"Forgotten" Short Ribs

Meet my new dutch oven:

It goes at least as far back as my grandfather so, last week when I was home, I finally made the effort and lugged it back to Chicago with me. I might be a little too excited about it…

I also started to dig through my mom’s old recipe files while I was there and decided to kind of take it on as a project to sort through and document them. I grew up with many of these dishes, but some are actually new to me. Most are handwritten on index cards, so I certainly don’t want them to get lost.

Sidenote: One thing I learned was that savory jello molds were a “thing” at one time (a trend I pray never returns). One recipe, in particular, had lime jello, spinach, mayonnaise, and cottage cheese. Awful.

Despite that though, my grandmother really was a good cook and has a lot of wonderful recipes to show for it. I decided to make a short rib recipe last weekend since I was dying to try out my new dutch oven. This recipe actually comes from my mom’s aunt, which I had never tried before but my parents both raved about it. They’re named “forgotten” short ribs because they sit in the oven for a long period of time at such a low temperature that you can supposedly forget about them until they’re cooked. They made my apartment smell so good though that it was hard to not keep checking on them! They should also be made the night before you want to serve them so the fat rendered from the ribs can solidify and be skimmed off the top.

Forgotten Short Ribs

3 lbs beef shortribs
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 small onion, chopped
1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
2 tbsp. molasses
2 tbsp. cider vinegar
1 tsp. Liquid smoke
Dash of hot sauce

1. Heat some vegetable oil in a dutch oven. Sprinkle salt and pepper on all sides of the short ribs and brown on both sides in the hot oil.

2. Remove the short ribs and take out most of the oil. Sauté the onion until soft in a small amount of the remaining oil. Add the tomato sauce, molasses, vinegar, liquid smoke, and hot sauce (to taste). Simmer for 5 minutes.

3. Add the short ribs back into the pot with the sauce. Cover and bake in a 275 degree oven for 3-4 hours, or until very tender.

4. When the ribs are done, remove them from the pot. Refrigerate the sauce in the pot and the short ribs separately.

5. The next day, carefully skim the solidified fat from the short ribs off the top of the sauce. Then, heat the sauce and add the short ribs back in.

6. Take the bones out (the meat should fall off the bone at this point). Lightly shred the meat with a fork.

I served this with grilled polenta rounds and some chopped parsley, but I’m sure it would be great with potatoes or even on a sandwich. The sauce is barbeque-y, so anything that would go well with barbeque would go well with these short ribs.

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