In this monthly series, I commit to cooking whatever is on the cover of Bon Appetit, Saveur or maybe some other food magazine. There’s a reason these particular dishes are on the cover – they’re usually the best recipes in the magazine.
This winter is really getting me down. To be honest, I suffered from Seasonal Affective Disorder greatly for several years. It was hard to distinguish between S.A.D. and just really growing to hate my advertising job, but winter just made me want to hide under the covers forever. Waking up in the dark, going to a seriously window-less office cubicle, then coming home in the dark? The worst.
The S.A.D. symptoms greatly improved when I left that job to go to culinary school. While I was still waking up in the dark (as early as 4 a.m.!), I was generally done for the day while it was still light out, leaving time for dog walks and long bike rides in the sunshine. Blogging and freelancing for a living has afforded me an even greater flexibility. Whenever I’m feeling a bit down (or I see the sunshine poking through the winter clouds), I can grab my dog and her winter coat and head out for a walk.
But this winter just will not end. I’m tired of making my dog wear her coat. I’m tired of wearing my coat. And I’m actually getting sick of comfort food. I want to grill! I want to make salads with fresh spring vegetables! I want to eat good berries again! So, I was a little disheartened when I saw that this month’s Bon Appetit had comfort food on the cover again. Like last month’s Chicken and Dumplings, this is a long-simmered stew that really is very delicious. The luscious short ribs glazed with red wine and topped with flaky pastry will warm your bones while you wait…and wait…and wait for spring to get here.
6 sprigs fresh thyme, plus 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 cups dry red wine
1 refrigerated pie crust
2 tablespoons heavy cream
Maldon sea salt, for sprinkling
Season short ribs with salt and pepper; toss with flour on rimmed baking pan. In large pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. In batches, shake excess flour from ribs and cook 8 to 10 minutes or until deeply browned on all sides, turning occasionally. Transfer to plate.
Add onions to pot and cook 2 minutes or until golden brown, stirring frequently. Transfer to small bowl. Reduce heat to medium; add garlic and tomato paste. Cook 2 to 4 minutes or until tomato paste browns, stirring constantly.
Add thyme sprigs, rosemary and wine; heat to boiling over medium-high heat. Cook 8 to 10 minutes or until liquid is reduced by half, scraping browned bits from bottom of pot.
Return short ribs to pot; season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer uncovered 2-1/2 hours or until meat is tender and cooking liquid is thick enough to coat a spoon. With tongs; transfer short ribs to cutting board and chop into bite-sized pieces. Strain cooking liquid through fine-mesh strainer into large bowl; discard solids. Stir in short ribs, onions and chopped thyme.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Divide short rib mixture between 4 individual baking dishes. Cut pie crust into 4 pieces large enough to cover dishes (using a rolling pin to roll pie crust larger if needed). Place pie crust over filling, leaving a slight overhang. Crimp edges and cut a few slits in the top of crust. Brush with cream and sprinkle with Maldon salt.
Place baking dishes on rimmed baking sheet and transfer to oven. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.