Friday, December 30, 2011

Short Rib Risotto

Hello there, ready for New Years?  I can't believe Christmas is over and New Years is almost here.  2012 is almost here! And this could mark the first year that Alex and I don't make it until midnight.  We are usually NYE party-ers but I guess babies do change things.

We actually are going to a party on New Year's Eve, it's just going to be a little different. We'll all be celebrating New Years on East Coast time (out here in Las Vegas) so that all the kiddos don't have to stay up so late to join in on the festivities.  Kids and a 9pm celebration haven't factored in on past parties we've attended but, nevertheless, I think it is a great idea and I'm looking forward to it.  In fact, I doubt we'll even make it until 9...(in fact I'm pretty sure the kids will be in bed before 8)  Oh well, the Mr. and I will come home, put the kids to bed and drink some champagne from the comfort of our own couch. Good times.

If we were having dinner at home, this recipe I have to share might have been on the menu.  We made it a few weeks ago and it was fabulous.  It's our actually our own concoction, which is something we rarely do.  We really are just recipe followers, you know.  But genius did strike us when we decided to combine two of our favorites, short ribs and risotto.  Creamy delicious risotto with melt in your mouth short ribs topped with a gravy from the pan juices.  It was pretty easy and super super delicious.  The short ribs do take about 2 and a half hours to cook but the result is always so tender, it really is worth the time.

So, whatever your plans are this New Year's, I hope you have a wonderful time and are surrounded by those you love and who love you.  Best wishes for the New Year from the 4 Pears family to yours.

Short Rib Risotto, risotto adapted from Mario Batali

Short Ribs
1 1/2 pounds boneless short ribs
2 carrots, diced
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 can diced tomatoes
2 quarts beef stock (+/-)

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
4 cups chicken stock, hot
2 cups arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (Parm-Reggiano is even better!)

To begin the short ribs, saute the onion, carrots and garlic with a little bit of olive oil in a large heavy saucepan.  At the same time, in a non-stick pan, heat a tablespoon or two of olive oil and brown the short ribs on all sides.  Once the veggies are softened, around 5 minutes of so, add the diced tomatoes and cook for another minute or two.  Now place the browned short ribs into the saucepan with the veggies and pour over enough beef stock to cover the meat.  Bring the pot to boil and then turn down the heat and allow the whole thing to simmer for 2 to 2 and a half hours.  The meat will be falling apart when it is done.

Once it's done, remove the meat to a platter and pull it apart with a fork.  Pour what is left in the pan into the blender to puree it into an awesome gravy.  Pour the gravy back into the pan and put the meat back into the gravy and keep it on low as you cook your risotto.

To begin the risotto, heat the olive oil in a large saute pan until it is shimmering.  Add the onions and cook for about 8 minutes.  You want it to be soft and translucent but not brown.  Next add the rice to your pan and toast it for about 3 minutes or until it is opaque.

Add the wine and a ladle of stock to the rice and begin the marathon of stirring.  Keep stirring until the liquid is almost all absorbed then add another ladle of stock.  Repeat until the rice is creamy and tender.  The amount of stock you use will vary but it should take 15 to 20 minutes or so.

Remove the risotto from the heat and stir in the butter and cheese.  Plate the risotto and then top each plate with portions of the short ribs and gravy.  Enjoy!

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