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Braised Beef Short Ribs with Manchego Grits


Braised Beef Short Ribs with Manchego Grits
Serves 4
The ribs’ flavor will improve the longer they sit in their braising liquid, making this a good do-ahead dish (up to 4 to 5 days in advance). Just reheat and make the grits when ready to serve.
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Ingredients
    Ribs
    1. 3 dried ancho chilies
    2. ½ cup raisins
    3. 2 teaspoons canola oil
    4. 4 meaty beef short ribs (about 3½ pounds total)
    5. 1½ teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
    6. Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    7. 2 cloves garlic, chopped
    8. 1 medium white onion, chopped
    9. 2 cups chicken stock
    10. 2 chipotle chilies, seeded, plus 2 tablespoons adobo sauce from 1 can chipotles in adobo
    11. ⅓ cup light brown sugar
    12. 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
    13. 2 bay leaves
    14. 2 cinnamon sticks
    Manchego Grits
    1. 3 cups water
    2. 2 cups whole milk
    3. 1½ cups stone-ground grits
    4. 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
    5. 1 cup grated Manchego
    6. Kosher salt, to taste
    7. Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    Instructions
      Ribs
      1. Heat oven to 325°F. Place ancho chilies and raisins in two separate small bowls. Cover both with hot water and let stand 20 minutes, or until softened. Drain, discarding liquid. Seed and stem the chilies.
      2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Pat short ribs dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Sear until well browned on all sides, about 15 minutes total.
      3. While ribs are searing, prepare the braising sauce. Place garlic, onion, chicken stock, chipotle chilies, adobo sauce, and brown sugar in a food processor or blender, along with the soaked ancho chilies and raisins. Blend until sauce is mostly smooth (it should retain some texture). Stir in large pinches of salt and pepper; taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
      4. After short ribs have browned, transfer to a plate. Pour the excess fat from the pan and discard. Add braising sauce, canned tomatoes, bay leaves, and cinnamon sticks. Simmer for 5 minutes. Return ribs to the pot, bring back to a simmer, cover, and place in the oven. Cook until ribs are tender and can be pulled apart with a fork, 2½ to 3 hours total. Remove from oven, spoon fat from the surface, and discard. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. When cool enough to handle, shred meat with a fork and discard the bones.
      Manchego Grits
      1. About 30 minutes before serving, bring water and milk to a boil in large saucepan. Whisk in grits. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until grits have thickened and fully absorbed the liquid, about 30 minutes. Add a little extra milk or water to thin if desired. Stir in butter and Manchego. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve braised short ribs over bowls of hot grits.
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      Molly Shuster

      Molly is a freelance food stylist, writer and recipe developer. She is one of the co-recipe editors of Gather Journal and has had her work published in various publications including Boston Magazine, Yankee Magazine, The New York Times, Food and Wine, Family Fun, The Boston Globe and Edible Vineyard, among others. Molly currently divides her time between New York and Boston.