Restaurant Quality Dinner at Home!

Fancy dinners don't have to mean high-end prices! Take the time and effort to make it at home in a more intimate setting and save a buck or two. That's the exact idea behind my most recent date night in, no fuss over parking, reservations and high wine list prices.

I received a new dutch oven for Christmas and have been dying to try a new recipe. First thing that comes to mind...braised short ribs! Found an easy, elegant recipe from Tyler Florence and served it with parmesan risotto and a glass of Chateauneuf du Pape. The earthyness of the ribs in a sticky sauce paired perfectly with the Old World style of Chateaneuf du Pape. The sauce consisting of thyme, honey, and wine made a perfect glaze over the tender beef ribs. Find the recipe below and try it for yourself. Total cost of date night in: About $75 with ingredients and a bottle of CdP. Try to match that fancy new DC restaurant!

Sticky Braised Short Ribs with Parmesan Risotto

Short Ribs3 tbsp olive oil
3 lbs of short ribs
Salt & Pepper
1 medium onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 tbsp sweet paprika
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1/2 cup honey
1 lemon, juiced and zest
1 cup dry red wine
2 cups beef stock

2 cups chicken stock
2 cups water
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups aborio rice
1/2 cup parmesan
3 tbsp pesto
Salt & Pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Begin with the short ribs. In a dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Season each short rib with salt and pepper and brown on all sides. Remove short ribs and set aside. Add the onion, carrot, paprika, and thyme and cook until softened, about 10 minutes.  Pour in the honey, red wine, lemon juice and stock and bring it to a boil. Return the meat to the pan; the liquid should just about cover the meat. Place the pot in the oven and put on the lid loosely to allow the steam to escape and the sauce to thicken. Cook until the meat is very tender, 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Place the meat on a platter and keep it warm. If necessary, cook the liquid over high heat until it is thick and syrupy.

During the last 45 minutes while the ribs are braising, start the risotto. Add the stock and water to a pan and bring to a simmer. In another pot, saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil until softened. Add the rice and stir until all juice is absorbed. Start adding 1/2 cup of the stock/water every few minutes and stir until fully absorbed. Continue this process for about 30 minutes until the aborio rice is tender. Add the parmesan, pesto and salt and pepper. Serve warm with the short ribs and sticky sauce!

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