Oven Baked Short Ribs with Beer Boosted BBQ Sauce


I’m a fan of Amy Thielen, chef and host of Food Network’s Heattland Table. I actually owned her book, The New Midwestern Table, before she had a cooking show. She recently moved back to Minnesota and is growing her own vegetables, cooking over open fire in her yard, and really living the Midwestern life. Although, most of the working the land, growing her own food (almost all of it!) is not familiar to me or relatable ☺ , her cooking style is fantastic and I love her recipes. She uses fresh ingredients, great flavor combinations and easy techniques to create scrumptious meals that families would enjoy. This one is slightly adapted by me, to make it simpler and I’ve also included a crock-pot version for those of you who like that easy cooking option. These are seriously flavorful ribs that fall off the bone. Make them mid-week as a treat or on a Shabbos night.

Oven Baked Short Ribs with Beer Boosted BBQ Sauce
Serves 6 - 8
6 pounds beef short ribs, on the bone
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon crusted red pepper
1 -inch knob fresh ginger root, peeled and cut into 4 pieces, then slightly smashed
Beer BBQ Sauce:
1 fresh jalapeno pepper (depending on desired heat), stem discarded – for a little heat just chop and include seeds, for little to no heat, remove seeds and membrane)
1/2 medium sweet onion, cubed
4 inches fresh ginger root, peeled and sliced
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons margarine
1 bottle dark beer
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro or parsley
Zest and juice of 1 lime (2 teaspoons zest, 2 tablespoons juice)

For the ribs: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Rub each piece of rib with salt, and sprinkle with the pepper, thyme and crushed red pepper. Arrange the ribs in a large roasting pan, add 1/4 cup water, and the ginger, cover tightly and bake until tender when poked with a fork, about 3 hours.

For the beer bbq sauce: In a food processor, combine the jalapeno, onions, ginger and salt, and process until smooth.

Heat a large saute pan over medium heat and add the margarine. Add the onion mixture to the pan and cook, stirring often, until caramelized, about 10 minutes. Add the beer, molasses, brown sugar and maple syrup, and cook at a simmer until the mixture thickens but is still saucy, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the cilantro, lime zest and juice and a bit of the pan juices.

To glaze the ribs, raise the oven temperature to 450 degrees F. (You may also glaze these ribs over a medium-hot grill.)

Brush the mop on both sides of the ribs and roast, stopping to reapply the mop, until you've used it all and the ribs are coated with shiny black glaze, about 10 minutes.

Crock Pot Version

Rub each piece of rib with salt, and sprinkle with the pepper, thyme and crushed red pepper. Arrange the ribs in crock pot, add 1/4 cup water, and the ginger, cover tightly and cook on high until tender when poked with a fork, about 3 - 5 hours.

For the beer bbq sauce: In a food processor, combine the jalapeno, onions, ginger and salt, and process until smooth.

Heat a large saute pan over medium heat and add the margarine. Add the onion mixture to the pan and cook, stirring often, until caramelized, about 10 minutes. Add the beer, molasses, brown sugar and maple syrup, and cook at a simmer until the mixture thickens but is still saucy, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the cilantro, lime zest and juice and a bit of the pan juices.

Add sauce to ribs and toss to coat. Cook an additional 1 -2 hours or until ribs are tender.

Alternatively, place ribs, spices, water and cooked prepared bbq sauce in crock pot and toss to coat. Cook on high 5 – 7 hours until ribs are tender and cooked through.

Barbeque Meatballs

Makes about 2 cups of sauce and serves 6-8

2 cups barbecue sauce
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, non-fish variety
25-count bag All-Purpose Meatballs (still frozen is fine)
Mashed potatoes, for serving

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the barbecue sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, hot sauce and Worcestershire and bring to a boil. Add the Basic Meatballs and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook until the meatballs are heated through, 8 to 10 minutes.

Spoon over mashed potatoes and sprinkle with parsley. Serve with a green salad.

Meatballs with Three Sauces

Make these basic meatballs and freeze them in bags so that you can whip them out and add a sauce for a quick dinner any day of the week. These can be made with ground chicken or turkey too.

