We have emerged from calving season, and only have a few stragglers left to go- so I'm back! But with each passing season, a new one comes. Currently, we are getting ready to get the cattle out to summer pasture by branding, and getting everything ready to go for breeding season. The weather has been a blizzard one moment, then rain, and then beautiful sunshine.
Last week we put CIDRS in our replacement heifers. CIDRS are progesterone inserts that help synchronize the estrous cycles of cattle. These are much like the hormones some women take to increase chances of pregnancy. We are artificially inseminating our upcoming heifer group. CIDRS help increase chance of pregnancy, and about 80% of the heifers will get bred in 3 days. This lends to a short and predictable period of time in which they will calve the next spring!
Today we fertility tested our bulls to make sure they are ready to be let out into the cowherd in about a month. Working bulls is not the most fun job in the world. They are big animals that tend to like to fight!
This weekend we will be branding- weather permitting!
Now, onto a beef short ribs recipe! Short ribs are an often overlooked cut of meat, but if cooked right can be a melt in your mouth sort of meal! I recently used a recipe from The Pioneer Woman (again), that was great. I forgot to take pictures, but it looked pretty fancy too! I didn't have a couple of ingredients she calls for- pancetta and shallots- so I just substituted in bacon and onions. Also, I increased the cook time by 1-2 hours. Just make sure you cook the ribs until they are so tender they are falling off the bone. This is muy important! They are not half as delectable if they are not! You can find the recipe straight from The Pioneer Woman's website here (she has great pictures and step by step instructions), or read it below. Serve on a nice big bed of mashed potatoes, and no need to make a gravy, because the sauce is amazing! I am going to be trying a barbecue version of this recipe soon, and will let you know how it turns out!
Braised Short Ribs
Prep: 20 Minutes Level: Easy
Cook: 2 Hours Serves: 4
8 whole Beef Short Ribs
Kosher Salt and Pepper To Taste
1/4 cup All-purpose Flour
6 pieces Pancetta (or bacon), Diced
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 whole Medium Onion, Diced
3 whole Carrots, Diced
2 whole Shallots, Peeled And Finely Minced
2 cups Red Or White Wine
2 cups Beef Or Chicken Broth (enough To Almost Cover Ribs)
2 sprigs Thyme
2 sprigs Rosemary
Salt and pepper ribs, then dredge in flour. Set aside.
In a large dutch oven, cook pancetta over medium heat until complete crispy and all fat is rendered. Remove pancetta and set aside. Do not discard grease.
Add olive oil to pan with the pancetta grease, and raise heat to high. Brown ribs on all sides, about 45 seconds per side. Remove ribs and set aside. Turn heat to medium.
Add onions, carrots, and shallots to pan and cook for 2 minutes. Pour in wine and scrape bottom of pan to release all the flavorful bits of glory. Bring to a boil and cook 2 minutes.
Add broth, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Taste and add more salt if needed. Add ribs to the liquid; they should be almost completely submerged. Add thyme and rosemary sprigs (whole) to the liquid.
Put on the lid and place into the oven. Cook at 350 for 2 hours, then reduce heat to 325 and cook for an additional 30 to 45 minutes. Ribs should be fork-tender and falling off the bone. Remove pan from oven and allow to sit for at least 20 minutes, lid on, before serving. At the last minute, skim fat off the top of the liquid. (Can also refrigerate mixture, then remove solid fat from the top.)
Serve 2 ribs on bed of creamy polenta, spooning a little juice over the top.