The easiest, quickest way to dress up your dinner.
I think beef short ribs have to be my favorite cut of beef of all time. The rich beefy flavor you get from a short rib far exceeds other cuts of beef that require a long cook time such as a brisket or chuck roast. These cuts of beef are normally braised for hours in either a dutch oven or a crock pot in order to get them melt in your mouth tender.
Recently I have been trying to use up every last thing in my fridge and freezer before purchasing more groceries. This has allowed me to become a better and more creative cook as well as be more mindful of my grocery budget. This recipe was born out of what I had in my fridge and pantry straight down to the open bottle of Chianti that needed to be used up. Another highlight of this recipe is that it uses a pressure cooker to do the work. Enjoy this meal on a chilly night or for a wonderful Sunday dinner with family and friends gathered around the table with the fire place going.
Happy Living from My Kitchen to Yours,
Serves: 4-5 with very large appetites, or 2 with left overs
Time: 20 minutes prep, 90 minutes pressure cooked on high, about an hour for a natural pressure release, about 30 minutes to cook the carrots and the reduce sauce. About 3-3.5 hours total. This can take upwards of 4-4.5 hours in a dutch oven.
Note: Cooking times may vary based off your model pressure cooker. As a general rule, pressure cookers will reduce cook time by 1/3 to 1/2 of what it would be in the oven.
- Pressure Cooker
- 12 in Cast Iron Skillet
- 3 pounds boneless beef short ribs
- 1 pound baby red and yellow potatoes
- baby carrots-add amount based off your liking
- frozen peas-add amount based off your liking
- 1/2 cup Chianti
- 1 cup beef broth
- 1 large shallot
- 3 cloves garlic
- 3-4 celery stalks sliced small
- 2 TBSP tomato paste
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp Thyme
- 3 bay leaves
- cooking fat of choice, I used tallow
- Salt beef short ribs. Set aside.
- Heat cast iron skillet over medium heat.
- Add cooking fat to the skillet and let fat heat up.
- Add short ribs. Brown each side. When done set short ribs aside on a plate. Put cast iron back on the burner and add more cooking fat if needed. Turn burner to med-low.
- Finely dice shallot and garlic. Cut the celery into small slices.
- Sauté shallot and celery with a little salt until translucent.
- Add thyme and garlic, cook for a 1-2 minutes.
- Add tomato paste and cook for 1-2 minutes or until tomato paste is fragrant.
- Add Chianti and scrape up any browned bits off the bottom of the skillet. Turn off burner and add the mixture to your pressure cooker.
- Add short ribs, potatoes, bay leaves, beef broth, pepper and a little more salt to the pressure cooker. Stir. When using salt and pepper with a pressure cooker it is best to salt and pepper sparingly at first and then adjust the salt and pepper when your food is done cooking. The pressure cooker will intensify flavors including your spices.
- Lock Lid into place and cook on high pressure for 90 minutes with a natural pressure release.
- When pressure is released, open lid and remove short ribs to a plate. Cover with foil. Add carrots to the pressure cooker. Leave lid off and cook carrots until tender. For my pressure cooker I had to use the browning feature. This feature brings things to a boil instead of a simmer. This makes quicker work of reducing the sauce too.
- When carrots are tender, add the frozen peas and cook until peas a warmed through.
- Taste the sauce. Re-season sauce if needed and serve veggies along side the beef short ribs.
With Christmas right around the corner, I just want to share a few of my favorite things that might make wonderful gifts for the people in your life.
I wear these 2 bracelets everyday. One was from my parents and one was from my mother-in-law. This style of bracelet is the Charm Bangel and is priced starting at $28. The Charm Bangel comes in more designs than just these two. You can find them on their website. I am sure you can find a very meaningful and inspirational gift for your mom, sister, aunt, daughter, or friends. In fact, Alex and Ani carry many different styles of bracelets in addition to necklaces, rings, and earrings. Everything is made in the US in Rhode Island.
I am not a cold drink person. I hate cold drinks. My husband has been using Hydro Flask for years. He loved it. I didn’t. It made my drinks stay too cold! Then I decide to make the switch from plastic to stainless steel and glass. I decide to give Hydro Flask a try again. I am in love! Especially with the 16oz tumblers for hot drinks. They keep my coffee and tea warmer for longer then a mug does but still allows the liquid to cool a little so you don’t have to wait for ever to take a drink. FYI…yes, that is an insulated wine glass with a lid and it is ahhhh-mazing! It kept my white wine perfectly chilled for hours in 80 degree heat during a camping trip. And the tall, skinny, silver capped bottle in the picture on the left? That is an insulated wine bottle.