Basic Meatballs
Makes about 125 meatballs

5 pounds ground beef, chicken, turkey or a mixture
1-1/2 cups plain breadcrumbs
1/2 cup soymilk or almond milk
1/4 cup non-dairy creamer or pareve whipping cream
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 large eggs

To make the meatballs, combine the ground beef, breadcrumbs, soymilk, pareve cream, parsley, mustard, salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes and eggs in a large mixing bowl. Mix together well with your hands. Scoop out 1-tablespoon portions and roll them into balls with your hands. Place the meatballs onto parchment-lined baking sheets and put the baking sheets.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes.

Freezer instructions: Put the cooked meatballs in a single layer on baking sheets and put into the freezer. When frozen, divide them into freezer bags, 25 per bag, and return them to the freezer.

Crispy Herb Roasted Chicken

Serves 4

1 (3 -4 pound) whole chicken, or pieces
¾ stick (6 tablespoons) margarine, room temperature (use Earthbalance margarine sticks which are compressed canola oil)
Zest and juice of 1 orange
3 gloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 ½ teaspoons Kosher salt
½ - 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 - 3 tablesooons fresh herbs of your choice, basil, oregano, chives, tarragon, sage, dill, parsley, etc.)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard (for Passover use Passover mustard)
2 tablespoons honey

Place chicken in large roasting pan.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a small bowl, mix margarine, orange zest(reserve juice for later), garlic, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, herbs, and Dijon mustard until blended. With your fingers, gently separate skin from chicken, leaving the skin on the pieces/whole chicken but allowing space to coat the top of the chicken meat. Use half of the herb mixture and spread under the chicken skin, coating all the chicken. Use the other half on top of the chicken skin, coating all the skin with herb mixture. Drizzle the orange juice and honey over the chicken.

Cook for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until chicken is golden brown and cooked through. Internal temperature should be 165 degrees. For chicken pieces, 1 hour should be enough.

Maple Dijon Chicken

Serves 8 servings

2 chickens, cut in 1/8’s
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
2/3 cup pure maple syrup
2/3 cup orange juice
4 tablespoons Dijon mustard (for Passover use 2 tablespoons Passover mustard)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1-1/2 teaspoons dried thyme or rosemary

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place chickens in two low-sided roasting pans. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

In a small saucepan, whisk together maple syrup, orange juice, mustard, oil, and thyme or rosemary. Simmer over medium heat until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Pour evenly over chicken.

Roast chicken, basting occasionally, for about 50 minutes or until juices run clear, or an internal thermometer registers 170 degrees.

Serve with pan juices.

Super Simple Lemony Roast Chicken

Serves 4

½ loaf stale challah, torn into pieces (for Passover use 2 lbs. baby red potatoes cut in half)
4 shallots, quartered
2 lemons, quartered
6 cloves garlic, each cut in half
¼ cup olive oil
1 chicken, cut in 1/8’s
Kosher salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup parsley, chopped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

On a baking sheet, toss bread, shallots, lemons, and garlic. Place chicken pieces on top. Drizzle everything with olive oil and generously sprinkle with salt, pepper and paprika.

Roast in oven for 50 minutes. Serve warm with pan juices and lemons squeezed on top.

Asian Chicken Meatballs

Serves 5

1 pound ground chicken
½ cup breadcrumbs
½ cup minced scallions
3 tablespoons minced ginger
1 egg
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
2 teaspoon soy sauce
¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
Sauce: Store bought Chili-Garlic, Duck, or Peanut Sauce

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

In a large bowl, gently mix all ingredients together. With your hands, gently form into 1 ½-inch balls and arrange on a parchment lined baking sheet in one layer. Spray meatballs with non-stick cooking spray or brush with canola oil.

Bake for 13 minutes. Serve with store-bought Asian-Chili sauce or Peanut Sauce.

Chicken Caesar Skewers

Serves 6

½ cup mayonnaise
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (for Passover use Passover mustard)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce, non-fish variety (for Passover use Passover soy sauce)
2 pounds, boneless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into 1–inch pieces
Skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes
Sauce, optional: Store bought pareve Caesar dressing

In a large bowl mix mayonnaise, garlic, Dijon, olive oil, and Worcestershire sauce. Add chicken, tossing to coat chicken well. Marinate for 20 minutes and up to 4 hours in the refrigerator. Thread chicken on skewers. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet.

