Thursday, February 25, 2010

Grilled Cheese ... With Short Ribs (Naturally)

Dear Bon Appetit Magazine,

Kudos to you for your cover recipe last month, the one that travelled with me to and from Virginia, peeking out of my purse and making my tummy rumble on the plane; the one that constantly glared at me from the kitchen table for the following weeks; the one that immediately seized David by the stomach, prompting him to ask--almost daily--"When are we going to have that sandwich?"

You sent me to the store. You brought me home with ribs. You made me wait while the meat slow roasted. You forced me into the seemingly unnecessary step of quick pickling (quickling?) onions. But then, oh then, you gave me one of the best sandwiches of my life. I forgive you for the trouble and promise to repent in all depth and sincerity every time I eat this grilled cheese. Which will be often. Often.


P.S. Here's an idea: You could probably buy any type of beef that makes good stew meat, slow roast it with just some salt, pepper, a couple slices of onion, and some water, break it up and serve that on the sandwich--am I right?

Grilled Cheese and Short Rib Sandwich
serves 2; takes several hours for the roasting of the meat; about 20 minutes once it's done.

The Beef:
1 1/2 ish lbs. beef short ribs
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1/2 small onion, chopped
1/4 cup dry red wine
2 Tbsp water or broth
1 garlic clove, smashed
1 bay leaf
Pinch fresh or dried thyme
  • Season ribs liberally with salt and pepper. Melt a pad of butter or some olive oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Add ribs and sear on all sides until brown, about 8 minutes total. Remove ribs to a rimmed plate and add vegetables to pot, sauteing until they start to brown, about 5 minutes. Add wine, water/broth, garlic, bay leaf, and thyme. Bring to boil, then reduce heat, return ribs to pot, cover and simmer 1 hour. After an hour, flip the ribs and cook an hour more. Remove cover and cook 30 more minutes.
  • Turn off heat and allow ribs to cool. When you can handle them, pull them out and pick all the meat off, discarding the fat and bones, and breaking into bite size pieces. Spoon fat off of sauce left in pot and return meat chunks to it.
The onions:
1/2 small red onion, sliced thin
1/2 Tbsp butter
1 tsp sugar
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • In a small skillet over medium high heat, melt the butter and saute the onions, adding a little salt. Cook until tender, 6ish minutes. Add vinegar and salt, stirring until vinegar is absorbed. Keep handy.
The rest:
Monterey Jack cheese, sliced
Arugula or mesclun greens
More butter
  • Heat up your griddle, skillet, or whatever. Butter outsides of bread and layer as follows: 1. Bread; 2. Meat mixture; 3. Cheese; 4. Onions; 5. Greens; 6. Bread.
  • Cook over medium heat until bread is crispy and cheese is melted.


  1. ABBY your timing is impeccable. We are sitting here with a leftover pot roast in our fridge thinking "Oh my, last minute dinner guests and leftover pot roast, WHATEVER should we do?". And, bingo! You are a genius! Thanks for helping us clog our arteries with taste!