If I can cook it, you can cook it And I'll travel the world to bring it back home to you.

Braised Beef Short Ribs with Salsa Verde and Feta

Suzanne Goin


             What’s better than a long braise on a cold winter’s day?  Filling the house with wonderful smells for a few hours, it’s the perfect dish to cook on a wintry Saturday or Sunday when you want to stay indoors.  I’m a big fan of Fine Cooking magazine as regular readers know.  So it was not a big surprise when their recent recipe for Suzanne Goin’s Short Ribs proved a delicious tonic to the cold weather over the weekend.  The flavor is incredible. Even non-Feta loving Andrew enjoyed this tangy salsa verde which transformed these ribs into something we’d never tasted before.  But more on the ribs later…I want to launch a protest against the weekend’s other recipe, also from Fine Cooking. 

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        In the same article on One Pot Dinners in the February/ March issue of Fine Cooking, was a recipe for Braised Duck Legs with figs, star anise and winter squash.   Now we love Duck and it’s quite the bargain—actually costing half what the short ribs did.  If cost had anything to do with flavor, that might explain why the duck was such a disappointment.  There was virtually no taste at all.  The vegetables were overcooked to the point of mush, the crisp duck emerged from its lengthy braise with very little to recommend it.  The whole dinner was a huge disappointment.  The recipe was attributed to Koren Grieveson of the restaurant “Avec” in Chicago.  There’s a note that Chef Grieveson is known for “Robust Mediterranean-inspired cooking”.  Nothing in this dish would lead you to believe that.  Bland as baby food, even the salt was off.  Did anyone at Fine Cooking taste this recipe?   Meanwhile, in January’s Food and Wine, I discovered a recipe for Duck confit tacos.  Unfortunately, it was too late to save our Sunday Night Supper.  Now back to the incredible, falling-off-the-bone ribs.
        Suzanne Goin is famous for her short ribs.   In her wonderful cookbook, Sunday Suppers at Lucques (2005), the Los Angeles chef has a recipe for short ribs with horseradish cream and pureed potatoes. The story goes that she once tried to take the dish off the menu at her restaurant Lucques.  There were such howls of protest from her customers that she had to re-instate  them immediately.   And for good reason.   These short ribs are excellent and like all her recipes, really teach you as you go along.  As a result of her attention to helping you understand the cooking process, her recipes look dauntingly long.  But I can promise you they really are not complicated.  The ingredient list for today’s recipe only required the purchase of three fresh herbs, a $2.10 piece of French Feta and the short ribs themselves.  We had everything else in the fridge or the pantry.  As I mentioned earlier, Feta is not a staple in our house.  But the only difference I could see between Greek Feta and French Feta was likely in the crumble.  The French cheese is creamier.   I served this a side of spinach and alongside some wonderful little Yukon Gold potatoes labeled Teeny Tiny Potatoes by the people at Trader Joes.  My, they were good.  The recipe is for 6 servings.  I easily cut it down for two but since my short ribs were not the 14-16 ounce size, I used 4 ribs and 1/3 of the rest of the recipe. I did not do the overnight in the fridge.  I rubbed them with thyme and put them in the fridge when I got home and an hour and half later, I proceeded. If you have the time, go with the overnight. I’m sure it would only add to the fantastic flavor.  Here’s the recipe it is:

9 thoughts on “Braised Beef Short Ribs with Salsa Verde and Feta”

  • Could not send the blog out fast enought to my East Coast carnivores!! ARE YA READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL??!! Thank you Monte!!

  • That looks absolutely fabulous. I'm pregnant and avoiding all alcohol (even cooked)just to be on the safe side. I wonder if I could substitute a mixture of apple cider and balsamic vinegars for the wine and port? I suppose that would change the flavor palatte, but it probably would still pair nicely with the salsa verde… Thanks for the great recipe.

  • Dear City Share. Congratulations and best wishes. I am sure you could make the substitutions you want to but it would certainly change the flavor profile. What about substituting some beef broth for the wine? I think the sweetness of the cider might clash with the salsa. I am sure the balsamic will be perfectly fine–but I would cut way back on it and taste, taste, taste until you've got to where you want it to be. Beware, this recipe cooks down–even with the aluminium foil so make sure there's plenty of liquid in the pot.
    Ana– are you a Steelers or Green Bay fan?

  • While no explanation was given for Ms. Goin's choice of French feta, I picked this up from http://www.cheese.about.com:

    "Many countries claim Feta as "their" cheese, but it is hard to say who was truly the first to make it. Wherever Feta is made in the world, its basic characteristics don't change – salty, tangy and milky with a creamy yet crumbly texture. There are slight variances, however, in flavor and texture depending on what type of milk is used (cow, sheep or goat) and where the Feta is made.

    French Feta: Usually made with sheeps' milk (often in the same region where the sheep's milk blue cheese, Roquefort, is made). Typically French Feta is mild and creamy. Some goats' milk Feta is also made in France and can be slightly drier and tangier. "

    I am not sure that helps, Bubbles. We might also take into consideration the fact that Ms. Goin's restaurant, Lucques,has a decidedly French focus. Perhaps it's as simple as that.

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