Preheat oven to broil. Broil for 8 minutes. Serve with romaine lettuce, croutons, store-bought Caesar dressing.

Yom Tov Menu

Menu 1
Sweet Cream Cheese and Chocolate Filled Challah Rolls or Buns
Rosemary Skewered Tuna
Wine Braised Short Ribs with Rosemary Parsnip Mashed Potatoes
Sugar Snap Peas With Sesame
Chocolate Peanut Buttercake

Menu 2
Garlic Toasts
Beef and Chicken Soup with Little Veal Meatballs
Lemony Green Beans
Tofutti Vanilla Ice Cream with Raspberry or Strawberry Sauce

Menu 3
Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup
Chicken Paprikash
Summer Asparagus Salad
Chocolate Cherry Crisp

Sweet Cream Cheese and Chocolate Filled Challah Rolls or Buns

(Pareve or Dairy)
From my friend Audi Weitz

Challah Dough
5 pounds sifted flour (sometimes need to add 2 or 3 more cups)
1 cup sugar
4 packets Rapid Rise yeast
2 tablespoons salt
3 eggs
5 cups warm water
1/2 cup oil

For Filling:
1 (8 ounce) container of plain tofutti cream cheese, or cream cheese
½ cup sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
1 cup chocolate chips
Put 5 cups of flour in mixer. Add yeast, sugar, and salt. Mix in water, oil and eggs. Mix until well combined and it has no lumps. Add remaining flour one cup at a time. Knead in the mixer for 12 minutes.
Let dough sit in a warm place for 45 minutes to 1 hour. The dough should have at least doubled in size. Punch down dough.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Separate the dough into two large pieces and roll out each piece of dough by hand very flat.
Spread tofutti cream cheese relatively thick in the center of each piece, leaving about a 1 inch border on all sides (use ½ tofutti for each piece). It does not need to be even or perfect as it gets melted when cooked. need to be even
Generously sprinkle the sugar and cocoa on top of the cream cheese on each piece, using ½ of the sugar and cocoa for each piece.
Toss the chocolate chips on top of the sugar/cocoa layer.
Roll as tightly as possible.
Slice into 1” wide pieces and place on a baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes.

Rosemary Skewered Tuna


(Salmon or other hearty fish may be substituted)

15 rosemary sprigs
¼ cup olive oil
1 ½ tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
2 teaspoons ground ancho chili powder
½ teaspoon salt
15 cherry tomatoes
Fresh ground black pepper to taste
1-pound tuna cut in 1-inch pieces
Lime wedges, for garnish

Remove the leaves from the bottom half of the sprig. Set aside. Chop enough of the leaves that were removed to make 1 ½ teaspoon of fresh rosemary.

Combine olive oil, lime juice, garlic, cilantro, ground ancho chili, chopped rosemary, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Add the tuna and tomatoes and toss until coated. Let stand for five minutes. Skewer a piece of tuna, followed by one tomato, and then another piece of tuna onto each rosemary sprig.

Heat a large cast iron pan; grill pan, or the barbeque on high heat. Add the skewers and cook for approximately one minute each side or until the tuna is cooked through but still rare. Garnish with lime wedges and serve.

Wine Braised Short Ribs with Rosemary Parsnip Mashed Potatoes


3 tablespoons margarine, divided
8 3-4 inch long meaty beef short ribs or flanken (about 4 pounds)
Kosher salt and pepper
2 /2 cups chopped red onions
2 cups ½ inch cubes peeled parsnips
6 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
1 750 ml bottle Zinfandel or other red wine
2 cups beef broth
1 tablespoon all purpose flour

3 pounds Idaho potatoes, peeled, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 pound large parsnips, peeled, and cut into ¾ inch cubes
1 cup pareve milk or soy ilk
6 tablespoons margarine
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Melt 1 tablespoon margarine in large ovenproof pot over medium heat. Sprinkle ribs with salt and pepper. Add to the pot in a single layer and sauté until brown on all sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer ribs to a large bowl. Add 1 tablespoon margarine to the pot. Add onions and sauté until brown about 6 minutes. Add parsnips and cook about 6 minutes. Mix in garlic, then rosemary. Add wine and broth and bring to a boil.
Return ribs and any juices to pot trying to arrange in a single layer. Bring to a simmer and cover and place in the oven. Braise until ribs are very tender about 2 ½ hours.

