Tag Archives: pine nut

Braised short ribs with pine nuts

9 May

This is one of those cook-it-today-but-maybe-eat-it-tomorrow kinda deals. The flavors knit together even better with time.

I had it both ways. The batch of short ribs I prepared the other day were eaten that same evening, but there were enough leftovers for another couple of meals.

I ain’t as dumb as I look.

Very liberally salt the ribs (4 1/2 pounds here), and don’t forget some freshly ground black pepper.

Then dredge in all-purpose flour.

In a large dutch oven brown the ribs in a plenty of olive oil, then remove and set aside.

Add one diced onion, two celery stalks, two carrots, one leek, eight garlic cloves, a few anchovy filets, some thyme, and half a cup of pine nuts, and saute until softened.

Then add a bottle (750 ml) of red wine (I used an inexpensive Sangiovese but most any dry red will do) and turn up the heat to high. Note: If you prefer to use a dry white wine instead, nobody’s stopping you.

After the wine has boiled for five minutes or so add a quart of homemade stock (I had chicken stock around but beef or even vegetable stock would be fine). Cover and put in the oven, preheated to 350-375 degrees F. The ribs should cook for around three hours, but every 45 minutes or so turn the ribs.

These short ribs were in the oven exactly three hours. When I put a fork to the meat it was about as soft and tender as it gets, which is what you want.

Remove the ribs and toss the bones.

Then slice the meat into inch or so pieces.

And serve with some of the sauce. On this particular occasion My Associate had prepared a very nice mashed potato and celery root combo, which turned out to be a pretty much perfect match. However, most anything will work here (egg noodles, spaetzle, polenta, whatever).

Just be sure to make enough for those leftovers.

Lamb & Pine Nut Bolognese

16 Aug

Shyster Jersey Lawyer Friend’s birthday, surely a day of meaning and reflection to her, basically boils down to just one thing to me: I’ve got to cook the woman some lamb.

This is not a negotiable point. Lamb is my friend’s very favorite food. She has told me this on many occasions, most frequently around those times that her birth date draws near.

Demanding as she is, the woman highly values experimentation. And so when the thought occurred to me to meld lamb and pine nuts into a pasta sauce, not once did I concern myself about disappointed her.

Or all of you.

Finely chop three carrots, three celery stalks, one medium red onion, one leek, six garlic cloves and some hot pepper (optional), then saute in olive oil under medium heat until softened.

Add 2 pounds of ground lamb and 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, incorporate and cook until browned.

Add one cup of red wine, increase the heat to high and reduce until the wine has evaporated.

Add one cup of milk. Cook until the milk has evaporated.

Add two 28-ounce cans of tomatoes and 1/2 cup loosely packed chopped fresh mint leaves, turn the heat down to low and allow the sauce to simmer very gently for around two hours. (If the sauce reduces too much or becomes too thick you can always add some more milk or even water.)

When the sauce is done cooking add another handful of chopped fresh mint, stir and simmer for a minute or two.

And then serve with the pasta of your choice.

This sauce, like so many others, tastes even better the next day. And so I made sure to send my friend home not only with a big hunk of birthday cake but also a container of what turned out to be a really nice sauce.