I don’t usually purchase beef, as I can get it from the farm in Virginia, and I don’t eat as much of it as I do things like lamb or seafood, because beef definitely needs to be grass-finished, but as the folks at the New Milford Farmer’s Market didn’t have any cuts of pork left that I wanted, so I settled for their very reasonably-priced beef short ribs. These people have the best prices for any pasture-finished meats I’ve seen in FM’s up here in New England. (Shhhh…)
They don’t really look like much when you open the package, just simply flat lumps of things around bones, but hey. I’m thinking let’s simmer them. No, I didn’t take any pre-simmer photos.
So, this worked out well:
3 beef short ribs, pastured
1 large onion, cut into two or three segments
3 new/baby Yukon Gold potatoes (or any other flavorful “Gold” variety — don’t waste your life, or carb quota, on russets!)
6 golden orange baby beets (or 3 larger ones)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
Ground cracked pepper
Get the oil up to a medium high temp in your heavy duty cooking pot, add the ribs, and brown them, both sides and edges. Towards the end, add the cumin seeds and let them toast along.
Then add water to cover the ribs and a little extra, and turn heat up to high. Toss in some balsamic vinegar for flavor. Red wine vinegar would also work nicely. Toss in the onion and ground pepper.
When it starts to boil, reduce heat and cover (to “4” on an electric range).
You’ll want the meat to simmer for a total of 1.5 – 2 hours.
After about a half hour or so ( you want the beets and potatoes to be in the drink for an hour or so), add the beets and potatoes.
For the potatoes: clean them and cut off any unpleasant bits. But try to leave as much skin on as possible. That’s where the nutrients are.
For the beets: if they’re baby beets, chop off the root, and the part atop attached to the stalks. Cut off any hopelessly dirty bits. You don’t need to skin them. I added in portions of stalk above the juncture with the beet tuber because they were available, but I did NOT add in the part where the stalks actually make contact with the beet proper: wasn’t certain I could effectively clean out the dirt there.
If you use bigger beets: Remove the skin, it can be tough. Halve or quarter them.
If you are really adventurous and don’t mind purple potatoes, you can indeed use regular, purple, beets. (The orange will also stain things like clothing etc., but it looks less, well, manipulative…)
Simmer away. Of course, make sure you don’t run out of liquids in your pot. When done, the meat should be falling off the bone, and easy to cut, and the potatoes and beets fork-tender. The meat, amazingly, apparently takes up liquids and expands quite nicely.
Portion out the food: serves three people, or three meals. Reserve the liquid, put in fridge, and when chilled, remove the fat layer on top. Use the broth layer in future dishes as you see fit. (One idea is to add it to roughly-mashed roasted Yukon golds as a seasoning.)
Short ribs, baby potatoes: New Milford Farmer’s Market, this week. The meat was from Center Brook Farm, New Milford. Onions: Danbury Fair Farmer’s Market, the previous week. Golden beets: Bethel Farmer’s Market, the previous week.