I have nothing profound to say about this except that it’s amazing what you can put together from bits and pieces and end up with something that gets the ultimate complement from Mark: “I’d have this again.”
The short rib pizza is a prime example. I’d made braised beef short ribs one night a couple of months ago and I couldn’t fit all the ribs in the dish. So I froze the one rib that couldn’t jump in the pool with the rest of his cousins. One solitary short rib. What in the heck do you do with that?
Pizza is what’s for dinner when I am idea challenged. We always make our own. Ball of pizza dough from Trader Joes or my beloved Publix. Almost never tomato or pizza sauce. I just think that’s admitting creative pizza-making defeat. Sometimes pesto sauce, sometimes chow-chow or sometimes just olive oil and herbs. And then whatever I have on hand. Which, on the night Noah came home from college for spring break, was a solitary short rib, some grated Monterrey Jack, some onions and green peppers.
If you’ve never braised a short rib, here’s how. First, go to Costco. They have the best short ribs. Those puny things in the grocery store will not feed a cat on a diet. Salt and pepper the rib and throw it in a shallow dish, add some beef stock if you have it or even water if you don’t. If you have a can of diced tomatoes, so much the better. Throw those in. You don’t need to brown the short rib first. It, in the final analysis, won’t make that much difference. Trust me on this. I’ve tried it both ways. Cover the dish with foil and put it in a 320 degree oven until it’s tender. This could take a few hours so plan ahead. It is done when the meat falls apart.
What I did to make the pizza sauce was to merely take the juices the short rib had braised in and reduced them down to a thick syrup. And my boy had the brilliant idea to make a stuffed crust, so he cut some matchstick-sized slices of cheese and folded the dough over them.
So here’s the thing, as Alec Baldwin would say (and if you haven’t listened to his new podcast, you should), it doesn’t take more than a bit of imagination to make a meal out of bits and pieces. Use the short rib idea or don’t. Maybe you just have ground beef and Velveeta. Make a cheeseburger pizza. I guarantee you it will be better than anything that comes in a box.
By the way, “I’d have that again” translated into zero leftovers. Made Momma happy.