Madewell Makes: Winter Braised Short Ribs

By Marcy Roberts

Here’s a perfect recipe for a winter dinner party with a few friends. Six happy people recently enjoyed it over a potato and celery root purée with a crusty baguette to dip into the delicious sauce and a green salad to start.

imagePhotos by Greg Vore   

INGREDIENTS

5-6 lbs. bone-in short ribs

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Extra-virgin olive oil

1 large Spanish onion, chopped

3 ribs celery, chopped

10-12 carrots, 2 peeled and chopped, 10 cut into 3” pieces 

2 cloves garlic, smashed

1/4 cup tomato paste

2–3 cups hearty red wine

1 28 oz. can tomato puree

2 cups water

1 bunch fresh thyme, tied with kitchen string

2 bay leaves

1/2 cup pitted green olives, quartered

Handful fresh parsley, chopped

DIRECTIONS

1. Season each short rib generously with salt and pepper. Let them sit at room temperature for an hour or two if you can; they’ll taste better.
Coat a large oven-safe pot or Dutch oven with a few glugs of olive oil and bring to a medium-high heat on stovetop. Add the short ribs to the pan and brown very well, about 3 minutes per side. Do not overcrowd pan. Cook in batches, if necessary.

2. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

3. When the short ribs are very brown on all sides, remove them from the pot. Drain the fat, coat the bottom of same pot with a little fresh oil and add the chopped onions, celery and carrots, reserving 3” carrot pieces. Season generously with salt and cook over medium heat until vegetables are soft and onions are translucent, approximately 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and tomato paste and brown for 4 to 5 minutes. Add the wine and scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add the tomato puree and cook another 10 minutes to reduce the liquid and concentrate the flavors.

4. Return the short ribs to the pot and add 2 cups water or enough to just about cover the meat. Add the thyme bundle and bay leaves. Cover the pot and place in the preheated oven for about 3 hours (yes really—you cannot overcook this!). Check periodically during the cooking process and add more water if needed. Halfway through the cooking time, turn the ribs over and add the remaining carrots. After 3 hours, the meat should be fall-off-the-bones tender. Reduce the heat to 250 degrees F. Remove the lid, add the olives and parsley and cook for another 20 minutes to get nice and brown and to let the sauce reduce.  Spoon over the carb of your choice, sprinkle with more chopped fresh herbs (parsley and chives) and serve! 

3 Easy Pizzas That’ll Impress Your Guests

by Marcy Roberts (Madewell)

Pizza has to be one of my favorite meals to serve at a casual dinner party: Everyone likes to get involved in the preparation, so you can spend more time chatting up guests. Plus, you don’t actually have to go through the trouble of making your own dough and waiting for it to rise; your local pizza place will sell you a delicious fresh ball, no problem (mine charges $4 for a large, which is enough for about three homemade pies!).

To keep things interesting, I always choose a few varieties—this time, the classic margherita, the potato pizza and the deliciously meaty prosciutto/taleggio/arugula pizza. Here’s how to recreate these tasty party treats:

1. MARGHERITA

Topping ingredients:
1 ball fresh mozzarella cheese
Fresh basil leaves

Tomato sauce ingredients:
1 28 oz. can whole San Marzano tomatoes
1 shallot, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pinch crushed red pepper
Olive oil

Preparation:

  1. Empty tomatoes into large bowl and break down with your hands.
  2. Heat 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large shallow pan over medium heat.
  3. Add shallot and sauté for four minutes or until translucent.
  4. Add tomatoes, salt and crushed red pepper and bring to a boil. Turn down heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes until thickened.
  5. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. (Tip: If you like your crust crisp, place your pizza stone or baking sheet facedown inside the oven to heat it up.)
  6. Separate your dough into softball-size balls, then using your hands or a rolling pin, flatten each ball of dough on a floured surface to the size of your pan/stone.
  7. Spread a few spoonfuls of sauce over the dough, scatter slices of mozzarella cheese, then sprinkle with olive oil and salt.
  8. Bake pizza about 20 minutes or until bottom is golden brown.
  9. Let cool slightly, top with shredded basil, slice into pieces and serve.

