Pinch me, please.
Okay, that’s enough cyber pinching. But yes, I still am dreaming about this event I was invited to be apart of by Alive Magazine for a dinner on the orchard at Eckerts Farm in Illinois and I still can’t get over the beauty, mood and the food from that evening. Granted I spent the entire dinner inside assisting the host, plant based chef & food blogger, Sherrie from With Food & Love, as well as cooking up these slow braised beef short ribs (since home-slice Sherrie isn’t really into meals that once had the ability to walk). The whole evening, from the prep work, to the styling, to the serving of the meals was really an experience and none of it would have been possible if we didn’t have the local resources from Eckerts Farm & Market.
Knowing where your food comes from is one thing, but knowing and LOVING where your food comes is a whole other ball game that doesn’t necessarily always happen when buying local. However I really cannot talk up enough about their produce (ummm herrrroooo sweet corn) and their MEAT. Holy cannoli. Since I was asked to do a meat dish to pair alongside Sherries sweet corn polenta, we felt that short ribs were the right option. I honestly can say that I do not plan on buying my meat anywhere else, the short ribs were so tender and had the perfect amount of fat, braising beautifully and falling off the bone flawlessly.
Can I get an Amen!?
And aside from the food and market that they so generously allowed us to cook with (literally their market had EVERYTHING + more) Mr & Mrs Eckert invited us into their home and allowed us to use their kitchen for additional prepwork & plating as the food was being served through out the dinner on their back lawn overlooking the most breathtaking view of their orchard. Talk about a “hostess with the mostest”, they had exactly that plus more.
**** If you want to be apart of a fun evening they have a Wine & Apples in the orchard event where they take you on a wagon ride to pick fresh apples and offer wine & delicious appetizers to complete the evening. Talk about a match made in heaven, hellloooooo.
Thank me later.
I prefer smaller short ribs as they take a little less time to braise, but also plate really beautifully. Granted you don’t always have the option of size, in the end, it all works out.
All you need is a garnish of the gremolata on top of each short rib. It gives this usually fall like meal a touch of summer with the freshness from the parsley, lemon & garlic.
For the reduction, start with less horseradish and gradually add a little at a time until you reach your desired taste. I prefer more of a bite since I barely dress the bottom of the plate with the sauce as not to overwhelm and take away from the meat itself, but just to give it a little bit of a “surprise”.
Ideally if you cook these a little in advance, you can chill the sauce in the fridge for an hour or two and scoop the fat out of the sauce much more easily before reducing. Totally optional, some people prefer more of a fatty sauce.