We’re back! From Thanksgiving, from the cruise, from everything. We came back to a veritable shitstorm yesterday that involved missing electronics, animal control, a new baby (not all one story, it wasn’t THAT bad), and a few other hiccups, but the trip itself was amazing and we NEEDED that break from the internet and our lives, let me tell you that. Tune in on Friday for the craziness that’s been going on, then next week I’ll tell ya the good, bad, and ugly about our first cruise together. There are already lots of pictures on Instagram!
But let’s eat. We basically ONLY ate for the last 5 days straight, and I’m hesitant to try on anything tight or wander near a scale. Giving it a few days of healthy foods, but that doesn’t mean YOU have to be healthy! You can have cheese and beef and bread all together because you didn’t just go on a cruise and eat for 24 hours straight for the last 5 days.
At least I hope not.
This is actually the companion to the vegetarian flatbread I showed you a few weeks ago, but this one is basically a Christmas dish because it involves sexy shortribs and is topped with green and red decorations. For Jesus. Because we are using shortribs the process is a little lengthy, but you can easily make the meat a few days in advance and just prep the other ingredients and bake this sucker whenever you’d like to eat it, which will probably be about five seconds from now.
You need flatbread! Any kind you like, pita or naan or pizza dough works great, but we want it to be already cooked. I went whole wheat because I think it goes great with the heavier mushroom and beef flavors. Then we top the bread with shortribs braised in maple syrup and beer, mushrooms, extra sharp cheddar, watercress, and pomegranate. GREAT ingredients for this time of year, if I do say so myself.
So we need to start the shortribs first. Heat an ovenproof pot with a lid over medium-high heat with some olive oil, and turn the oven to 375F. Then, sear the shortribs on all sides with some salt and pepper.
Now, I did the meat way in advance, but you can also work on the rest of the flatbread while the meat is cooking. You’ll want to shred the cheddar, and sear the mushrooms. Do this by adding the mushrooms, some olive oil, and a sprinkle of salt to a skillet over medium-high heat.
AND, if you buy a whole pomegranate, you’ll need to extract the seeds without killing yourself or anyone else around you. There are lots of methods, but I cut off the top, and then make little slits down the edge of the pomegranate where I can see the white edges – like the sections of an orange. Then, I split the pom into those sections (they break naturally) and carefully take the seeds out with my fingers.
Or breakfast. You get it. Make this soon!
- 2 pieces whole wheat flatbread, about 8 inches in diameter
- 3 beef shortribs
- 12 ounces light beer
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup, plus extra for drizzling
- 1 pint sliced mushrooms
- olive oil for sauteeing
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 6 ounces grated sharp white cheddar cheese
- 2 cups watercress leaves
- 2 tablespoons pomegranate arils, optional
- Preheat an ovenproof pot to medium-high heat with some olive oil and preheat the oven to 375F. Sprinkle the shortribs on all sides with salt and pepper. When the oil in the pot shimmers, add the shortribs, working in batches if needed. Sear for about 7 minutes on each side - if the beef doesn't release easily from the bottom of the pot it isn't ready to turn yet. When all the shortribs are browned, remove them to a plate. Add the beer to the pot and stir to release any bits off the bottom of the pan. Return the shortribs to the pot with the beer and add the maple syrup.
- Cover the pot and place it in the oven. Roast the ribs for 2-3 hours until the meat is very tender. Remove the bones and shred the shortrib meat with forks or your fingers.
- Meanwhile, prepare the mushrooms. Sautee them in a skillet over medium-high heat with some olive oil, salt and pepper, until very dark brown and soft. Set aside.
- To assemble the flatbreads, increase the oven temperature to 425F. Evenly spread each flatbread, with a little cheese (save some for the top), half of the mushrooms, half of the beef, and the rest of the cheese. Bake for 10-15 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and slightly browned.
- Slice the flatbreads into wedges, and top with the watercress, pomegranate arils, and a drizzle of maple syrup.
- The beef and mushrooms and be prepared a few days in advance, then just assemble the flatbreads on the day you'd like to eat them.
- If you don't like cooking with alcohol, substitute beef or vegetable stock.