Using tongs, transfer ribs to a clean bowl. Remove fat from pan juices. Boil juices until just beginning to thicken about 10 minutes. Mix 1 tablespoon margarine and flour in small bowl to smooth paste. Whisk into juices in pot and simmer until thickened enough to coast a spoon about 5 more minutes. Season gravy with salt and pepper. Return ribs to pot and serve with gravy.

Cook potatoes and parsnips in large pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 15 minutes.

In a separate pot, bring pareve milk, margarine and rosemary to simmer.

Drain potato mixture and return them to the pot. Stir briefly over medium heat to remove excess moisture. Add pareve milk mixture and mash well. Season to tste with salt and pepper. Serve with the short ribs.

Sugar Snap Peas With Sesame


1 pound sugar snap peas
Toasted sesame oil
Black sesame seeds
Kosher salt to taste

Remove and discard the stem end and the string from each pod. Heat the sesame oil over medium heat. Add the sugar snap peas and cook for about 3 – 5 minutes. Add the kosher salt and black sesame seeds. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Chocolate-Peanut Buttercake


12 tablespoons ( 1½ sticks ) margarine, softened
¾ cup creamy peanut butter
2 cups packed light brown sugar
3 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup pareve milk or soy milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Peanut butter filling
One 8-ounce package tofutti cream cheese, softened
½ cup creamy peanut butter

Chocolate Glaze
½ cup water
4 tablespoons ( ¼ stick ) margarine
½ cup cocoa powder
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Chocolate curls to garnish

1. Preheat the oven 350F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans.
2. In a large bowl, cream the margarine and peanut butter until the mixture become fluffy. Mix in the brown sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
3. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture along with the pareve milk and blend. Add the vanilla.
4. Pour the batter into the prepared pans. Bake for about 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes our clean. After the cakes have cooled for 5 minutes, place a covered cake board or cooling rack over the cake and turn over. Gently remove the pan from the cake. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
5. To make the peanut butter filling, cream the tofutti cream cheese and peanut butter together until fluffy.
6. Spread ¾ cup of the peanut butter filling over the top of each cake. Let chill in a refrigerator.
7. To make the chocolate glaze, combine the water and margarine in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Add the cocoa, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla to the margarine and water mixture. Mix until smooth.
8. Using a metal spatula dipped in hot water, spread half of the warm chocolate glaze over the peanut butter topping on each cake. The glaze will thicken as it cools. Make chocolate curls to decorate the top.

Beef and Chicken Soup with Little Veal Meatballs

1 (3 to 4-pound) whole chicken, cleaned and gutted
Kosher salt
2 cloves
4 quarts water
2 pounds beef bones, in 1 1/2-inch thick pieces
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch rounds
2 stalks celery with leaves, inner pieces from the bunch peeled of outer skin, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 onion, peeled, halved and sliced 1/2-inch thick
Freshly cracked black pepper
1 small bunch fresh thyme, washed and tied with string
2 fresh bay leaves
1/2 pound ground veal
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
2 Tablespoons tofutti sour cream
Few basil leaves, snipped small with scissors
1 egg
1/2 cup bread crumbs, toasted
For serving:
3 cups loosely packed spinach leaves, washed

