Argentina: Short Ribs with Chimichurri over Pepper-Spiked Polenta

Greg and I are finally watching Mad Men. Sometimes we get behind on pop culture, but then we do a mad dash to catch up by watching 2-3 seasons in a month. Sometimes we OD, but it's all good. Anyway, I think that Mad Men has been unconsciously influencing my cooking exploits. While planning my last 6 countries, I was inexplicably drawn to this recipe for Argentinian beef short ribs. Have I ever made short ribs? No. But they were just so very artery cloggingly thick and beefy. Greg not only agreed that they sounded good, but then suggested that we have a cocktail hour before sinking our teeth into red meat. We had our friends Gus and Lisa over to join the party.

Brandy Old Fashioneds + Red Meat = A Mad Men kind of evening.

P.S. The other reason it was like living in an episode of Mad Men is because Lisa and I are outrageously beautiful like January Jones and Christina Hendricks...but I didn't want to go there and sound conceited.

These look even better than the finished product, don't they? Swimming in bubbly lager, encrusted with arteries....

Argentinian Short Ribs with Chimichurri Sauce (from Argentinean Recipes)
Chimichurri Sauce:
-6 cloves garlic
-1 white onion, finely chopped
-2 bunches Italian parsley, stems trimmed
-Juice of 2 large lemons
-1/2 tsp chili flakes
-1/4 tsp cayenne
-1/2 cup olive oil
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

-1/2 cup coarsely ground black pepper
-1/4 cup light brown sugar
-1/4 cup paprika
-2 tbs coarse salt
-6 lb beef short ribs, trimmed
-2 bottles beer
-roasting pan

1. Preheat oven to 275 F.

2. In a food processor, blend garlic and onion. With motor running, add parsley, lemon juice, chili flakes and cayenne. As mixture starts to become chunky, add oil in a steady stream. Continue to process until relatively smooth and thick. Using rubber spatula, scrape mixture into a bowl. Add salt and pepper. Set aside.

3. In a small bowl, combine pepper, brown sugar, paprika and salt; mix together thoroughly.

4. Rub beef ribs with spice. Place in roasting pan. Pour beer around beef; cover pan with foil. Bake in preheated oven for three hours. Cut into individual rib portions.

5. Preheat barbecue or grill to medium-high. Grill ribs for five minutes or until crusty and tender. Serve with chimichurri sauce. (**I realize now that I completely forgot to grill the ribs for 5 minutes after taking them out of the oven. Ah well.**)

Pepper-Spiked Polenta (from Cooking Light)
-Cooking spray
-4 cups water
-1 cup yellow cornmeal
-1/2 teaspoon salt (**NOTE: You will need more, unless you are not a fan of things that have flavor. And a crap-ton of extra pepper. Then this is a yummy recipe.**)
-1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
-1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (**OR, do as I very naughtily did and grate some extra mozzarella in there...mmm...cheesy!**)

1. Coat a 2-quart casserole with cooking spray.

2. Combine water, cornmeal, salt, and pepper; mix well.

3. Cover with casserole lid; microwave at HIGH 12 minutes or until thick, stirring after 6 minutes.

4. Stir in cheese. Serve immediately.

Verdict: You are a winner, Argentina. We all seriously enjoyed your tender, spiced meat-stuffs, as well as your refreshingly spicy and tart chimichurri sauce. The polenta is not particularly Argentinian (at least, not that I know of), but it went quite well with the meal.

I'll fess up to the fact that I rarely make meat, because I find meat extremely scary and confusing. For instance, at the butcher, I saw that there were two things labeled as "short ribs," but they looked completely different--one was very thick, the other very thin. What, then, are you supposed to buy when something calls for short ribs? I still don't know. I went for the thick ones, which I was unable to split in half after cooking, due to the dense bone running through each one. I then carved the meat off the bone, only to find that a full half of each rib was solid fat. That means that out of the 3 pounds of ribs I bought (for $16), there was perhaps 1 pound (probably less) of edible meat. Very sad! Delicious, but sad.


Roxan said...

This is totally a mad men kind of meal. I love that show! I just recently started watchng it, but i'm already caught up. My husband and I like to do that with shows... just let the show go for a while and then watch them all at once. Right now we're watching Californication and Nurse Jackie.
This dish looks great, btw. I was just in argentina in Sept and I loved the food there.

Belinda @zomppa said...

Yay to Mad Men - it's SUCH a good show!! This is a fantastic recipe - love the flavor profile.

Ninette said...

Yummo, Heather! I have some country style pork ribs in the fridge that may be destined for this type of treatment.

Kimberly Peterson said...

Both the ribs and the polenta look INCREDIBLY tempting and inviting!!

Emily Malloy said...

UNBELIEVABLE! Bet it tasted so good!

Reeni said...

I've never seen Mad Men - I'm working on my first season of True Blood right now - maybe that will be next. These look irresistibly delicious! I like that you served them over polenta!

Rich said...

Well, to be honest, "Brandy Old Fashioneds + Red Meat" sounds like a Tuesday evening to me! ... Not really, but that would be cool.
Regardless, the whole shebang looks outstanding!

Lynn @ I'll Have What She's Having said...

I've just started watching Mad Men too. There is something so fascinating about it. This is totally a Mad Men kind of meal, it sound delicious!

cathyarv said...

If you're the type of traveler that wants to have the adventure of the life time, well Argentina is the right place for you and here's a place where you could spend the day or night when you visit there.

Casa Mara Cartagena

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