Yesterday morning I woke up to much cooler weather than I was expecting and thought it would be a perfect day to try the Braised Short Ribs with Vanilla Glazed Carrots from Ana Sortuns Spice: Flavors of the Eastern Mediterranean. I didnt have time to go to a butcher so I ended up buying two packages of ribs from my local grocery. I managed to get four meaty ribs out of it which was perfect as there is just DH and I and leftovers are not crucial to have on hand (one high fat meal a week is enough for me).
Overall, I liked the recipe a lot, the directions were great and it was a snap to put together. As the meat was braising and the sauce was reducing I had time to tend to other things. The only changes I made were that I halved all the braising ingredients and cooked the ribs for a little over two hours but could have cooked them for a little less time. Much to my dogs delight the bones detached from the meat during the braising process and after the bones cooled they were happy that they didnt have to wait for us to eat our dinner to get their treats. I also made the Vanilla Glazed Carrots that accompanied the recipe along with a pot of brown basmati rice. As an added bonus all three dishes smelled incredibly aromatic as they cooked.
The ribs tasted wonderful, they were tender and meaty. The balance of sweet and sour was just right and the tamarind really added a lot to the dish. The carrots were great too; they are a nice version of traditional glazed carrots. The recipe called for adding lemon juice at the end, I felt it added a brightness that was a nice contrast to other more earthy flavors. Id like to try this recipe with acorn squash in the fall; I think it would be amazing. DH thought that the sauce for the ribs was a little overpowering. Although I thought it was fine I saw his point. I initially chose to make half the braising ingredients in fear of not having enough liquid to braise in. I should have quartered the amount of ingredients and used a smaller pan or supplemented some of the liquid with a little stock or water. On the other hand, I may have reduced the sauce a little too much for his liking. Regardless, he liked it a lot and had seconds. I also think a nice Syrah or Zinfandel would be great with the ribs and it might cut a little of the sweetness and richness of the ribs and balance it out.