Lately I’ve been in a bit of a food rut. It’s pretty easy to fall back on a couple of classic meals because they don’t require any fault. And sometimes even I get sick of trying to come up with new ways to cook the same ol’ stuff. So I’ve instigated a new Sunday habit: cook something that scares you day! Each week when I get my groceries, I try to find something either I’ve never cooked before, never eaten before or even just never liked before. And then I have a little challenge on my hands: what on earth to I do with THIS? I’m enjoying the challenge so far and it’s made weekend cooking a little more exciting. In fact, that’s how my Swordfish dish was born! This week I picked up a pound and a half of boneless beef short ribs. Actually, I was too busy checking out the cute butcher to notice that these were boneless. I was convinced they were bone-in (hardy har) until I got them home. Surprise!
Now, I know this is a pretty wintry dish and maybe it’s nowhere near wintry where you are. Truth be told, it’s still 85 degress plus over here. But I’ve got an entire chest freezer to fill with meals in the next month or so as a backup for the possibility of getting snowed in completely later in the year. One year I literally couldn’t get to the end of my drive we got so much snow. For a week! So I like to be prepared! Just in case. Plus, it never hurts to have some healthy homemade freezer meals stashed away; last year there was no snow-in but I did get ill enough to lose 10lbs in 6 days and, again, having my own nutritious “don’t have to do anything but reheat it” food around the house was a godsend. So, yay for Salsa Short Rib Stew!
The first thing I did was chop the short ribs into about 1″ pieces. Actually, I would cut them a little smaller next time as I found – unlike other cuts I have stewed before – they didn’t shrink down much if at all, and so were kind of oversized even for a stew! I tossed them in some seasonings and almond flour before searing them just enough to get a little color on them. I set the meat aside in a larger pan while I deglazed the pan I’d been searing in with a little stock and then added that stock-n-fond combo to the meat pot. With me?
While I was heating my skillet back up with a little coconut oil, I peeled and chopped onions, carrots and parsnips. Again, you want to leave your veggies kind of chunky rather than sliced, because they will cook down a fair amount later. I threw these in the skillet for long enough to reduce them a little in size and soften a tad. Then they went into stew pan with the meat and I added a cup of stock plus a 16oz jar of salsa. Please use good stuff; no added sugar, weird chemicals or gmo tomatoes. Your tummy will thank you. I actually put my salsa in the food processor first so that the soupy part would be a little thicker than just a broth. Up to you if you bother with that.
All of that got up to simmer, which is exactly where I left it for a couple of hours. Then I threw in the remnants of a can of coconut milk to thicken it up and balance out the salsa spice (yup, mine was waaaaay hot), brought it just to the boil and again simmered it for another 15-ish minutes. Done. I served mine on a bed of spinach, ’cause, extra vegetables rock.
- Chop your short ribs into bitesize pieces and toss with the garlic, black pepper and almond flour.
- Add some coconut oil to a skillet and sear your short ribs (in batches if necessary), using a splash of stock to deglaze the pan if needed; remove meat and deglazed pan juices to the larger pan you will cook your stew in.
- Add your onion, carrots and parsnips to your saute pan and cook over medium heat until reduced a little in size and the onions have softened; add to the stew pan.
- Add your stock and salsa (blended if you want) to the stew pan and bring to a boil before reducing down to a simmer on low. Cook until beef is tender, about 3 hours.
- Add your coconut milk and again bring almost to a boil - reduce heat and simmer until the stew is thickened.
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