Growing up there were a lot of food traditions in my family's kitchen. From the garlic cloves marinating in olive oil in a jar that were always present on the counter, to the jar of bacon grease that was carefully strained to be used to cooking and flavoring a variety of dishes Dad had his own way of doing things. One of his traditions was the peasant food he loved to cook from his Jewish heritage. Tsimmes was one of those dishes that was made a ton of different ways. The only constant ingredients were beef, honey, cloves and carrots. The secondary root vegetables carried by when he was making it and what was cheapest at the store or roadside stand where he picked them up. It could be anything from yams to rutabaga, it didn't really matter.
The flavor that comes from the combination of the simple seasonings and transformation the meat goes through when slow braised in the mixture of root vegetables and honey is amazing for all of it's simplicity. I kicked it up a notch by finishing it just before serving with a sprinkle of a great seasoning from the folks at Tongue Spank Spice Co. called "Grappa": a blend of rosemary, oregano, basil, marjoram, thyme, habaneros, sea salt, basaltic vinegar, and grappa that they blend and then dry out into a seasoning.
Give this one a try, with or without the Grappa seasoning the tradition of this recipe lives on in families worldwide for a reason. This is Fat Boy history and Fat Boy Heaven all in one bowl.
Short Rib Tsimmes
Fat Boy Heaven's take on my Father's Tsimmes, a traditional Jewish stew made from root vegetables sweetened with honey and prunes. The flavor comes from the combination of the ingredients and the way the fat in the beef renders during the slow braising. This isn't a fast dish, but it has amazing flavor for such simple ingredients.
- 4 pounds beef short ribs
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon seasoning salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, or as needed
- 4 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 4 large carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 large onions, chopped
- 1 1/2 pounds pitted prunes
- 3/4 cup honey
- 5 whole cloves
- TongueSpank Garlic Grappa
- Pre-heat oven to 350
- Season short ribs with salt, pepper, and garlic powder
- Heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Cook onions until translucent and just starting to caramelize. Remove to large mixing bowl.
- Increase temperature under large skillet to medium-high. Add additional Tablespoon of olive oil if needed. Brown seasoned short ribs on all sides (2-3 minutes per side). Remove to heavy covered pot.
- Add sweet potatoes, carrots, honey, prunes, and cloves to onion mixture and mix thoroughly. Pour over the top of browned short ribs in heavy covered pot.
- Cover pot and place in oven, cooking for 3-4 hours until meat comes away from the bone cleanly. Remove bones and mix. Cook uncovered for another 30 minutes then serve.