Like my friend Sherry, I grew up in an Italian-American household. My Sicilian father and his many sisters taught my Irish mother how to cook the basics, which she skillfully added to her repertoire of American classics, like pot roast and tuna casserole. In our kitchen, cooking red sauce was an all-day affair, and my sisters and I couldn’t resist dipping into the pot with a piece of bread for a taste – often leaving barely enough for dinner.
While these BBQ short-ribs are nothing like our family’s sauce, you’ll be tempted to dip into the pot long before dinnertime.
- 1 TBSP olive oil
- 4 short ribs
- salt + pepper
- ½ red onion, cut into thin wedges
- 6 or more cloves garlic, minced
- 1 chili pepper, seeded, left whole
- 2 TBSP grainy mustard
- 1 cup BBQ sauce (I use Pat's Ho-made)
- ¼ cup maple syrup (or use brown sugar if you don't have the real stuff)
- 6 oz. tomato paste
- 2 cups beef, chicken, or mild vegetable stock (I used mushroom)
- Heat the olive oil in a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Salt and pepper the ribs, and add to the hot oil, turning every few minutes to brown each side. Remove the browned ribs to a plate.
- Into the hot oil, add the onion, garlic, and chili, turn the heat to medium, and sauté until slightly browned.
- Stir in the mustard, BBQ sauce, maple syrup, tomato paste, salt and pepper, and cook a minute or two. Stir in the broth and bring to a boil.
- Add the ribs back to the pot, cover, and turn the heat down to low. Cook three hours, or until the meat is falling off the bones.
- Remove the ribs to a serving plate, turn up the heat, and simmer the sauce until it thickens a bit. You'll probably need to skim off some fat.
- Serve two ribs to a plate with extra sauce on top and something light and fresh - like salad - on the side. And don't forget the bread.