2. POTATO

Topping ingredients:
3-4 small or fingerling Yukon gold potatoes, thinly sliced (about 2 cups) 
1 shallot, thinly sliced
3-4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Crushed red pepper
Fresh rosemary leaves

Preparation:

  1. Slice potatoes very thinly using a knife or a mandoline, then soak in cold water to remove excess starch (they’ll cook faster!).
  2. Drain potato slices in a colander, then toss with 1/2 teaspoon salt and set aside for 10 minutes.
  3. Dry potato slices with paper towels, then toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil and a sprinkle of crushed red pepper in a medium bowl.
  4. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. (Tip: If you like your crust crisp, place your pizza stone or baking sheet facedown inside the oven to heat it up.)
  5. Separate your dough into softball-size balls, then using your hands or a rolling pin, flatten each ball of dough on a floured surface to the size of your pan/stone.
  6. Evenly spread potatoes over the dough up to the very edge.
  7. Season with a bit of sea or kosher salt, drizzle with olive oil, then sprinkle with rosemary.
  8. Bake pizza about 20 minutes or until bottom is golden brown.
  9. Let cool slightly, slice into pieces and serve.

3. PROSCIUTTO/TALEGGIO/ARUGULA

Topping ingredients:
4 oz. taleggio cheese
1/4 cup shredded parmesan
6 thin slices of prosciutto
Handful of arugula

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. (Tip: If you like your crust crisp, place your pizza stone or baking sheet facedown inside the oven to heat it up.)
  2. Separate your dough into softball-size balls, then using your hands or a rolling pin, flatten each ball of dough on a floured surface to the size of your pan/stone.
  3. Sprinkle small slices of taleggio over dough and drizzle with olive oil.
  4. Bake pizza about 20 minutes or until bottom is golden brown.
  5. Add prosciutto, arugula and another drizzle of olive oil immediately after removing from oven.
  6. Let cool slightly, slice into pieces and serve.

A summer stew how-to

by Marcy Roberts (Madewell)

It’s peak harvest season, so farmer’s markets are bursting with everything from tomatoes to herbs to beets to carrots to peaches to plums. And this past weekend, I decided to visit my local greenmarket for some dinner inspiration—and grabbed what turned out to be the makings of a delicious fish stew: littleneck clams, striped bass, yellow beans, Poblano peppers, Yukon gold potatoes, basil and a couple of onions.

 

Though concepting dishes isn’t my specialty, I’m really great at finding tasty recipes and tweaking them based on the contents of my cupboard. So after a little Googling, I dug up an amazing New York Times recipe for Provençal fish stew and put my own little twist on it. Here’s how to recreate it:

 

INGREDIENTS

1 leek, chopped

2 Poblano peppers, seeded and cut into thin strips

2 carrots, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 pinch of saffron

1 14 0z. can peeled Italian tomatoes (pureed)

4 Yukon gold potatoes, cut into fourths

1 lb. yellow string beans

2 dozen clams

1 cup dry white wine

1 pound fish fillets (striped bass, red snapper or cod)

1/2 cup chopped basil

 

PREPARATION

1. Slice the leek and place it in a bowl of cold water. Rinse thoroughly to make sure all the grit is removed.

2. In a large pot, sauté the peppers, carrots and garlic in the olive oil with the pepper flakes until soft but not brown. Add the tomatoes and about a cup of water. Add the potatoes and simmer gently for about 10 minutes. Add the beans and cook for another 10 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked.

3. Meanwhile, scrub the clams. Heat the white wine in a large pan and add the clams, cooking over high heat until they open (about 6-10 minutes). Remove them from the pan as soon as they open their shells; otherwise, they will become tough. Strain the cooking liquid (I line a strainer with a paper towel to grab all the sand) and add it to the tomatoes and vegetables along with the saffron.

4. Cut the fish fillet into two-inch pieces and add to the casserole, cover and cook for 5-6 minutes. Add the clams just long enough to heat through.

5. Sprinkle with basil and serve immediately (with a crusty baguette!).