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Braised Short Rib Sliders with Creamy Horseradish Spread

As I confessed when I started this blog, I do not have a lot of experience cooking bone-in meat.  In the past, I have shied away from it because, frankly, it just seems a little harder to deal with and often takes longer to cook.  Six months have passed since I began this blog and, because the blog keeps me committed to cooking so much, I think I have gained some confidence in the kitchen.  So let me tell you how this most recent bone-in meat personal challenge evolved.  We were petty busy last Friday night so we deliberately decided to have a low key family friendly Saturday night.  I said to my husband early in the day, “let’s cook something fun tonight…you pick.”  He thought for a minute and responded, “braised short rib sliders with gruyere cheese and a horseradish sauce.”  A large smile came over my face and I said, “I love it!  Great idea!”  If he can dream it up, I can try to execute it and it’s especially fun when it’s something that I’ve never cooked!  We headed out for lunch and then he took the kids to a movie and I hit the grocery stores (took me two stores to find the short ribs).  Short ribs are popular, almost trendy, right now.  I see them on menus everywhere (we had some excellent short ribs at The Pearl in Columbus and a few other spots throughout this past year).  It’s not hard to see why…they are Tasty (with a capital t!).  I looked at a few different sources to come up with my method of cooking and decided on a combo of stove top browning and oven braising.  The short ribs came out great and broke into perfect little pieces for our sliders.  Short ribs topped with melted gruyere (which is delicious in or on anything), and a horseradish/mayo combo.  My husband was super happy with my execution…I love making people happy with good food (even when it’s just my family).  If you are short on time or wanting to make these when you are out of the house all day, I think you could adapt my oven braising to the crock pot (let us know if you try it this way and how it works).  Enjoy!

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Braised Short Rib Sliders with Creamy Horseradish Spread (Makes 12-24 Sliders)

4-5 lbs bone-in beef short ribs (ask the butcher because short ribs aren’t often in the meat case) or 3-3.5 lb boneless beef shoulder (cut in large chunks)

2-3 Tbsp olive oil

1 small/medium onion (or 2 shallots)

2 cups dry red wine (such as Cabernet)

1 cup beef broth

fresh thyme

fresh rosemary

2 pkg Hawaiian Rolls (the Buttery variety as opposed to the Sweet variety)

8 oz. gruyere cheese, freshly grated

1 cup mayo (or plain greek yogurt)

2-3 tsp. horseradish (depending on taste)

Directions:

Pat short ribs dry.  Generously salt and pepper each side of ribs.  In Dutch oven or skillet, heat 2-3 Tbsp olive oil over medium high heat.  Brown all sides of short ribs until very browned, even a bit charred (2-3 minutes per side), adds good flavor.

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Add onion, red wine, beef broth; deglaze the pot in order to get all of the flavor from the browned bits.  Add a few sprigs of thyme and rosemary on top of the ribs.  Cover and cook at 325 degrees for about 2 ½ – 3 hours checking periodically to turn ribs.  While short ribs are cooking, grate cheese and prepare horseradish spread by combining 1 cup mayonnaise, 2-3 tsp horseradish and 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme; chill.  When meat is tender and falling off the bone, remove from oven and let sit for 10-15 minutes.   Pull meat off of the bone and remove excess fat.  Place mini buns open face on a cookie sheet.  Place chunks of short rib on bottom bun and top with shredded gruyere cheese.  Broil for approximately 1 minute or until cheese is melted (but don’t burn top buns).  Slather top bun with horseradish spread and garnish with fresh thyme leaves.

Braised Short Rib preparation adapted from The Kitchn Blog

Same Preparation using Beef Shoulder in place of Short Ribs (can be cheaper for serving a crowd)

Same Preparation using Beef Shoulder in place of Short Ribs (can be cheaper for serving a crowd)