutch oven, place your cover on top, if you are using a roasting pan cover it tightly with aluminum foil.  Roast your meat for 1.5 to 2.5 hours (Zok says his always takes a bit over 2 hours, but check it at 1.5 -the meat should be so tender it falls from the bone with little prying).

Zok dished up everyone's dish- as recommended in the book-
So put a portion of your potatoes on the plate, lay on the short ribs, bone side down, on top of the potatoes.  Then garnish with the Apple Salsa.
Serve immediately.

ribs uncut

This is the type of skillet Zok uses

 Here are the pieces layered into the dutch oven
Finally here they are coated and ready to be put into the oven

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