At least once a week, while my first grader is working his way through a remote learning session, my 3-year-old and I dive into an array of projects and activities.
One of these has become a sort of in-home cooking class, something we both have come to thoroughly enjoy. Whether it’s shelling Coco black beans out of their yellow pods then seasoning and simmering to perfection, making homemade meatballs and a fresh tomato sauce, or even washing and spinning lettuce, kale, and other greens to then be placed in our refrigerator storage bins, the meals always seem to taste that much better when we both take part in the process from start to finish.
This past week I picked up a nice package of grass-fed and finished beef short ribs from the Pork Palace.
This cut is typically best when cooked using a low and slow cooking technique to produce a beyond tender finish. My son and I pulled out the slow cooker, then a handful of veggies from the refrigerator, as well as some reddish pink hued “rose” tomatoes from Roots Farm. With the cutting board in place, and the needed culinary equipment on hand, my kiddo stood proud in a sturdy chair overlooking the task at hand. On the menu tonight: slow-cooked beef short ribs in puréed vegetable tomato sauce served over egg noodles.
Finished with a garnish of grilled corn and cilantro. Hot sauce and sour cream optional.
Beef Short Ribs Over Egg Noodles
2 pounds beef short ribs
¼ cup olive oil
1 medium onion, quartered
3 large carrots, purred and sliced into rounds
4 large celery ribs, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 medium summer squash, cut into 1-inch pieces
6 cloves garlic, peeled, can leave whole
2 cups beef broth (can also use chicken broth or water if desired
3 large tomatoes (I used Roots Farm Rose tomatoes), stems discarded and quartered.
1 teaspoon ground cumin
4 large sprigs fresh thyme (can also use oregano)
Salt and pepper
2 ears corn, grilled and kernels shucked off
½ fresh cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
1 package egg noodles, cooked according to package instructions (or make your own!)
In a wide, deep pan, place over high heat and add ¼ cup olive oil. Remove short ribs from the package and dry on a paper towel. Season both sides with salt and pepper. Place the short ribs in the pan and brown on each side, about 3-4 minutes per side. Once brown, transfer to a slow cooker. In the same pan as the short ribs were browned, brown the onion, carrots, celery, summer squash, and garlic. After about 6-7 minutes, turning occasionally, there should be a nice caramelization on the outside of the veggies. Add your broth to the pan, as well as the tomatoes, cover, and reduce to a simmer. Cook until ingredients are very tender, about 20-30 minutes. Transfer to a blender, add the cumin, and pureed until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour contents over the short ribs in the slow cooker. Cook for about 4 hours on high setting, or 7-8 hours on low setting. The short ribs are done once they pull right apart with a fork. In a bowl, add the egg noodles, then submerge in sauce. Pull the short rib meat apart into pieces and top the egg noodles. Finish by topping with grilled corn and cilantro.
Yield: Serves 4.