Sunday, June 3, 2012

Betty's Barbecued Short Ribs

Don’t be fooled by the name – these short ribs never touch a barbecue – it’s all about the homemade barbecue sauce!

For the third recipe from Grandma G’s cookbook I decided to do two things: 1. Choose the very first recipe from the cookbook, and 2. Choose a recipe that looks like it will be good.

Betty’s Barbecued Short Ribs (yes, another recipe named for a friend) looks like it will be good and has a minimum of processed ingredients. I’ve also been interested in cooking short ribs as I’ve never tried it before but I see it in so many cookbooks and magazines.

So here are my assembled ingredients (except for the flour and the garlic cloves – oops). You can see there is ketchup – but that is pretty standard in a barbecue sauce. So really, no jello and no canned soup – it sounds like a winner already!

I didn’t need two whole packs of the short ribs so some were wrapped and frozen for a future meal.

I decided first to get all my chopping done. And it was really a minimal amount of chopping. I added one more garlic clove than in the recipe – but I like garlic.

I could just pop it all in one bowl since it all went in at the same time.

I chopped the short ribs up. I am ridiculously happy with how good this meat looks.

Now it’s time to brown the meat. I use two pans so I could brown without crowding. By the way – can I tell you how much I love the fact that the recipe just says ‘brown in fat’. I know that the recipes were made for her to follow – but I love that there are certain things that need to be known about cooking to make my Grandma G’s recipes. It makes me feel like I have a certain amount of kitchen knowledge. I chose to brown in canola oil for the high smoke point.

I loved the way this meat looked as it was browning. It looked so good. I loved the way it started to pull away from the bones and really got a good dark brown colour. It did not, however, take the 15 to 20 minutes the recipe said.

In the recipe it just kind of says to put all the other ingredients in at this point. I decided to pull the meat out and spend a minute toasting the mustard seeds then cooking the chopped veggies for a bit to pull up the browned meat bits on the bottom of the pan. Then all the other ingredients and the meat went in. and I was to simmer for 1.5 hours or more.

I ended up simmering it for closer to two hours because I was testing it to see when the bones basically fell out. It was smelling so so good.

At the end I pulled the meat out and made a slurry of flour and some tomato juice (or spicy V8 which was what I had on hand) to mix in and thicken the sauce.

I decided to serve it with simple jasmine rice and I put a few celery leaves on for some freshness and colour.

So how was it? Oh goodness… it was amazing. Grandma G really came through on this one. It was like meaty heaven. It was so well balance and I could have eaten the whole bowl. I am salivating thinking about the leftovers in the fridge right now.

I will definitely make this again. It was so easy - I will probably make the recipe to the browning point and then do the rest in a slow cooker in the future. Short ribs will be a part of my repertoire from now on.

Thank you Grandma – this was deliciously yummy.



Buy 2 lbs short ribs

Brown in fat until well coloured 15 to 20 minutes


2 tsp salt
1 chopped onion
1/2 cup celery
1/2 chopped green pepper
1 clove chopped garlic or scant 1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp mustard seed
1/2 cup catsup
1/2 cup tomato juice
1 tsp soya sauce
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp vinegar or lemon
2 tsp brown sugar

Cover and simmer 1 1/2 hours or little longer.

Lift meat and bones out and skim fat off.

Thicken with 2 tablespoons flour and 1/4 cup tomato juice mixed.

Melissa's Notes: It took much less time to brown the meat.

I added two cloves of garlic.

After browning the meat I toasted the mustard seed and then sweated the onion, green pepper, celery and garlic in the pot before adding everything else and making sure the brown bits were scraped off the bottom.

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