Overcoming the Dinner Party Menu Planning Rut / Grilled Boneless Beef Short Ribs

There have been times when I’m planning the menu for a dinner party and hours pass only for me to realize that I’ve come up with nothing. We all find ourselves in a mental rut from time-to-time when deciding on what to make for friends and family, especially when you have already exhausted the classics.

Whenever I hit a creative wall, I ponder the dishes that I’ve made and force myself to think outside of the box. I start with how I cooked a previous meal and begin contemplating how I could prepare the dish differently. If I fried something, I ask how that dish might taste broiled or sautéed. This approach might not conjure a completely new dinner menu idea right off the bat, but it will get your creative juices flowing just enough to open the gates that have been impeding your thought process.

Something I order almost every time I see it on a restaurant menu is short ribs. Safe to say, 100% of the time I’ve encountered the dish, this cut of meat is braised. I’m guilty of preparing short ribs in the same way every time I make them. It is hard not to with this marbled cut of meat that responds so well to the braising process. But it came time for me to start thinking about my future dinner parties and ways in which I can reinvigorate the menus.

During a recent trip to the grocery store, I came across an amazing cut of short ribs. They were boneless and butchered lengthwise, offering 10-ounce strips of meaty marbled goodness. My first thought was to cut them up into large chunks and braise them as I’ve done countless times in the past. I saw the final product in my mind — fork-tender pieces of braised beef resting on a bed of rice or whipped potatoes — and it was then that I realized why that image came to me so quickly. I’ve done it all before on at least a dozen occasions.

This time around, I promised myself things would be different.

This recipe for Grilled Boneless Beef Short Ribs offers endless possibilities. Marinated in only a handful of spices, the end result works as the main protein for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Add a few slices of these short ribs to a mushroom omelette or layer them across a roll under a bed of melted swiss and blue cheese. Serve the short ribs alongside some sautéed vegetables or atop a mound of garlic mashed potatoes. At this point, it is okay to bring back components from previous short rib dinners. With the star of the show prepared so differently than expected, a repeat of sides won’t matter in the least.

For your next dinner party, wow your guests with a newer take on a classic dish with this recipe any time of day. But be careful. One bite of these short ribs and they may not ever want to leave your home!

Grilled Boneless Beef Short Ribs

(recipe serving size – 2-4 people)

For the short ribs:

1 1/4 lb boneless short ribs, cut into 4 5-ounce pieces

1 tb olive oil

1 tsp harissa

1 tsp dried basil

1 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp ground white pepper

Coat the short ribs in olive oil and spices. Marinate in refrigerator for 1 hour to overnight.

Heat grill pan over medium-high heat. For medium-rare, grill the short ribs on each side for 2-3 minutes (depending on thickness) or until internal temperature is 130 degrees. Loosely tent with foil during the cooking process to help the short ribs cook more evenly. Once cooked to your desired doneness, remove the meat from grill pan and allow the meat to rest for 3-5 minutes.

Serve whole or slice on a bias. The rest is up to you!

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