This brush is life changing. It is so, so soft and blends your makeup flawlessly. Your liquid foundation will look airbrushed. These are synthetic bristles. This might seem like a weird gift but if you know a makeup lover this is a must-have brush. I have actually started using less foundation because this brush does such a beautiful job depositing the foundation on my skin and blending my makeup. I use this brush with my Dior liquid foundation and my BeautyCounter liquid foundation. Makeup brushes can be expensive and most people don’t spend a lot on their makeup brushes. I know I don’t. This was an impulse buy after the makeup person used it on my face. Ok, maybe not an impulse buy. I actually thought about this one for a few months before I purchased. I have other foundation brushes I told myself. I told myself a lie. This brush is a game changer and a wonderful way to fill a stocking with a treat.
Salt Fat Acid Heat
Salt Fat Acid Heat is the best cooking how-to book. Samin Nosrat breaks good cooking down into the elements of salt, fat, acid, and heat and very simply teaches you how to implement those principles into your cooking. I love this book so much, I am going to write a separate blog post about it. This is a perfect gift for a new cook or an intermediate cook who wants to refine their cooking. I haven’t cooked with a single recipe since I started reading this book. It has helped me that much.
Most luxurious skin cleanser ever. Actually the BeautyCounter Cleansing Balm is the most luxurious multitasker ever. It is a cleanser, make-up remover, and over-night hydration mask. It comes with an organic muslin cloth (which you get wet with warm water to remove the cleanser before a cool water rinse) and a scoop for the product. They say to use an almond size amount of product but you can use less than that. A little goes a long way. This balm leaves your skin unbelievably soft and brighter thanks to the vitamin C and Cranberry extract in it.
Well, that’s my list! I hope you got some gift ideas for the people on your list.
Happy Holidays from my kitchen to yours,
Note: I am not sponsored buy any of these companies, but I do sell BeautyCounter. That will be another post too someday. That adventure is still unfolding and your support is greatly appreciated.
This is a quince. Quince is my new favorite fall fruit. They cannot be eaten raw. They need to be cooked. Quince is ahhh-mazing cooked. They remind me of a cross between a sweet-tart apple and a sweet juicy pear. When they are cooked they have an intoxicating aroma and when you taste cooked Quince it is sweet and floral with a very slight tang. I have started to use them in place of apples in my cooking. I love experimenting with new ingredients. The Sweet Dumpling squash is a new ingredient for me too. It has a very, very mild acorn squash taste. The flesh is slightly nutty and a little sweet. This recipe is easy to prep with some adequate hands-off time so you can accomplish other tasks. This dish made the house smell wonderful for hours after dinner and was perfect for a chilly autumn night.
Note: If you can’t find quince at your supermarket, substitute a sweet-tart apple variety like a Cameo or a Jonagold.
2nd Note: I don’t use recommendations for salt amounts because every one cooks with a different brand. Salt your food at various stages of the cooking process to get the best flavor out of what you cook. Salt based off of your preferences and how salty your brand of salt is (fine table salt vs course ground sea salt, etc.). Always taste as you go.
Serves: 2 with left overs for lunch
Time: 15 minutes prep, 1 hour to 1.5 hours cook.
- 1 pound 80/20 ground pork
- 2 small sweet dumpling squashes (substitute acorn squash)
- 1 quince, small dice
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 stalks celery minced
- 1 medium shallot minced
- black pepper
- 1/4 tsp white pepper
- 3/4 tsp dalmatian sage leaves
- 1 TBSP ghee or butter
- Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Get out a 8X8 baking dish. Clean squash, cut in half, de-seed the squash, and place squash in the baking dish.
- Mince celery, shallot, garlic and dice quince. Get your seasonings out. Put ground pork in a bowl.
- Pre-heat nonstick skillet on medium heat.
- Add the ghee or butter to the hot skillet and melt. Add quince, celery and shallot. Sweat the veggies and fruit until they become translucent, about 5-8 minutes.
- Add garlic, sage, white pepper, and salt to skillet and cook for about one minute. Remove the skillet from heat. (TIP: Rub sage between your palms before adding it to the skillet. This helps get more sage flavor out of your dried herb.)
