Braised Short Rib Grilled Cheese

Last weekend I made a Braised Short Rib Grilled Cheese:

braised-short-rib-grilled-cheese
Booyakasha.
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PSYCH. I love the look of my words on a computer screen far too much to let you get off that easy. First, I would just like to say that this is hands-down the best grilled cheese that I have ever eaten. Before you write that statement off as hyperbole, let me tell you something. I fucking love grilled cheese. In fact, it’s one of my top three favorite foods. I have had the pleasure of trying many of these fine sandwiches over the years, and not to toot my own horn, but I am pretty much an expert in the grilled cheese field.

My grilled cheese connoisseurship began more than two decades ago (which I admit grudgingly, since I don’t like to put anything in print that makes me appear a day over twenty-two), when I was just a sassy kindergartner. Everyday after school, I would sit in the kitchen and enjoy a grilled cheese while watching TaleSpin and chatting with my babysitter. According to her, I was always incredibly picky about my grilled cheese, critiquing the amount of cheese and the level of bread “toastiness.” I even went so far as to tell her that my dream was to own a restaurant that sold only grilled cheese. (I still think this is a solid business idea, and I’m very excited to see it through when I make my millions from this blog.)

Sadly, my grilled cheese habit got shut down after my pediatrician informed my mother that I had the highest cholesterol he’d ever seen in a five-year-old. After that fateful physical, I was only allowed one grilled cheese per week. I would like to apologize to my parents and the childcare professionals who had to deal with me during the withdrawal period. The transition to PB&J was met with great resistance on my part.

Fortunately for my cholesterol and beach body, I no longer eat grilled cheese on the reg. However, I still get a hardcore craving from time to time, and last Saturday I couldn’t help but give in. Before getting busy in the kitchen, I lay in bed thinking about all of my grilled cheese options. While standard white bread and Kraft Singles never disappoint, I wanted to spice things up a little. Go big or go home, right? I thought about adding ham or bacon…Too generic. Some sort of vegetable? Nah. I considered experimenting with an unexpected cheese like brie or goat, but that felt contrived. I wanted to go bigger. And crazier. And then I recalled a brilliant idea that I had recently: Braised Short Rib Grilled Cheese.

This bad boy came to me in a hungover vision a couple weeks ago. (I tend to do my best and most creative culinary brainstorming when hungover.) I was lying on the couch, dehydrated and vulnerable, when the idea floated through my pounding head. It was so beautiful. Thankfully, I managed to turn this braised short rib grilled cheese vision into a delicious reality. Incredibly tender barbeque braised short ribs and sweet, slowly caramelized onions sandwiched between buttery, toasted fresh bread with large quantities of melted cheese…it really is a dream come true.

I know that braising short-ribs and slowly caramelizing onions is a lot of work for a grilled cheese. I’m going to need you to just embrace it. Anything worth having is worth waiting for, my friends. Turn preparing this grilled cheese into a festive afternoon activity this weekend with cocktails. Or break out your slow-cooker and come home from your busy and important day at work to perfectly braised meat just waiting to be turned into a grilled cheese. You can even serve this sandwich with a salad at your next casual lunch or dinner party. It’s certainly fancy enough, and I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t love to be fed a grown-up grilled cheese.

Just so there is no confusion: This sandwich is not Dude Diet approved. It is not bikini-friendly. You will undoubtedly be extremely full and probably significantly bloated afterwards. But the truth is, sometimes you need to throw caution to the wind, unbutton your jeans, and get down and dirty with something disturbingly delicious. You’re going to want to get weird with this recipe, people. Good God, I sound like Logan.

Braised Short Rib Grilled Cheese: (Makes 4 sandwiches)

Ingredients:

1 lb boneless short ribs
2 tbsp canola oil
1 cup of your favorite barbeque sauce (I used Guy Fieri’s Kansas City Smokey and Sweet Barbeque Sauce)
1 ½ cups chicken stock
2 Spanish onions, thinly sliced
¼ cup olive oil
1 tsp granulated sugar
½ tsp salt
1 large loaf of French bread (or 8 slices of your favorite sandwich bread)
4 tsp Dijon mustard
8-10 slices white American cheese
4 tbsp softened salted butter

 

Preparing your grilled cheese:

-Heat 2 tbsp canola oil in a large skillet. When hot, add your short ribs and brown them very well on both sides. (This should take about 8-10 minutes).

