It’s just about the time of year I start to get really sick of summer. It’s been in the 80’s and 90’s every day for at least 4 months and I’m just over it. I can’t wait for cooler breezes and less humidity. Sure, it’s going to stay in the 80’s until at least November, but it would be nice to wake up to temperatures that start with digits below 8.
My longing for cooler weather isn’t just about comfort. As with most things in my life, it’s also about the food. I love roasting vegetables, braising meats and making soups and casseroles. The kind of cool weather food that simmers all day and makes your house smell wonderful. It also makes your kitchen too warm to tolerate in summer months. But when I get a craving for something, I will not stop until I’ve had it and I wanted my short ribs now. This is where my pressure cooker comes in very handy indeed.
It took just an hour on the stove for tender, fall-off-the-bone, no-knife-needed short ribs. My “braising liquid” consisted of some red wine, beef stock and coffee. I also added toasted ancho chiles for a little bit of kick. After the pressure cooking, I reduced the liquid into a beautifully rich sauce.
The short ribs were nearly as good as the long-braised version I make in the oven, but they were done in a third of the time. Look at them – don’t you just want to tear into a bowl of polenta and short ribs right now? If you’re on the fence about whether or not to get a pressure cooker, these short ribs should convince you. If they don’t, then maybe this amazing Pork Ragu will? If you’re still not into pressure cooking, I highly recommend bookmarking this recipe for long winter days when you actually want to keep the oven on all day.
If you don’t have a pressure cooker, follow the same instructions below, but use a large oven-safe pot. When you get to the step about affixing the pressure cooker lid, just cover your pot and place it in a 250° oven for 2 – 3 hours, turning the ribs occasionally.
If you’re wondering what those greens are, it’s a simple salad of chopped spinach and shallots. Brightens up the meat a bit!
2 lb. short ribs
1 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. canola oil
3 dried ancho chile peppers
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 cup brewed coffee
1 cup red wine
1 cup beef stock
1/4 cup shoyu (or soy sauce)
1 tbsp. worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp. tomato paste
Optional – Spinach & Shallot Salad:
2 cups chopped spinach
1 shallot, thinly sliced
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. lemon juice
Set your pressure cooker over medium-high heat. Once itâ€™s hot, place the chiles in the pan and toast for 2 – 3 minutes on each side, or until they become dry and fragrant. Remove the chiles to a cutting board and roughly chop them.
Back at the pressure cooker, heat the canola oil then sprinkle the short ribs evenly with the salt. Sear the ribs until browned on most sides, about 3 minutes per side. Remove them to a plate.
Add the onions to the pot and cook for 3 – 5 minutes, or until they start becoming translucent. Return the short ribs to the pressure cooker and add the remaining ingredients.
Affix the pressure cooker lid. Once the steam valve locks, reduce the heat to medium-low (3 or 4) and cook for 45 minutes. Remove from heat and let the steam valve come down, then release the pressure.* Carefully open the lid, pulling it towards you so that the steam escapes away from your face.
Cook uncovered over medium heat to reduce the liquid. If you’re making the spinach and shallot salad, whisk the olive oil and lemon juice together and toss with the spinach and shallots.
I like to serve short ribs over polenta, but spaetzle, couscous and mashed potatoes all work really well, too. Serve your favorite way and top with a little spinach and shallot salad.
*To speed this up, you can also place the entire pot in the sink (pressure valve still locked) and run with cold water. The steam valve should come down soon. Switch the lock to “release pressure” and carefully open the lid.