Ok... My husband's bday is this Sunday and he looooves short ribs whenever we go out. I have to confess I've only made pretty simple braised versions in wine, but there is this one spot we go where the glaze is sticky sweet and fabuloso. So I'm experimenting a bit ;)
I was thinking that, instead of braising in red wine as usual - maybe root beer? Obviously with all the veggies that normally go in the braise as well. Then reduce the braising liquid later for a sweet sauce? We'll see how that goes...
Beyond the short ribs, my DH is SET on risotto. Personally, I would have preferred a creamy polenta, grits or mashed potatoes but he just loves the rice. I've only ever done risotto as a main course - usually with substantial ingredients like seafood, or mushrooms, etc. Obviously I want the beef to be the star, so any suggestions on risotto that might be subtle enough to pair with?
Okay, my last question is about wine.... My first instinct was a peppery syrah, or maybe even a zin (though I've had some awfully fruit-fwd zins in the past that im unsure about this), but I'd love some out of the box suggestions on that. The DH is not a big wine drinker (that makes ONE of us!), but he likes big bold reds with a lot of SMOKE. Maybe he interprets pepper or tobacco as "smoke?"
Such a long and detailed post - but y'all are the best on this forum!!