by Daisy Freund, farm apprentice
Last week CSA members brought home bright bouquets of rainbow chard, scallions, kale, baby beets, parsley, lettuces and tender garlic scapes. Many also left with Glynwood eggs, beef, pork, chicken and local aged cheeses from Sprout Creek Farm thanks to our new store. Since so many of our community members are taking advantage of the wider selection of products, I will be incorporating as many of them as possible into future weekly recipes.
In honor of the recent Fathers Day holiday, I was inspired to challenge myself to make a true farm feast for my father. The menu: Glynwood braised short ribs with horseradish cream sauce, mashed potatoes and rainbow chard. I’ll admit I was a bit intimidated. Although I love cooking, after working all day on the farm I’m lucky if I can muster enough energy to boil water for pasta! And when it comes to meat, I’m usually on the meatloaf, chicken breasts, bacon level. Short ribs sounded serious.
But the beautiful cuts of short ribs recently returned from the butcher were inspiring and Allie Comet, a colleague on the farm, mentioned a recipe on Smitten Kitchen for short ribs with horseradish sauce that just seemed to have my dad’s name on it. As a side note, Smitten Kitchen is a wonderful, approachable food blog that I’d recommend to readers. Most recipes come with a story and a few laughs, as all great food should. [Other sites I turn to when looking for uncomplicated cooking ideas: 101 Cookbooks, Cookstr, Food52 and Tastespotting.]
Below is my simplified adaptation of the recipe for short ribs and swiss chard. While the entire process was long, it was mostly unattended braising time in the oven. And the results were so worth it — when I uncovered the pot and a cloud of thyme, parsley and red wine met my nose and I found meat that literally fell off the bone, I could barely believe I was responsible. The kicky horseradish sauce was a perfect compliment to the rich beef and the rainbow chard gave the meal fresh color and sweet crunch.
Next time you stop by to pick up your weekly CSA share or visit the new farm store, ask any Glynwood farm staff member for recipe ideas — we’re all experimenting and love to share!
Braised Short Ribs with Rainbow Swiss Chard and Horseradish Cream
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
12 to 16 ounces of beef short ribs
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon thyme leaves, and 4 whole sprigs thyme
1 tablespoon freshly cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons brown sugar
3 dozen spring onions
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup diced large onion
1/3 cup diced carrot
1/3 cup diced celery
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3-4 cups hearty red wine (the recipe called for port as well as wine but a hearty red plus the brown sugar will do the trick)
6 cups beef stock
4 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
2 bunches rainbow swiss chard, cleaned, center ribs removed if theyre too fibrous or retained if you like color
Season the short ribs with 1 tablespoon thyme, 2 tablespoons brown sugar and the cracked black pepper. Cover, and refrigerate overnight.
Take the short ribs out of the refrigerator an hour before cooking and season them generously on all sides with salt.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Toss the baby or pearl onions with 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon thyme, 3/4 teaspoons salt, and a pinch of pepper. Spread them on a baking sheet and roast them about 15 minutes, until tender. When they have cooled, slip off the skins and set aside. Turn the oven down to 325 degrees F.
3.5 hours before you wish to eat, heat a large oven-proof saute pan or pot, over high heat for 3 minutes. Pour in 3 tablespoons olive oil, and wait until the pan is almost smoking. Place the short ribs in the pan, and sear until they are browned on all meaty sides. When the ribs are nicely browned, transfer them to a plate to rest.
Turn the heat down to medium, and add the onion, carrot, celery, thyme springs, and bay leaves. Cook until the vegetables just begin to caramelize. Add the balsamic vinegar and red wine. Turn the heat up to high, and reduce the liquid by half.
Add the stock and bring to a boil. Arrange ribs in the pot flat, bones standing up, in one layer. The stock mixture should almost cover the ribs. Tuck the parsley sprigs in and around the meat. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and a tight-fitting lid if you have one. Braise in the oven for about 3 hours.
When the meat is done, it will yield easily to a paring knife. Let the ribs rest 10 minutes in their juices, and then transfer them to a baking sheet. Turn the oven up to 400 degrees F. Place the short ribs in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes to brown.
Strain the broth into a saucepan. Skim as much of the fat from the sauce as you can and reduce it over medium-high heat for ten minutes or so to thicken slightly. Taste for seasoning.
Tear the chard into large pieces. Add 3 tablespoons olive oil to a high-sided pan, and stir in the cooked baby onions. Add half the chard and cook a minute or two, stirring the greens in the oil to help them wilt. Add a splash of water and the second half of the greens. Season with a heaping 1/4 teaspoon salt and a pinch of ground black pepper.
Place the chard on a large platter, arrange the short ribs on top. Spoon lots of braising juices over the ribs. Serve with potato puree and horseradish cream (3/4 cup creme fraiche plus two tablespoons of grated horseradish, salt and pepper) on the side.