If it’s been a while since I’ve caught up with my nearest and dearest, a dinner party is typically called. This happened last week when my nearest, Brooke, returned from a two-week trip to Vietnam; my dearest, Joanna, had just graduated from her first sleepless month with a newborn; and our love, Derek, was emerging from a busy semester of teaching and working.
Google calendars were consulted, an invite was sent, and soon I was ringing Brooke’s doorbell, bottle of champagne in hand. I was ready for brunch, except for the fact that it was Tuesday evening. But no matter, Brooke had promised pancakes and bubbly and plenty of laughs. She even left work at lunchtime to start braising the short ribs.
Ever the hostess, Brooke had spent the better portion of the day preparing for this evening brunch, although you would never know it because she makes it seem effortless. The table was beautifully set, and we sat down to enjoy these amazing braised short ribs with cornmeal pancakes, pretending it was Sunday Funday.
Braised Short Ribs with Cornmeal Pancakes
Recipe adapted from Hard Parade, who adapted it from the cookbook “Breakfast for Dinner” by Love and Olive Oil
Ingredients – Short Ribs:
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 1/2 lbs beef short ribs
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
- 1 cup beef broth
- 2 tbsp brown sugar, packed
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- Salt and pepper to taste
Directions – Short Ribs:
Preheat the oven to 300f. Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Pat ribs dry then add them to the pot and sear each side, turning every 45 seconds until evenly browned on all sides, about 7 minutes. Set aside.
Reduce the heat to medium and add the onion and jalapeno, cooking until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the broth and cook for 1 minute, scraping the bits from the bottom of the Dutch oven. Stir in the brown sugar, tomato paste, honey, cinnamon, cumin, salt and pepper.
Put the ribs back into the Dutch oven and bring the mixture to a simmer.
Cover it, put it in the oven, and bake for 2 1/2 hours, turning the ribs once halfway through the cooking time.
Transfer cooked ribs to a plate until cool enough to handle and shred the meat, discarding the bones.
Transfer the liquid from the Dutch oven to a wide, shallow bowl and refrigerate until completely cool so the fat solidifies on the top and you can skim it off. (ew)
Return the liquid to a saucepan, simmer over medium heat until thickened and reduced a bit, about 15 minutes. Add the shredded short rib meat and stir until evenly coated and heated through.
While the liquid is simmering, thickening, and reducing, start making your cornmeal pancakes.
Ingredients – Cornmeal Pancakes:
- 2/3 cup flour
- 2/3 cup cornmeal
- 1/2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 1 cup fresh corn kernels, about 2 ears
- Olive oil (for cooking)
- 1 Granny Smith apple, diced (for garnish)
Directions – Cornmeal Pancakes:
Whisk together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Stir in the egg and milk until the dry ingredients are evenly moistened then fold in the corn kernels.
Heat a little bit of olive oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Drop the batter into the skillet, spreading it into 3-inch rounds (do the best you can, I found this part a little difficult). Cook for 1-2 minutes per side or until golden brown.
Transfer to a paper towel to drain the excess oil and repeat until all the batter is used up. To serve, top the pancakes with a scoop of short ribs and a bit of diced apple.