- Add cooked quince and veggies and additional salt to the ground pork and mixed until they are combined.
- Stuff squash with pork mixture and salt and pepper the dish.
- Place about 1/2 cup water in bottom of baking dish. Put baking dish in oven.
- After pork is browned, takes about 30-40 minutes, check doness of the squash. If the squash is easily pierced with a knife and pork mixture is at 160 degrees Fahrenheit you are done. If squash still needs time to cook, cover baking dish with foil and put back in the oven. This will help steam the squash. Increase the oven temperature if needed.
- When squash is tender and pork is cooked through you are ready to eat!
I had training plans. Big training plans. Operation Strengthen Glutes, Hamstring, and Core was going to start, I was going to eat strictly Paleo for 8 weeks, I was going to trail run 2-3 times per week. And absolutely none of that happened. Not a single one.
I signed up to run the Back Country Wilderness Half Marathon this past February. It wasn’t my first race but it was my first half. Last year I raced (term used very loosely) in the Imogene Pass Trail Run. Last Summer I hiked, trail ran above 10,000 feet elevation, went to Cross Fit once per week, and ate whatever the hell I wanted. My training was on point and I successfully ran/hiked 17.1 miles up a mountain and back down in 6 hours and 6 minutes. After that race I realized if I race again my glutes, hamstrings and core needs to be stronger and I need to be faster.
Fast forward exactly a year later. After a whole year of extensive CrossFit training under my belt, no running, and experimenting with a Paleo diet I was ready to train again. “I have this in the bag,” I thought to myself. A race in Highlands Ranch, Colorado is way easier then going from Ouray to Telluride up a mountain and down. I got this. This is going to be a piece of cake. And it wasn’t.
My nutrition was awful. I wasn’t eating enough calories or enough carbs to fuel my runs or my recovery. I actually lost weight. And not the replace fat with muscle type of weight loss, but just good old fashion weight loss. Not good when you are training and need your muscle mass to be maintained. My body never felt energized, I was exhausted, and permanently sore. Mentally I took a big hit and during each training run I was filled with doubts and disappointment.
I never worked on my strength. Forget those pistol squats, hamstring extensions, and ab work. Between working two jobs and running I never went to Cross Fit for 6 weeks. I only ran once a week too. That is all I had time for. I didn’t have time to run 2-3 times per week like I had originally planned. And I still wasn’t fast. When you run only once per week speed work is not part of that run.
But I succeeded. I failed and succeeded at the same time. My failures lead to success. I ran my half marathon and performed better then I estimated. My goal was to average a 13:30 min/mile and to run the race between 2.5 and 3 hours. I averaged a 13:18 minute mile and ran my race in 2 hours and 54 minutes!
So what did I do to turn it around in the nick of time? I pulled my head out of my tuchus and realized that I needed to fix my mental game. I relaxed. I got back in touch with why I signed up for the race to begin with–to have fun and to enjoy one of my favorite things to do, trail run Colorado. Redirecting my thinking was the biggest key in my racing success.
I rested. A lot. I actually took 2 whole weeks off of training. Once in September and once in October. I don’t know if this helped or hurt my performance, but that is what my body needed. When I was tired, I rested. I normally don’t rest. I go, go, go until I burnout and then I push myself some more and just get over the burnout or switch activities. Resting was a big adjustment for me. I am trying to be more kind to my body.
Once again, just like last summer, I ate what I wanted. Hello grains, beans, and diary. I found that I can’t run eating a strict Paleo diet. It is not right for my body’s needs at this point in my life. I do successfully Cross Fit on a Paleo diet but I am not a strong runner on a Paleo diet. Just like with my training, I am an all or nothing type of eater. I don’t do moderation well. I either eat all the doughnuts or I don’t touch them. There is no one doughnut for me. However, training for this race made me start to embrace moderation. And honestly, I am doing all right with it. The concept of moderation continues to be a challenge for me. I am trying to be more in-tune with my body’s needs.
And Operation Strength Glutes, Hamstring and Core? I am back in the Cross Fit gym once again prepping for whatever adventure comes my way next. Maybe the Estes Epic perhaps?
Follow along with my Colorado adventures, in and out of the kitchen, @castironandpearls on Instagram and like my page on Facebook.
One pan meal, 30 minutes, family friendly, eat your veggies all up goodness.
Don’t know what to make for dinner tomorrow night? Give these sweet n’ smoky sloppy sweet potatoes a try!