This past weekend I shared a picture of one of our favorite meals:  Braised Beef Short Ribs.  This recipe originates from The Food Network courtesy of Chef Anne Burrell.  I have made this several times and It always turns out perfectly.  Chef Burrell serves it over mashed potatoes but I prefer a quick cooking polenta with Southern Greens on the side as shown.  Tomorrow I will share with you how I used the leftovers!


6 bone-in short ribs (about 5 3/4 pounds)
Kosher salt
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 large Spanish onion, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 ribs celery, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 carrots, peeled, cut in 1/2 lengthwise, then cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 1/2 cups tomato paste (I prefer only 3/4 cup)
2 to 3 cups hearty red wine (I prefer half beef broth and half red wine)
2 cups water
1 bunch fresh thyme, tied with kitchen string
2 bay leaves

Season each short rib generously with salt. Coat a pot large enough to accommodate all the meat and vegetables with olive oil and bring to a high heat. Add the short ribs to the pan and brown very well, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Do not overcrowd pan. Cook in batches, if necessary.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
While the short ribs are browning, puree all the vegetables and garlic in the food processor until it forms a coarse paste. When the short ribs are very brown on all sides, remove them from the pan. Drain the fat, coat the bottom of same pan with fresh oil and add the pureed vegetables. Season the vegetables generously with salt and brown until they are very dark and a crud has formed on the bottom of the pan, approximately 5 to 7 minutes. Scrape the crud and let it reform. Scrape the crud again and add the tomato paste. Brown the tomato paste for 4 to 5 minutes. Add the wine and scrape the bottom of the pan. Lower the heat if things start to burn. Reduce the mixture by half.
Return the short ribs to the pan and add 2 cups water or until the water has just about covered the meat. Add the thyme bundle and bay leaves. Cover the pan and place in the preheated oven for 3 hours. Check periodically during the cooking process and add more water, if needed. Turn the ribs over halfway through the cooking time. Remove the lid during the last 20 minutes of cooking to let things get nice and brown and to let the sauce reduce. When done the meat should be very tender but not falling apart. Serve with the braising liquid.

*Note:  I changed temperature to 325 degrees and achieved a more tender meat               

One of my favorite go-to magazines when I need a recipe that is usually  delicious but also accurate in the directions is Fine Cooking Magazine.  I knew immediately when I saw the cover of the Feb/March edition that I had my first recipe to test for my new blog, Recipe Realities. 

                                                Beef and Three-Bean Chili


  • 4-1/2 Tbs. vegetable oil      
  • 2 lb. beef sirloin tips or lean chuck steak, trimmed of excess fat, and cut into 3/4-inch dice      
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper      
  • 2 cups chopped yellow onion      
  • 2 to 4 medium cloves garlic, chopped      
  • 1 fresh poblano chile, chopped      
  • 1 cup chopped fresh yellow bell pepper      
  • 2 Tbs. chili powder      
  • 1 Tbs. ground cumin      
  • 1 Tbs. tomato paste      
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme      
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander      
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne      
  • 3/4 cup hard cider      
  • 2-1/2 to 3 cups beef broth (homemade or lower-salt store-bought)      
  • 2-1/3 cups cooked pink beans (home-cooked or canned from one 19 oz. can, rinsed and drained)      
  • 2-1/3 cups cooked black beans (home-cooked or canned from one 19 oz. can, rinsed and drained)      
  • 2-1/3 cups cooked dark red kidney beans (home-cooked or canned from one 19 oz. can, rinsed and drained)      
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh or thawed frozen corn kernels      
  • 1 Tbs. cider vinegar      
  •          Garnishes: diced red onion, grated Cheddar, diced tomato, chopped fresh jalapeños, lime wedges, green onions

Heat 2 Tbs. of the oil in a heavy-duty 6-quart pot over  medium-high heat until shimmering hot. Pat the beef dry, and season with 1-1/2 tsp. salt and 3/4 tsp. pepper. Cook half of the beef,  undisturbed, until browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip and cook, turning  occasionally, until well browned, 2 to 3 minutes. 

Transfer to a large  plate. Add another 1 Tbs. oil to the pot, and brown the remaining beef;  transfer to the plate along with any liquid from the pot.

Add the remaining 1-1/2 Tbs. of oil, the onion, and garlic to  the pot. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. salt and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in the poblano, bell pepper, chili powder, cumin, tomato paste, thyme,  coriander, and cayenne, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 1 to 2  minutes. 

Pour in the cider, turn the heat up to high, and cook, scraping the bottom of the pot to loosen any browned bits, until most of the  liquid is evaporated, about 2 minutes.  Add the broth and bring to a simmer.

Turn the heat down to medium low. Purée 1-1/2 cups of the beans in a blender or food processor, adding a little stewing liquid as  needed, and then stir the puréed beans into the stewing liquid in the  pot. Return the beef, along with any accumulated juice, to the pot. Add  the remaining whole beans. 

Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally,  until the meat is tender, about 1 hour. If the chili gets too thick,  thin it with a little water.

Add the corn to the chili and cook until tender, about 10 minutes.

Stir in the vinegar, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with the garnishes.

The final product….

My Take:  The base of this chili is amazing and you can do so many things with it but for me using sirloin instead of a ground protein or a shredded chicken or beef,  make it seem more like a stew than a chili.

Bottom Line:  Substitute the sirloin and you have a winning recipe!  

Why the Recipe Realities Blog?

Day after day we all see recipes in a cooking magazine or on a foodie television show that we think, “I would love to make that!” But is that recipe really one designed for the home cook?  I understand the concept of food photography, but will my finished product resemble their picture?  These are questions that we will uncover together by testing those recipes, giving feedback, and helping the home cook to make good choices so we all can become even better in the kitchen!

I am new to blogging so I hope you will join me in this journey of Recipe Realities!  Stay tuned for this weekend’s first recipe reality test…Fine Cooking Magazine’s Feb/March Cover Recipe:  Beef and Three Bean Chili


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