I wanted a nice, soft and/or creamy side dish to go with the short ribs. I thought of making mashed potatoes, be we'd had some earlier in the week. Then, I thought of whipping up my killer cheese grits. Nope! Hubby despises grits. (I know! HOW could anyone despise grits? I'll cut him some slack, though, since he eats jambalaya, etouffee, and almost anything else I throw his way. That's pretty good for a New Englandah!)
After some thinking and pantry gawking, I decided to roast up some chunks of butternut squash and puree them with some white beans. I added the one cup of leftover mashed potatoes from the fridge to make things less... weird. The resulting puree was so tasty. There was only a slight hint of sweetness to it, making it perfect alongside the slight pomegranate molasses tang of the short ribs.
To save time, I roasted the squash while braising the short ribs.
Red Wine and Pomegranate Molasses Braised Short Ribs
6 short ribs
1 medium onion, chopped
1 rib celery chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
1 c sliced mushrooms
2 large cloves garlic, minced
2 cups beef stock
1 bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon
1/2 c pomegranate molasses
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup cocktail sauce with horseradish
2 sprigs oregano and 3 sprigs thyme tied together with kitchen twine
1 bay leaf
freshly cracked black pepper
ground chipotle powder
Heat oven to 375°.
- Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat in a dutch oven.
- Pat short ribs dry and season generously with salt, pepper, and smoked paprika.
- Sear the ribs on all sides until browned.
- Remove the ribs to a platter and set aside.
- Turn the heat on the dutch oven to low.
- Add the onion, carrot, mushrooms, celery, and garlic to the pot.
- Sprinkle vegetables with salt, pepper, paprika, and a pinch of chipotle powder.
- Saute' vegetables until softened and aromatic.
- Add the wine and stock and bring to a boil. Stir well with a wooden spoon to get browned bits up from the bottom of the pot.
- Boil for one minute, then turn off heat.
- Add the molasses, vinegar, and cocktail sauce to the pot, stirring to mix.
- Add the ribs, bay leaf and the bunch of herbs to the pot.
- Cover pot tightly with aluminum foil, then cover with a tightly fitting lid.
- Place pot in center of oven and cook for 3 hours.
- Remove short ribs from pot and hold warm.
- If desired, strain the sauce. (I chose not to.)
- Thicken or reduce the sauce to your liking and season to taste.
Serve with mashed potatoes, cheese grits, or puree of butternut squash, potato, and white beans.
Puree of Butternut Squash, Potato and White Beans
2 c white beans, boiled and drained
2 c butternut squash, diced and roasted with olive oil and salt until tender
1 c mashed potatoes (optional)
freshly cracked black pepper
kosher salt (if needed)
1 1/2 Tbsp chives, chopped
- Place white beans, mashed potatoes, butternut squash, and garlic into a food processor.
- Process until smooth.
- Add Creole seasoning, pepper, and chives.
- Process to mix.
- Taste and adjust seasonings, as necessary.
Serve with braised short ribs.