I cooked last weekend for the first time in a long time. I don't mean I heated up a pan and threw a piece of chicken in, but I really, really cooked; like I used to. A new gym routine has left me in need of a low maintenance weeknight salad and little energy for much else. It's nearly October and I'm desperate (once again) for that fall feeling. I'll do just about anything to trigger the memory of wearing a warm, wooly sweater to cover my cold skin or the glimpse of a puff of my breath on the back deck in the nippy night air. To satisfy my search for northern temps, I made short ribs and a new autumnal side I've been thinking about testing.
I rubbed the ribs with a few of my favorite spices prior to searing them, then set them off to braise in a drizzle of maple syrup before drowning them in deep, dark stout for several hours.
For the side I was experimenting with, butter roasted sweet potato and pear, sautéed with caramelized shallots and pecans, chopped jalapeño, all tossed with dollops of salty Shropshire blue cheese right at the end. I absolutely loved this side with shredded ribs! I fried some sage in the pan beforehand to enhance the flavor. I'll definitely be making this through the rest of fall/winter. I originally imagined the dish with a smokey blue cheese but couldn't locate any, so I opted for the Shropshire. Honestly, I think it was an ace choice, it's the cheddar of blue cheeses. It brought the sweet and savory flavors together with its sharp, salty bit, performing some kind of magical cheese wizardry.