Soup: Season the chicken with salt, to taste, and push the 2 cloves into 1 of the chicken thighs. Add it to a large stockpot, cover with about 4 quarts water and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
Meanwhile, season the beef bones with salt and brown them in a cast iron pan with the canola oil, searing them over medium heat. Add them to the pot with the chicken (you can omit this step but it does add flavor to the soup). To the pan that the bones were seared in, over medium heat, add the carrots, celery and onion and toss until they are coated in oil (if you omitted the step before, just cook the vegetables for 5 minutes in oil). Add the thyme and bay leaves to the stockpot along with the sautéed vegetables. Bring the soup to a gentle simmer and skim the surface with a ladle. Discard any oil or "scum" that accumulates. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt, not too much, and lower the heat to finish cooking the chicken slowly.
Meatballs: Put the ground veal into a medium bowl. Add the salt, garlic, tofutti sour cream, basil, egg and breadcrumbs. Use your hands to mix to blend the ingredients. Roll the veal into small meatballs. They should be about the size of a small cherry tomato. Arrange the meatballs in a single layer on a baking sheet and refrigerate.
After about 45 minutes at a gentle simmer, taste the chicken soup and adjust the seasoning, if needed. Use a large spoon and a pair of tongs to remove the chicken to a baking sheet or other flat surface and allow it to cool for a few minutes. Remove the beef bones and scoop out the marrow. Add it to the soup, if desired. Remove and discard the fresh thyme and bay leaves. Take the breast and thigh meat off the chicken, taking care to discard the bones and skin. Break the chicken into bite-size pieces, but not too small, and add them back to the soup.
Bring the soup to a gentle simmer and add the meatballs. Allow it to continue simmering for a couple of minutes so the meatballs have a chance to cook. Stir in the spinach. Transfer the soup to serving bowls and serve with garlic toasts.

Lemony Green Beans


1-pound fresh green beans
5 cloves garlic, chopped
2 shallots, chopped
2 teaspoons canola oil
1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
Kosher salt and pepper to taste

Trim the green beans. Bring a pot of water to boil and add the green beans. Boil for 4 minutes (not more) and immediately drain and rinse under cold water.

Heat the oil in a sauté pan. Sauté the garlic and shallots for 4-6 minutes or until soft. Add the green beans and stir. Add the lemon juice and stir. Cook for 1 minute and remove from the heat. Add the salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Strawberry or Raspberry Sauce


1 half-pint package fresh strawberries or raspberries
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
1 cup (12 ounces) seedless raspberry jam
1 tablespoon Raspberry liqueur
Place the package of berries, the granulated sugar, and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 4 minutes. Pour the cooked berries, the jam, and the raspberry liqueur into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade and process until smooth. Chill.

Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup


This unusual soup is assembled in individual bowls before serving.

8 ounces thick rice noodles or vermicelli
5 cups chicken broth (regular is best but you can use pareve if you are stuck)
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced ginger
2 cinnamon sticks
2 pods star anise (optional)
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1 pound beef, sliced into strips (ask your butcher for a cut that is thin and not too tough)
1 tablespoon oil
2 cups bean sprouts
1 jalapeno, sliced
2 scallions, sliced
1/3 cup fresh basil, chopped
½ cup cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped roasted peanuts

Prepare rice noodles or vermicelli according to package directions. In a large stock pot, combine chicken broth, garlic, ginger, cinnamon, star anise (if using), salt, soy sauce and sugar. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes. Remove cinnamon sticks and star anise pods.
In the meantime, sauté meat in oil over a medium-high heat until well browned.
To serve:
Divide noodles among serving bowls (about 8). Do the same with the bean sprouts and the beef. Top with the broth, then add the jalapeno, basil ,cilantro and peanuts.

Chicken Paprikash


2 (3-4 pound) chickens, cut in 1/8th’s
½ cup flour
½ teaspoon pepper
¼ cup oil
2 tablespoons paprika
1 red pepper, chopped
4 tomatoes, chopped
1 onion, chopped
3 cups chicken broth (regular or pareve)
1 cup tofutti sour cream
4 tablespoons flour

Dredge chicken in flour and pepper. Heat oil to medium-high in a large Dutch oven. Brown chicken (8 to 10 minutes per side). Add paprika, pepper, tomatoes and onion and sauté til softened – about 5 minutes. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered for ½ to 1 hour. Whisk together tofutti sour cream and flour. Add to pot, stirring constantly until completely mixed in.

Chocolate Cherry Crisp


2 (21 ounce) cans cherry pie filling
¾ cup flour
¾ cup old-fashioned oats
½ cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
1/3 cup margarine, cut into pieces
½ cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spoon pie filling into a 9-inch square baking dish. Combine flour, oats, brown sugar and cocoa in a bowl and stir together. Cut in margarine with a fork or your fingers until coarse crumbs form. Sprinkle over pie filling. Sprinkle with chocolate chips. Bake until filling is bubbly – about 45 minutes. Best served warm. Better served with pareve whipped cream or pareve vanilla ice cream.