Here is a special occasion meal that is easy to make and delicious. My friend Jen’s birthday was yesterday and I wanted to make a special meal to celebrate the occasion. I invited her and our friend Christine over for a hearty meal of beer braised short ribs, asiago mashed potatoes and tangy greens with a surprise at the end of the meal.
Usually I work a 7 hour shift on Sunday and this week was no different. This recipe was great because it utilized my slow cooker, allowing minimal prep on my end and the ability to be out of the house while I cooked.
On Sunday morning I got my ingredients together. I cut 2 large onions into wedges and lined the bottom of my slow cooker with them and added 3 or so lbs of short ribs on top. In a separate bowl I mixed together a bottle of sam light, Dijon mustard, brown sugar, tomato paste, thyme, salt and pepper and poured it over the meat. I then added a bay leaf to the pot, covered and cooked on low for 10 hours while I went to work.
Once the short ribs were cooked I took the lid off and removed the bones from the meat. The bones should easily slide out when grabbed with tongs. If the removal is not effortless, the ribs are not done yet.
After the bones were removed I took out the meat and onions to a bowl. I used a spoon and skimmed off the fat from the top of the pot and then turned the cooker back on to high. In a separate bowl I mixed 3 tbs of flour with 1/2 a cup cold water and whisked it into the sauce in the cooker. I then let the sauce thicken while stirring occasionally. Once thick I added the ribs an onions back to the pot.
While my sauce was thickening I made my potatoes and greens. For the potatoes I diced up about 6 medium sized Yukon gold potatoes. I added them to a stock pot and covered with cold water. Bring the pot to a boil on the stovetop. Once boiling set a timer for 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes of boiling the potatoes should be fork tender. Drain and put back into the hot stock pot for 5 minutes to evaporate extra moisture. Then put potatoes in a bowl with 2 tbs butter, 1/2 cup light sour cream and 1/2 cup shredded asiago cheese and mash. As you mash slowly pour in milk until potatoes reach desired texture. For me it is usually about a half cup. Chop up 2-3 green onions and fold into the potatoes.
In the last 20 minutes before my guests arrived I made the greens. I had a bag of pre-chopped mustard, turnip and collards greens, but you can just use your favorite. Spinach, kale or swiss chard would also work. I heated a frying pan and added some garlic oil, salt and pepper. Then I added about 3 cups of greens and sautéed until tender. In the last few minutes I added a splash of cider vinegar and they were ready to go.
By the time 6 rolled around and my guests arrived, everything was ready and we were able to all eat, relax and chat, enjoying each others company.
At the end of the meal we did have one little surprise- a birthday cake so the birthday girl could make a wish! I really hope it comes true! 🙂