It's been like FOR-EV-ER since I last posted a recipe here on my good ole food blog. Life has been CRA-Z-Y busy with my two little busy bee toddlers. Elena will be 3 in April and Emilio will be 2 in May, and till then I will be holding back the Mami tears when that all happens! I have been really fortunate to stay at home and enjoy all the little and big milestones. They are definitely the best part of my day.
I nonchalantly stopped blogging last year for many stereotypical mommy selfish reasons like there was not enough time in the day to do everything. Cooking breakfast, lunch and dinner and the clean-up afterwards was endless. Have you tried to feed two toddlers without getting food on the floor or on yourself? Or how about keeping two toddlers entertained because they follow you everywhere, I am a permanent couch for Elena and Emilio, and Elena loves to ask me "what is this?" to everything that she sees. Cleaning my house or maintaining the illusion that my house is clean after the Lego-tea party-play food explosion in my living room. Laundry is a vicious cycle for a family of four and I usually wash and dry a load almost every other day. Date nights are sparse with Eric because of the limited family or friend babysitters who are nearby. Me-time was usually spent trying to finish the rest of the chores that didn't get finished for the day or falling asleep during my favorite TV show.
Honestly, I was completely burnt out on idea of food blogging - it had consumed a lot of my extra energy and I really wanted a time-out from it all. It was absolutely glorious having a time-out from blogging. I could prep dinner without worrying about time constraints, unwind with a book and actually finish it, talk on the phone with my sister (because nowadays most people text), relax for that tiny bit, avoid my computer like the plague and not worry about having to stage a photo before eating it because there will be serious food rage if two toddlers don't eat on time. More importantly - NAPTIME - it's like the most precious commodity to parents, it's when we can do a gazillion things in a short amount of time. In that instant, we are supermommy (or superdaddy) and we have that super power gene programmed to do it all. OR you just lose yourself to a time suck called social media, or get lost on reading thread after thread on TV shows or trying to pinterest the heck on how to have the cutest birthday party ever, or talking non-stop with your online friends about it all. I couldn't manage to squeeze in time to blog without having to sacrifice something else.
Brace yourselves because this recipe is a little time consuming, but the end effort is so totally worth it. I like to start the prep work early in the morning or right after lunch, so while the kids are watching Paw Patrol before naptime - dinner is already starting to simmer away. I paired this meal with my favorite sweet kale salad. Other fantastic possible side options like green salad, french fries, sweet potato fries, tater tots, or even kettle chips would complete the meal. You can easily prep this meal in the crockpot as well if you are short on time. It's positively one of the best meals that I have cooked up and would be perfect gametime food to munch on, too. Eric had said that this mimicked his favorite grilled cheese sandwich and it was wonderful to have it at home. The kids loved biting into the little burger buns. Plus, hearing Emilio's goofy smile "mmmm's" and Elena's post-dinner mess were pure indicators that this was a well-loved meal by all.
A special shout out to my fellow mommy bloggers: Amy for keeping it real, my bestie Becky requesting new food recipes and Niki for pushing me to write this food post, too.
Beer Braised Short Rib Sliders with Pickled Caramelized Onions and Arugula
Adapted from Epicurious
Yield 12 servings
4 to 5 pounds boneless beef short ribs, cut into 1 1/2 inch chunks
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
2 to 3 shallots, chopped
2 large carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 bottle of beer, preferably a dark IPA
1/2 cup vegetable broth
2 tablespoons Worcestershire
3 to 4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced finely
2 bay leaves
1 large fresh thyme sprig
Pickled Caramelized Onions:
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 large red onions, halved, thinly sliced crosswise, about 6 cups
4 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
Slider buns, mini brioche buns or hamburger buns
sliced Havarti or Monterey Jack cheese
For short ribs:
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Place beef short ribs on a large jelly roll sheet, making sure to dry it with a paper towel. Season with salt and pepper on both sides. In a large dutch oven or large wide pot, melt butter over medium-high heat. Working in small batches, cook beef until browned, about 5 to 6 minutes per batch. Transfer back to large jelly roll sheet. Add shallots, carrots, and onions to the pot and saute until translucent and brown; about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add 3/4 bottle of the beer, drink the remaining as you finishing prepping the meal. Add the broth, Worcestershire, bay leaves, and thyme sprig. Bring to a boil, and make sure to scrap up the browned bits in the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Place ribs back into pot, arranging them in a single layer. Cover, and transfer to oven and let cook for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, and until the meat is fork tender.
Uncover and let cool for 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer ribs to cutting board, and discard bay leaves and thyme sprig, and spoon off fat from sauce in pot. Chop meat into small pieces, trimming any fat, and return meat to pot.
(If prepping ahead, can be prepped 2 days ahead. Chill until cold, cover and keep chilled. Rewarm until lukewarm before serving).
Pickled Caramelized Onions:
In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add onions, and sprinkle with salt. Saute until beginning to brown, bring down the heat to a low and stirring frequently for about 30 minutes to 1 hour. When the onions look almost browned, add the vinegar and sugar and cook until almost all vinegar is absorbed, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to serving bowl.
(If prepping ahead, can be prepped 2 days ahead. Cover, and chill. Microwave in 15-second intervals until lukewarm before serving).
Warm brioche buns in toaster or oven, spread a layer of mayonnaise of both ends of the bun, scoop about 2 tablespoons of the short rib mixture on top, top with 1 heaping teaspoon of onions, add a slice of Havarti cheese, and chopped arugula on top. Serve immediately.
Photo Outtake from my food photo-shoot while trying to keep Elena's hands off my props. Impossible. She wanted to lick my fork and knife because she said they were "mine mami, no pictures." Well said, my little foodie.