Braised short ribs & zucchini gratin From the Harmons
This has been our contribution to Christmas Eve with friends dinner for the past 5 years. It’s become a tradition.
Braised Short Ribs Ingredients Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 12-16 beef short ribs 1/4 cup all-purpose flour 6 slices bacon, diced 2 tablespoons olive oil 3 carrots, diced 2 shallots, finely minced 1 medium onion, diced Splash of red wine 4 cups beef stock & 4 cups chicken stock (enough to almost cover the ribs) 2 sprigs fresh thyme (dried is OK too if you can’t get fresh) 2 sprigs fresh rosemary (dried is OK too if you can’t get fresh)
Directions Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Salt and pepper the ribs, then dredge them in the flour. Set aside.
In a large Dutch oven, cook the bacon over medium heat until completely crispy and all the fat is rendered. Remove the bacon and set aside. Drain off any excess fat. Add the olive oil to the pan with the bacon fat and raise the heat to high. Brown the ribs on all sides, about 45 seconds per side. Remove the ribs and set aside.
Lower the heat to medium. Add the carrots, shallots and onions to the pan and cook for 2 minutes. Splash in the wine and scrape the bottom of the pan to release all the flavorful bits of glory. Add the stock, 1 teaspoon kosher salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper and bring to a boil. Taste and add more salt if needed. Add the ribs to the liquid; they should be almost completely submerged. Add the thyme and rosemary sprigs (whole) to the liquid. Finally, add he cooked bacon. Put on a lid and transfer to the oven.
Cook until the ribs are fork-tender and falling off the bone, 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Remove the pan from the oven and allow to sit for at least 20 minutes with the lid on before serving. At the last minute, skim the fat off the top of the liquid. (You can also refrigerate the mixture, then remove the solid fat from the top.)
Our kids like a little mezzi rigatoni on the side, drizzled with the jus. You can also place the short ribs atop polenta, grits, etc. Anything goes!
Zucchini Gratin Ingredients 4 tablespoons butter 4 large zucchini, sliced 4 medium shallots, minced 2 teaspoons garlic, minced 1 cup heavy cream 2/3 cup cheddar cheese 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese 1/4 teaspoon oregano Salt and pepper to taste Green onions, sliced, for garnish
Directions Preheat the oven for 400 degrees F. Heat a large, deep pot to medium heat and add the butter. Once melted, sauté the shallots and garlic in the butter until the shallots are translucent – about a minute or two.
Add the zucchini, heavy cream, salt, pepper, oregano, and Parmesan cheese. Let the mixture cook on the stovetop for about 8 to 10 minutes, until the mixture is bubbly. Make sure to keep mixing everything with a spoon while it is cooking.
Then, transfer this mixture to a greased casserole dish (9x13 or a similar size should be plenty big) and mix in most of the cheddar cheese – once everything is blended thoroughly, sprinkle the rest of the cheddar cheese on top.
Bake the gratin for 10 to 14 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and golden- brown. Top with sliced green onions for garnish, if desired.