-Combine the barbeque sauce and chicken stock in a medium-sized pot and add the browned short ribs. The liquid should just cover your meat.

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-Bring the liquid to a simmer, cover with a lid, and allow your short ribs to cook for 2 ½ hours. (If you have a fancy slow-cooker, you could also, throw everything in there and cook on low for 4-6 hours.) Remove the meat from the braising liquid and shred it using two forks or your hands.

-While your meat is cooking, start caramelizing your onions. Add the thinly sliced onions, ¼ cup olive oil, sugar, and salt to a large sauté pan.

-Cook over low heat for 45 minutes to 1 hour, stirring periodically, until the onions are very soft. I know this seems like a long time, but it’s worth it. You have to wait for your meat to cook anyway, so you may as put in the time for perfectly caramelized onions.

-When your meat is shredded and your onions are caramelized, you can start assembling your epic grilled cheese. For each sandwich, you will need 2 slices of bread (duh). I used a roasted garlic French loaf, but you can use whatever bread floats your boat. If your are using a loaf, you will want to cut it into ¾ inch slices. Spread the inside of both slices with ½ tsp Dijon mustard.

-Place 1 piece of American cheese on each slice of bread. It’s easiest to slice each piece of cheese in half and then layer the halves so they fit nicely on the bread.

-Add ¼ of the onions to one slice of bread, and ¼ of the meat to the other slice.

-Feel free to add another piece of cheese on top of the meat if you’re into extra cheese.

-Sandwich everything together.

-Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Spread the outside of each piece of bread with ½ tbsp softened butter. When the pan is hot, add your grilled cheese.

-Cook for about 3-4 minutes on each side until the bread is golden brown and the cheese is melted. Slice in half and serve immediately. Appreciate the beauty of your creation. It’s a masterpiece.

Braised Short Rib Grilled Cheese

Yield: 4 Sandwiches

Ingredients

  • 1 lb boneless short ribs
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 cup of your favorite barbeque sauce (I used Guy Fieri’s Kansas City Smokey and Sweet Barbeque Sauce)
  • 1 ½ cups chicken stock
  • 2 Spanish onions, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 large loaf of French bread (or 8 slices of your favorite sandwich bread)
  • 4 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 8-10 slices white American cheese
  • 4 tbsp softened salted butter

Instructions

  1. Heat 2 tbsp canola oil in a large skillet. When hot, add your short ribs and brown them very well on both sides. (This should take about 8-10 minutes).
  2. Combine the barbeque sauce and chicken stock in a medium-sized pot and add the browned short ribs. The liquid should just cover your meat.
  3. Bring the liquid to a simmer, cover with a lid, and allow your short ribs to cook for 2 ½ hours. (If you have a fancy slow-cooker, you could also, throw everything in there and cook on low for 4-6 hours.) Remove the meat from the braising liquid and shred it using two forks or your hands.
  4. While your meat is cooking, start caramelizing your onions. Add the thinly sliced onions, ¼ cup olive oil, sugar, and salt to a large sauté pan. Cook over low heat for 45 minutes to 1 hour, stirring periodically, until the onions are very soft. I know this seems like a long time, but it’s worth it. You have to wait for your meat to cook anyway, so you may as put in the time for perfectly caramelized onions.
  5. When your meat is shredded and your onions are caramelized, you can start assembling your epic grilled cheese. For each sandwich, you will need 2 slices of bread (duh). I used a roasted garlic French loaf, but you can use whatever bread floats your boat. If your are using a loaf, you will want to cut it into ¾ inch slices. Spread the inside of both slices with ½ tsp Dijon mustard.
  6. Place 1 piece of American cheese on each slice of bread. It’s easiest to slice each piece of cheese in half and then layer the halves so they fit nicely on the bread. Add ¼ of the onions to one slice of bread, and ¼ of the meat to the other slice. Feel free to add another piece of cheese on top of the meat if you’re into extra cheese. Sandwich everything together.
  7. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Spread the outside of each piece of bread with ½ tbsp softened butter. When the pan is hot, add your grilled cheese.
  8. Cook for about 3-4 minutes on each side until the bread is golden brown and the cheese is melted. Slice in half and serve immediately. Appreciate the beauty of your creation. It’s a masterpiece.
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