Cowboy Short Ribs
- 2 small fresh or dried hot red chiles, each about 1 1/2 inches long, stemmed, seeded and coarsely chopped
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 4 pounds lean short ribs of beef, cut into 2-inch long pieces
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 cup flour
- 4 tablespoons lard
- 1 large onion, peeled and sliced crosswise into 1/4-inch- thick rounds
- 5 medium-size firm ripe tomatoes, stemmed, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 12 ounces (1 1/2 cups) beer
- With a mortar and pestle, or in a small bowl with the back of a spoon, crush
the two red chiles, garlic, nutmeg and 1/2 teaspoon of the black pepper together.
- Add the sugar and soy sauce, and pound the mixture to a smooth paste. Set aside.
- Pat the short ribs completely dry with paper towels and season them on all sides
with 1 1/2 teaspoons of the salt and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper.
- One at a time, roll the short ribs about in the flour to coat them evenly, then
vigorously shake off the excess flour.
- Melt the lard over moderate heat in a heavy 5- to 6-quart casserole at least
10 inches in diameter. Brown the short ribs in the hot fat, five or six pieces at
a time, turning them frequently with tongs and regulating the heat so that they
color richly and evenly on all sides without burning. As they brown, transfer the
ribs to a plate.
- Pour off all but about 2 tablespoons of the fat remaining in the casserole and
add the onion slices. Stirring frequently, cook for about 5 minutes, until the onion
slices are soft and translucent but not brown.
- Add the tomatoes and the reserved
chili paste and cook briskly, stirring from time to time, until the mixture is thick
enough to hold its shape almost solidly in a spoon.
- Return the meat and the liquid that has accumulated around it to the casserole,
stir in the beer and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to its lowest
setting, partially cover the pot and simmer for about 2 hours, or until the short
ribs are tender and show no resistance when pierced with the point of a small knife.
- Taste for seasoning.
Serves 6 to 8.
Source: American Cooking: The Great West - Time-Life Foods of the World