Well hello there! I thought I’d do a mid-winter check-in, and play catch-up from Christmas! Anyone else still recovering from December? I am. I feel like I’ve just been go go go since the end of November. Which, realistically I have. We went on a super awesome vacation with our best friends the week before Christmas, (I’ve shared some photos below) and then BAM, as soon as we got back it literally, was Christmas.

Mr. FIL and I were exhausted. We literally had to recover from our vacation. Getting older means you don’t bounce back as quickly as we used to. Which is funny, because I know we’re not old, but we definitely felt older when it took us a week to catch up. I’m pretty sure I slept through Christmas. Which, for someone who is high energy and on the go all the time, that’s exhaustion!

We had a super awesome time though. We explored four different islands down in the Caribbean, and we got to eat some of the local food, which is always so good! We definitely ate too much and maybe drank too much, but isn’t that what vacation is all about? Enjoying all the stuff you normally wouldn’t on a daily basis at home?

When we were in Cozumel, we took our friends to our favourite Mexican restaurant. The food is phenomenal, and very authentic Mexican. Once you have their homemade cheese queso, you’ll never go back to the American “queso” again.

That chicken mole was hands-down the best I’ve ever tasted. It hit every taste-bud. This chicken was fall off the bone tender, and the mole was rich, spicy, and had just a hint of chocolate and chili.

And the margaritas were…. well let’s just say it was like drinking a sweet lime juice, cause you certainly could not taste the tequila! The restaurant atmosphere is amazing too. They have Mexican art all over the walls, the place is so full of colour, it’s bright and inviting, and there’s always a mariachi band around to sing to you.

So now that we’re back, and in the dead of winter, I’m already missing the sunshine, heat, and my flip flops.

Saying that, we’ve already booked our next cruise for this year. The countdown is officially on, but I’m trying not to think about it because it’s so far away.

I’ve been cooking up a storm this weekend. Between baking muffins, making some awesome chicken burgers and stuffed potatoes, it’s been amazing.

I thought I’d share an awesome recipe that would be great for a Sunday family dinner. It’s rich, hearty, and easy to make. This dish is braised beef short ribs. It’s marinated in red wine, veggies, garlic, onions, all the good stuff.

When we were on the cruise, we had beef short ribs for dinner one night, and they were amazing. After that, I couldn’t stop thinking about them, and I knew I had to make some as soon as I came home.

I marinated these guys in the red wine for 24 hours. You can see where the red wine soaked through the meat. My only mistake was not turning them halfway through marinating, even though they were completely coated, the meat must have suctioned to the bottom of the dish, because as you can see, it doesn’t look like the wine touched it. A little strange!

I love this dinner, because it’s pretty much a two dish meal. One dish for marinating, one pot for cooking.

Once the ribs have marinated, pull them out of the dish. Dry them on paper towel. Drain the red wine into a measuring cup and set it aside. And keep the vegetables as well. I just kept them in the marinade dish. As you can see below.

Pull out your dutch oven, (or frying pan) and get it nice and hot to braise the beef. Add some olive oil, and brown the meat on all sides. Place the braised ribs on a plate.

Turn the heat down, and saute the veggies in the pot for about 5 minutes, until they start to get browned and caramelized. Add the wine, and scrape the brown bits from the bottom of the pot. This is where all the flavour is hanging out!

Cook the wine down a bit, then add the rest of the ingredients to the pot, and the ribs.

Pop it in the oven at 350 and cook until the ribs are nice and tender and falling off the bone. About 2.5-3 hours.

Once they’re done… they’ll look something like this..

I served these on a bed of creamy garlic mashed potatoes. It was so delicious. Mr. FIL and I were in heaven eating this dinner.

I definitely have lots of goodies to share that are up and coming. Lots of new recipes that I’m super excited to post. I’ve been a little quiet on here lately because I’ve had some projects to complete, and I also have been thinking lots about the direction I want to take for this blog this year. Stay tuned.

Until then… happy eating 🙂

Wine-Braised Beef Short Ribs

These fall-off the bone beef short ribs are perfect for Sunday dinner. Cook them low and slow for a few hours, and they'll melt in your mouth!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 people

Ingredients

  • 4 meaty beef short ribs
  • 6 cloves garlic peeled
  • 1 med leek chopped
  • 2 med carrots chopped in 1 inch pieces
  • 2 pieces celery chopped in 1 inch pieces
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme
  • 3/4 bottle cabernet-sauvignon 500 ml
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 cups beef or chicken broth

Instructions

  1. Place the short ribs bone side up in a large dish. Add the carrots, garlic, leek, celery, bay leaf and thyme. Pour the red wine all over the ribs and vegetables. Cover and refrigerate for 6-24 hours.

  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

  3. Remove the meat from the wine and veggies. Pat dry with a paper towel, and season with salt and pepper.

  4. Strain the veggies from the wine, but reserve both for later use. 

  5. In a dutch oven or oven-safe pot, heat on stove top over med-high. Add the olive oil, and when it starts smoking, add the ribs and sear until they have a nice brown crust on them. About 5 mins per side. Remove from the pan and let rest on a plate.

  6. In the same pot, add the reserved veggies from the marinade and saute for 5-7 minutes until they're lightly caramelized and browned. Add the wine to the pot and stir it to de-glaze the bottom.

  7. Add the tomato paste, and stir until it breaks down and blends with the wine. Bring the wine to a boil to cook off the alcohol. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Add the ribs to the pot, and spoon the liquid over them.

  8. Cover the pot and place it on the middle rack of the oven. Bake until the meat is tender and will pull away from the bone with a fork. (About 2.5 hours).

  9. Serve with garlic mashed potatoes.

Recipe Notes

If you want a gravy consistency for the sauce, remove the ribs from the pot. Place it on the stove top, and bring to a low simmer. Mix some cornstarch with water, slowly whisk it into the sauce and let it thicken. Remove from the heat and add the ribs back into the gravy.

Recipe adapted from Wolfgang Puck.

 

 

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