Who doesn’t love the look of this dish? The beef short ribs are fall off-the-bone tender and the sweet potatoes are heavenly, but I’ll let you be the judge of that. You have to take the leap and make this if you want to find out how good this dish really is. Trust me on this one, and don’t forget to thank me later.
I admit, there are a lot of beautiful flavor profiles going on here! The sweet and slightly tangy balance from the beef short ribs; the coconut presence and lightness of the sweet potatoes and the buttery goodness of perfectly sautéed, garlicky kale. It truly is heaven on a plate and just in time for Fall.
I am a huge fan of everything Fall. The bounty of fruits and vegetables in the fall season, is truly spectacular and gives a hearty nod to creating great comfort food. This dish really came together in my mind, before I even hit the grocery store. I don’t eat a lot of beef now, but when I do indulge, it better be fantastic. I’ve sampled short ribs from other people and their attempts were great. Some people like to braise, or bake and even grill short ribs. Since short ribs are taken from the chuck cut and because it consists of layers of fat and meat, they are very tough and require a long, slow, moist-heat cooking method, such as braising. So whatever method you choose make sure the sauce is nothing short of AMAZING! This red-wine and Demi-Glace ladened sauce offers the very best in richness and balance, and the addition of vinegar truly ads something special to the dish without dominating it. What is Demi-Glace? Without getting technical, it is half brown sauce (Espagnole, which is a mother sauce), half brown stock, reduced by half. It is usually finished with a small amount of Madeira or sherry wine. It is a base that produces even richer, finer small sauces. The carrots, onions, garlic and tomatoes form the perfect bond in creating the most beautiful flavor profile.
Although the dish started in my mind, I did take some time to research some recipes for further inspiration. There are literally hundreds of recipes, however I did find one on Epicurious that is similar to Beef Bourguignon by Walter Manke. I knew that red wine and beef broth is typically used along with some sort of tomato product, like tomato paste and/or canned, whole tomatoes that are puréed.
I like sweet reds, so instead of using a dry red wine I opted for a Sweet Shiraz, like Jam Jar. It adds just the right amount of sweetness to offset the vinegar that is used without compromising the taste. I used tomato paste and veal Demi-Glace instead of whole canned tomatoes and beef stock. You heat a dutch oven over medium-high heat, add vegetable oil and let heat for another minute. Season the beef short ribs liberally with kosher salt and ground black pepper. Sear short ribs on all sides in batches, if necessary and transfer to a plate. To the same dutch oven, add the carrots, onions and garlic. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper and cook until softened. Add the tomato paste, and wine and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Add beef broth or veal Demi-Glace (along with 4 cups of water if using demi), bay leaf, vinegar, and thyme. Taste the sauce and adjust seasonings, if necessary. Bring sauce to a simmer, skimming fat from the surface occasionally. Add seared short ribs pack to the pot, cover and place in a 250º oven for 4 to 5 hours.
I’ve had many versions of mashed sweet potatoes, and none have come close to that of Mrs. Domineck and Mrs. Monroe. I met Mrs. Monroe at Elizabeth Baptist Church in Atlanta. We worked together for years, under the direction of Mrs. Domineck, creating some awesome experiences with food. These ladies cooking talent and skills could absolutely rival any chefs in the industry. Let’s talk about these sweet potatoes. It really is sweet potato pie, without the crust. The first spoonful I had was pure bliss. I was in culinary heaven. They were sweet, buttery, creamy and full of wonderful flavors!
There’s no need to peel the sweet potatoes first. Just boil them and once they are fork tender and cooled, the skin will slide right off. You can actually thank me now for that cooking tip. Save your peeling energy for another task. Once you have peeled the potatoes, toss them into a large bowl of an electric mixer. Whip potatoes until smooth, being careful not to reintroduce the “strings” that have collected on the attachment, back into the potatoes. Add an insane amount of sugar, or not. You can substitute agave nectar or applesauce for sweetness; melted butter, evaporated milk, vanilla, lemon and coconut extract. I have used Coco Lopez at times, if I did not have immediate access to coconut extract. Mix until well combined, taste, and adjust seasoning if necessary! I can’t stress enough, the importance of seasoning AND tasting EVERY LAYER of your food.
The sautéed kale rounds out this dish and makes it perfect. You can use collard greens, or spinach.
Beef Short Ribs with Whipped Sweet Potatoes and Sautéed Kale
Beef Short Ribs
- 8 6 ounce Bone-in beef short ribs
- 2 tbsp Kosher salt
- 1 tbsp Black pepper
- 2 tbsp Vegetable oil
- 1 Yellow onion (large) chopped
- 6 Carrots finely chopped
- 1 tbsp Fresh garlic minced
- 2 cups Sweet Shiraz wine
- 1 can tomato paste
- *4 cups beef broth
- 4 sprigs thyme
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 4 large Sweet Potatoes
- 1/2 cup Granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp Unsalted butter melted
- 1 tbsp Pure Vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp coconut extract
- 1/2 tsp lemon extract
- 1 tsp butter extract optional
- 1/2 cup evaportated milk
- 1 large egg
- 2 tbsp Olive oil
- 1/2 stick Unsalted butter
- 2 cups Kale chopped
- 1/4 cup White wine
- 1 tsp Garlic minced
- 1 tsp Red Pepper flakes optional
Beef Short Ribs
Preheat oven to 250º.
Pat short ribs dry. Heat heavy pot or Dutch Oven, over medium-high heat. Add vegetable oil and heat for 1 minute. Season the beef liberally with kosher salt and black pepper. Brown beef on all sides, about 8 minutes, until a beautiful brown crust forms. Transfer to a plate.
To the same pot, add chopped onion, carrots and garlic and cook, uncovered, over medium-high heat. Season vegetables with salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. Cook vegetables until softened. Add tomato paste and wine and bring to a boil, reduce slightly and let simmer and reduce, about 10 minutes.
Add beef stock or veal Demi-Glace, thyme and vinegar. Taste the sauce and season with salt and pepper, if necessary. Bring sauce to a simmer and skim any fat that accumulates on the surface. Add the short ribs to the sauce and all of the juices from the plate. Cover and transfer to the oven and cook until tender, around 4 to 5 hours.
Preheat oven to 350º.
In a sauce pot, add 4 large sweet potatoes and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil. Cook until fork tender and drain water. Allow potatoes to cool and remove the skin.
In a bowl of an electric mixer with the whisk attachment add the peeled potatoes. Whip potatoes until smooth. Discard the "strings" that will accumulate on the whisk. Add sugar, melted butter, extracts and evaporated milk. Mix until well combined. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Add evaporated milk and egg and incorporate well.
Add potatoes to a 9 inch nonstick pan. Bake in oven for 30 minutes or until set.
Heat sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and butter. Add shallots and season with salt and pepper. Cook until translucent and add chopped kale. Season with salt and pepper. Allow fat to coat the kale and cook until slightly wilted. Add white wine and cook an additional 2 minutes.
Add fresh garlic and red pepper flakes.
*If using demi-glace instead of beef stock, use 1/2 cup of concentrated demi and 4 cups of water.