September 13, 2011

Italian Night - A Do-Over

Des and I get together once a month with four other couples for a supper club we call International Night (written about before here). We put the whole gig on hold over the summer and resume in the fall. With the next one coming up in just over a week, I realized I never shared the recipe from our last one in June.

Des and I hosted the June supper, which meant we picked the theme, coordinated the details and had everyone over to our place. We decided to do Italian - A Do-Over. See, we did Italian around the same time we started the supper club (which I think was four years ago - wow!). However, one of the guys in the group is allergic to tomatoes and unbeknownst to one another, everyone was considerate of his food allergy and brought a dish that didn't contain any tomatoes. Yes, we had an entire Italian dinner without a stain of tomato in sight. Crazy right? Better yet, the guy who had the allergy ended up having to cancel! So in the end we all enjoyed our tomato-less Italian feast without the guy who was the catalyst for our collective consideration. 

After many recountings of the tomato-less Italian meal, Des and I decided enough was enough. We were due for an Italian Do-Over dinner with tomatoes. (Now, not to fret, we did still consider the needs of our fellow diner and made tomato-less versions for him where appropriate). For our dish, we went with this Penne with Braised Short Ribs recipe. I'd made it before and thoroughly enjoyed it. The repeat attempt did not disappoint. (For our friend. I simply separated out a few short ribs before braising and made a pesto-based variation for him that turned out equally as delicious.)

The full assortment of ingredients

There's a funny story behind these beautiful short ribs:
I sent my hubby to the butcher near his work to get them, but realized I had forgotten to convey the amount needed. I sent a follow-up email with the quantity, yet when he came through the door that evening he had nearly $45 in ribs in hand! I asked what in the world he was doing with more than double the amount of ribs needed. Seemed he didn't get my email until after his trip to the meat man and he best-guessed it. Oh well - the rest were saved and enjoyed on the grill later in the summer ;)

Anywhoo.... the ribs are seasoned with salt and pepper before heading to the pan

And there are the beauties, all browned up to add that extra richness to the dish

diced onion and garlic... makes everything good! Saute lightly in the big dutch oven for about 2 mins

add in tomatoes, dijon mustard and and a cup of red, wine ... you can see where this is going now hey!

All the goodness (sans ribs) coming to a boil on the stove top, becoming friendly

Some beef broth joins the party

and the ribs are invited back in with that broth.
The cover goes on now and this pot of goodness goes in the oven for 2.5 hours at 350 degrees,
basically cooked until meat falls away from the bone

near the end of the cooking time, get your shred and chop on with the herbs and parmesan
You'd also cook up your penne as you take the meat out of the oven. While the pasta is a-boilin' to al dente,
you remove the ribs from the pot along with any excess fat from the top of  liquid. Then process the remaining liquid until it becomes a smooth sauce. Remove the meat from the bones and shred with two forks and add shredded meat back to the warm sauce. 

We served it up family style, topped with the cheese and parsley:
It is rich and delish.  In fact, it's a perfect fall dish. Hmmm....


lehogan said...

WHERE did hubby get the short ribs?? Brian (my cook, when he's not my husband) went on a fruitless hunt for them over the summer.

sandy said...

this was sooooo good