Back in the late 1970's when I was a very young Bride with two small children we lived in Calgary, Alberta for a while, and the later on near Edmonton in a small town called Stony Plain. We were friends with a lovely family, the McNevins. Their son had been a soldier in my ex husband's Infantry Platoon, having gone through basic training together.
These people were the salt of the earth and so very kind to me. I was thousands of miles away from my own family, with little or no support, with a husband who was often away and they kind of took me under their wing. We often spent weekends with them and their family.
Mr McNevin had been a helicopter Pilot for a Heli-Ski company and my oldest son saw him as sort of a Grandfather of sorts, and his wife Lil was almost like a Grandmother to the kids. They had a very old and slobbery British bulldog, named Bing, who was very gentle. He liked to pull our daughter Eileen around the house in her walker holding onto her hand very gently with his mouth.
I can't say that I was exactly thrilled germ-wise with the idea of my wee girl being pulled around with her hand in a dog's mouth, but it was harmless, and the dog was gentle. I was so shy back then I couldn't bring myself to say anything, but I always scoured and cleaned her hands very carefully afterwards. UGH.
Anyways, Lil was a bit of a diamond in the rough and a fantastic cook. She had raised a large family, all girls except for Bob, who was my ex's friend. All the girls were great cooks also, and one even had her own restaurant. Anyways, they were happy to share their recipes with me, which I laborously copied out in my Big Blue Binder. This recipe is one of theirs.
You need to begin these the night before as the ribs need to be marinated in a mixture overnight. I was lucky enough to score some short ribs in my very last grocery order a month or so ago. They are not something you see very often here in the UK.
So when I saw them, I nabbed a pack. It had been a very long time since I had eaten this delicious recipe so I was as pleased as punch to get them!
Marinated over night, they are patted dry the next day, rolled in flour and then browned until golden all over. You then pour the marinade in it's entirety over top and braise them until they are falling apart tender.
You can either simmer them on top of the stove, covered tightly, or braise them in the oven, again tightly covered. This time I braised them in the oven. The resultant gravy is really delicious and that meat just melts in your mouth.
We enjoyed them with some oven baked potatoes. I just wash, prick with a fork, and throw them into the oven along side the casserole dish, right on the oven rack. Plenty of air circulates around them and the skins get lovely and crisp. I also cooked some frozen corn.
With ImageWithout Image Short Ribs a La Sauerbraten Yield: 6
Author: Marie Rayner I should call these Lil's short ribs after the lovely woman who shared them with me back in the 1970's. Tender and delicious. Ingredients: 6 pounds beef short ribs 480ml tomato ketchup (2 cups) 480ml water (2 cups) 1/4 tsp ground allspice 2 TBS sugar 2 TBS prepared horseradish 2 broken bay leaves 2 TBS dry mustard powder 2 TBS red wine vinegar 2 TBS worcestershire sauce 1/2 tsp black pepper 1 tsp salt 4 onions, peeled and thinly sliced flour fat for browning Instructions: How to cook Short Ribs a La Sauerbraten Place the ribs into a bowl. Whisk together all of the ingredients, with the exception of the flour and fat. Pour over the ribs. Cover and then refrigerate overnight. The next day take them out of the fridge. Remove the ribs from the marinade, reserving the marinade. Pat the ribs dry and coat in flour, shaking off any excess. Heat some fat in a large flameproof casserole. Brown the ribs in the fat on all sides. Once you have browned them well, pour the reserved marinade over top. Bring to the boil, then cover and simmer over low heat for 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours, until tender. Delicious! Notes: Alternately these can be baked, covered tightly, in a slow oven for several hours. (about 160*F/325*F/gas mark 3)
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When I think back through the years, I can see clearly how the cook I am today has been greatly influenced by the examples of lots of great cooks through the years, each one contributing something special to the mosaic of culinary skills I possess. I am grateful for each and every one of them.
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