We have to stop eating like this.

Really? Malta Short Ribs

Like many Americans, we don’t watch TV anymore; we watch laptop. We have a Roku box hooked up to the TV, to which we stream our Netflix account and Amazon On Demand purchases, but since I spend most of my day in the living room, I like to move into the office for a change of scenery in the evening. Ultimately, Billy the Kid has a wall-mounted flat-screen HDTV, and his parents watch the majority of their programs huddled around a 17″ computer screen. Of the handful of shows we follow, the most painfully awaited each week is, without a doubt, Top Chef.

We are obsessed with Top Chef, and by we, I mean Mr. P. I deem the Bravo reality show solid (and hunger-inducing) entertainment, but in the absence of cable television, my husband has redirected the zest he would have invested in football toward competitive cooking. I usually draw or decoupage for the beginning of the show, focusing in mainly when a final dish is plated or a winner/loser announced; my husband not only ranks his favorite seasons and players/chefs within each season, taking into account the strengths and weaknesses of each, but also validates his appraisals through sites like this. Wait for it…there’s even more.

I had never heard of short ribs before I started watching the show, but it quickly became clear that the rib/plate/chuck combo cut could either open new doors for contestants, or windows out of which to throw them. While watching a back episode from Season 4, in which the particularly brazen Richard Blais wins Round I of the finale (held in Puerto Rico) with his Pork Ribs with Malta and Soy Glaze, I searched online for a similar recipe, and found one that looked fairly reasonable on this visual trainwreck of a site. I’ve typed out the recipe below, since the contributing chef seems too distracted to actually get all his ingredients into the dish. To his credit, his ribs are absolutely delicious, and so succulent you can leave the knives off from the place-settings. But really, can there be true redemption from such abhorrent self-editing?

3 lbs short ribs (by definition, beef)
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 packet Goya Sazon
1/8 to 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
3 cachucha peppers, minced (or any small, mild peppers)
1 12-oz bottle Goya Malta
1 1/2 C beef stock
1 small can Goya Spanish-style tomato sauce
Salt and pepper
1 tbsp olive oil

Set your oven to 350. Heat the oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high, and dry the meat off on a paper towel. Rub the ribs with salt and pepper, then brown them on each side for 4 minutes. Remove them from the pan, add the onions, and cook for about 4 minutes, until they start to soften. Add the peppers and garlic and cook for 2 minutes, then add the tomato sauce and cook for 2 minutes more.

Return the ribs to the pan, add the Sazon, cayenne pepper, Malta, and beef stock, and stir it up until combined. Add salt if you didn’t adequately cake your ribs prior to browning, and cook the whole thing for another 3 minutes, then cover the pot and stick it in the oven for 3 hours.

These were superb with Puerto Rican-style white rice, and I have a feeling they’d also pair well with boiled Russett potatoes. Unfortunately, I’ll never know, since I now have a tilde in my last name.

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