I have a tendancy to dig in my heels. To go in the direction I'm not supposed to. It is not a virtue, so much as it is a stubborn refusal to be led by the nose. This does not, of course, mean that I am bandwagon-free (nor does it mean that you can trick me into doing what you really want by suggesting otherwise), but it does mean that it shouldn't be a surprise that while newspaper and magazine articles would have us frantically making diet recipes in a last-ditch attempt to atone for December's excesses, I'm having ribs. Short ribs, to be exact.
Short ribs, for some mysterious reason, don't make an appearance at my local supermarket very often (although they are always available at the meat shops, they are usually the thinner flanken style), so when I do see a meaty set o' bones - one that hasn't been "pre-marinated for the grill" - I can't resist. Since these are cut across the bone, they are in fact flanken style, as opposed to English style, which are my preferred (and, for some reason, even less frequently seen in these parts), but they are considerably meatier and more substantial looking than most of the flanken variety that I've seen around here.
I had been craving short ribs for some time - since I found a recipe for Chimay-braised ribs in the Zuni Cafe Cookbook, to be precise. However, since I didn't have any Belgian beer handy (or enough mustard for the glaze that recipe recommends), and I did in fact have a bottle of wine, I went with a simple red wine braise, full of shiitake mushrooms and chopped red onion and accompanied by some roasted fennel, carrots and brussels sprouts. The herbs were kept simple: bay leaves, salt, pepper, and whole yellow mustard seed, which creates a wonderfully deep background note for the beef. I'll have to go the Chimay-route with the next batch of ribs that I find. Maybe I'll even find a nice accommodating butcher who will cut English style for me. In fact, I'm starting to think that I should go on a mission... just, you know, to be contrary.