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I made two dinners this weekend, one took 4 hours, and the other was ready in 30 minutes. Both can be made for $10-$15, and both were amazing meals and worth the effort it took to make them–so I wanted to post both in case they give you any ideas going into the winter. 

The Short Ribs are a great meal to make in the late afternoon on a cold, winter weekend when you have the time to let them braise—and the Honey Mustard Chicken is fantastic for a quick, easy weekday meal; so you can decide what sounds good for when.

Short Ribs on Polenta with red wine

Braised Short Ribs 

  • 1 package 5-6 bone-in short ribs
  • 1 t. allspice
  • 2 T. flour
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 2 celery ribs, finely diced
  • 2 large carrots, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 2 cans Rotel tomatoes (10 oz. each)*
  • 1 can tomato paste (8 oz.)
  • 2 cups hearty red wine 
  • 2 cups chicken stock (if needed)
  • 2 t. thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  1. Coat an oven-safe dutch oven with olive oil and bring to a high heat. Salt spare ribs, combine allspice and flour and coat the ribs on all sides. Add ribs to the pan and brown, 2-3 minutes per side, and remove.
  2. Add onion, celery, carrots, and garlic to pan, season with salt, and cook 5-7 minutes. Add in tomatoes, cook another 5 minutes. *The Rotel gives the ribs a spicy finish, but if you’d rather use 1 large can crushed tomatoes, that’s more traditional. Add in the wine, lower the heat to medium, and reduce the mixture by half–usually about 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Return the ribs to the oven and add in enough chicken stock to just cover the ribs. (If your mixture is still watery, you can skip adding in the stock–but feel free to add more as it’s cooking to keep it moist). Cover and place in the oven for 2 hours, uncovered for the last 30 minutes. When done the meat should be tender, but not falling apart.
  4. Serve ribs and braising liquid together. Also, placing the dish on baked polenta, mashed potatoes or something else that can sop up the braising liquid is a nice touch–and easy to create when you’re waiting for it to cook.

Honey Mustard Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Old Fashions


Honey-Mustard Chicken
 Serving for two

  • 2 Chicken Breasts (thighs are okay too)
  • Garlic Salt
  • Dijon Mustard
  • Two parts lime juice
  • One part honey
  1. Preheat oven to a high broil. Sprinkle with garlic salt and spread each liberally with mustard. Broil chicken 5-7 inches away from heat for 10 minutes.
  2. Stir lime and honey together and brush mixture on chicken. Broil for another 5 minutes then turn the pieces over. Spread the other side with mustard, broil for another 5 minutes, or until tender. Baste with remaining lime-honey mixture and let rest for 5-10 minutes before cutting into it. Serve with rice or potatoes.
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