Beef Short Ribs in Red Wine, Smashed Potatoes, Maple-Thyme Carrots and Delicata Squash

This is a Fall meal.  No doubt about it.  Lots of flavor, richness, healthy and hearty and satisfying.  And simple, really.  Just a few steps, plenty of ignoring, and there you have it - dinner is served, even when your football team loses.

The ribs recipe is a morph of a variety I read and pondered.  I was lucky to find my local health food store selling organic, grass-fed beef short ribs for 25% off and I pounced. 

If you are a lover of a bit of fat, some bones to gnaw, and amazingly tender and falling apart beef, then this would be the recipe for you.  The slightly creamy, winey, mushroomy gravy just adds to the beauty of it all. 

Best of all - it cooks in the crock pot!  Perfect for a Sunday of football and laundry.

Second best of all, the potatoes and vegetables roast in the oven on separate baking sheets, same temp, same time - handy!


Beef Short Ribs in Red Wine

3-4 pounds of bone-in beef short ribs
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper
1 more tablespoon olive oil
2 large onions, sliced
1/2 cup good red wine (zinfandel, burgundy, or blend, whatever you like)
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup sour cream

Salt and pepper the ribs.  In a large skillet, heat the oil on medium high.  Add the ribs, browning on all sides, in batches if necessary.  Remove to crock pot.  Add another tablespoon of oil to the skillet, turn heat down to medium low and add onions.  Cook, stirring a bit, until they are just soft.  Add the red wine and scrape the pan, simmering for a few minutes.  Add the onions/wine to the crock pot over the beef.  Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6-8, until the meat is very tender and falling off the bones.

Keep the ribs in the pot, remove the cooking liquid and strain the fat (mostly).  In the skillet, on medium, cook the mushrooms in the butter for 3-4 minutes.  Add the skimmed cooking liquid and simmer for 7-8 minutes until reduced a bit.  Remove from heat and stir in the sour cream.  Taste for seasoning.  Pour the mushroom sauce over the ribs and serve.

Smashed Potatoes

2 1/2 pounds small yukon gold potatoes
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
seasoned salt, or just salt and pepper
3 tablespoons butter
a bit more salt and pepper
freshly chopped parsley, or dried

If your potatoes are NOT small, cut them into 1/2 or 1/4.  Toss in olive oil, season, and roast on a rimmed baking sheet for about 40 minutes.  Transfer to a bowl, add the butter, and smash gently, just to break up the potatoes.  Add a bit more salt and pepper if needed.  Stir in the parsley and yum!

Maple Thyme Carrots and Delicata Squash

carrots, as many as your family will eat
delicata squash (we ate 2 whole ones)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons real maple syrup

Peel the carrots, leave whole.  Slice the squash into rings, remove seeds.  Place all on a rimmed baking sheet, and drizzle with the oil, syrup, salt and thyme.  Roast at 375 for about 40 minutes.