Braised short rib

Ingredients

- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

- 8 beef short ribs

- ¼ cup all-purpose flour

- 6 thin slices bacon/macon, diced

- 2 tablespoons olive oil

- 3 carrots, diced

- 2 shallots, finely minced

- 1 medium onion, diced

- Splash of red wine

- 4 cups beef broth (enough to almost cover the ribs)

- 2 sprigs fresh thyme

- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary

- Cheese Grits, recipe follows, or regular grits, for serving

Cheese Grits:

- 2 cups stone-ground grits

- ½ teaspoon salt, plus more if needed

- 4 large eggs

- 12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon pieces, plus more for buttering the dish

- 3 cups grated sharp Cheddar (or other cheese), plus more if needed

- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, plus more if needed

- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

Preheat the oven to 160°C. Salt and pepper the ribs, then dredge them in the flour. Set aside.

In a large Dutch oven, cook the bacon/macon over medium heat until completely crispy and all the fat is rendered. Remove the bacon/macon and set aside. Drain off any excess fat.

Add the olive oil to the pan with the bacon fat and raise the heat to high. Brown the ribs on all sides, about 45 seconds per side. Remove the ribs and set aside.

Lower the heat to medium. Add the carrots, shallots and onions to the pan and cook for 2 minutes. Splash in the wine and scrape the bottom of the pan to release all the flavourful bits.

Add the broth, 1 teaspoon kosher salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper and bring to a boil. Taste and add more salt if needed. 

Add the ribs to the liquid; they should be almost completely submerged. Add the thyme and rosemary sprigs (whole) to the liquid.

Finally, add the cooked bacon/macon.

Put on a lid and transfer to the oven. Cook until the ribs are fork-tender and falling off the bone, 2 to 2½ hours.

Remove the pan from the oven and allow to sit for at least 20 minutes with the lid on before serving. At the last minute, skim the fat off the top of the liquid. (You can also refrigerate the mixture, then remove the solid fat from the top.)

For each serving, arrange 2 ribs on a bed of the grits, spooning a little juice over the top.

Cheese Grits:

Cook the grits according to the package instructions, adding the salt with the water. Turn off the heat just before the grits are done.

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs. To temper the eggs before adding them to the hot grits, throw a couple of spoonfuls of the hot grits into the eggs.

Begin stirring immediately and continue stirring until the mixture is well combined.

Pour the egg mixture into the grits. Stir constantly to incorporate the eggs into the grits. Add the butter and stir until melted. Next, add the cheese and stir until melted. 

Add the cayenne and garlic and stir well to combine. Taste and adjust the seasonings, adding more salt or cayenne if necessary.

You could also add more cheese if you think that will bring happiness to your life, but keep in mind that some cheeses increase the salt content more than others.

Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish and pour the grits into the dish. Bake until the grits are hot and bubbly, 30 to 35 minutes.

Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. The grits will become firmer as they cool.