This time of year is hard. The older I get, I honestly don't know what keeps us here. I really despise the cold, and the constant wetness that we, as residents of Americas crossroads, are privy to every year. Seriously, every year, it is the same nonsense. Beautiful warmth, and sunshine; then, immediate shit tundra. There is no in between, we are either happy and comfortable, or soaking wet, frozen, and hating life. I honestly have no idea why we willingly subject ourselves to this punishment every year.
Or....maybe it's just me, and my ever growing irritability over my poor circulation, which provides me with frozen toes from early October through May. Perhaps, I am just done dealing with the enormous tree, right out the front door, that refuses to shed the last 90% of its remaining leaves until the first good snow. Not surprisingly, this always coincides with the last leaf pickup for the year.
Honestly, I probably just need to suck it up, get some warmer socks, and shut the hell up about it. The complaining is therapeutic though! I know the only way to really make it through, is to remind myself, as I do every year; to find those little things that make your day better. Those things that keep you going through the soggy misery of life, that we call an Indiana winter.
Despite all my whining, I've found it's actually pretty simple to make days like these brighter. Let me break it down.
Step one: find meat
Step two: put meat and tasty liquid in the oven. cook all day.
Step three: end the bleak existence that was your day, with a meaty ray of sunshine.
That's it, insufferable bellyaching, and copious amounts of braised foodstuffs. If you want to survive, this is probably your only hope.
for the short ribs:
- 1 bottle mexican coke
- 3 to 4 # short ribs
- 2 oranges, thinly sliced
- 1 1/4 cup water
- 6 to 8 garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon peppercorns
- 1 to 2 whole jalapenos ( plus more for garnish)
- kosher salt to taste
for the tacos:
- griddled corn tortillas
- thinly sliced cucumber
- minced red onion
- green onion, thinly sliced
- fresh jalapeno (optional)
- sliced avocado
- hot sauce
- lime wedges
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Generously sprinkle ALL sides of e short ribs with salt. Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a large dutch oven, over medium high heat. Let the pan and oil get very hot, nearly smoking. Brown all four sides of the ribs thoroughly. Take your time on this step. You want a nice crust on the outside of the meat! Remove pan from heat and add water, coke, garlic, peppercorns, orange slices and jalapenos to the pan.
Cover dutch oven and place in the preheated oven and cook for 3 to 4 hours. When meat is finished, it will fall off the bone and be very tender. When the the short ribs are finished cooking, remove from oven and let rest for 15 to 20 minutes. While the meat rests, preheat oven to 425.
There will be a good deal of fat in the pan. Carefully remove the ribs from the fat and juices and place on a baking sheet. Season to taste. Place ribs in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes to brown. Assemble tacos and enjoy!