Cornmeal Pancakes With Beer-Braised Short Ribs
Serves 4 (about 16 pancakes).
Note: Who needs maple syrup when you have hearty spiced short ribs for these cornmeal medallions? From “Breakfast for Dinner,” by Lindsay Landis and Taylor Hackbarth.
For short ribs:
• 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 1/2 lb. (about 4) beef short ribs
• 1 large yellow onion, chopped
• 1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped
• 1 (14.9-oz.) can beer, preferably a stout such as Guinness
• 1 c. beef broth
• 2 tbsp. light brown sugar, packed
• 2 tbsp. tomato paste
• 1 tbsp. honey
• 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
• 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
• 1/2 tsp. salt
• Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
• 2/3 c. flour
• 2/3 c. cornmeal
• 1/2 tbsp. granulated sugar
• 1 tsp. baking powder
• 1/2 tsp. salt
• 1 egg, lightly beaten
• 3/4 c. whole milk
• 1 c. corn kernels
• Olive oil, for cooking
• 1 Granny Smith apple, diced
To prepare meat: Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy bottomed, ovenproof saucepan over medium-high heat. Add ribs and sear for 5 to 7 minutes, turning every 45 seconds or so, until evenly browned on all sides. Transfer to a plate.
Reduce heat to medium and add onions and jalapeños to saucepan; cook for about 5 minutes, or until softened. Add beer and broth and cook for 1 minute, scraping any brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Stir in brown sugar, tomato paste, honey, cinnamon, cumin, salt and pepper. Return ribs to pan and bring mixture to a simmer; cover, place pan in the oven, and bake for 2 1/2 hours, turning ribs once halfway through cooking time, until meat is tender and shrinking off the bone.
Transfer ribs to a plate until cool enough to handle, then shred meat, discarding bones. Transfer liquid from the pan to a wide, shallow bowl. Place bowl in an ice bath or the refrigerator until completely cool and fat solidifies on top (this can be done up to 1 day ahead of time). Skim off and discard as much fat as possible.
Return liquid to saucepan; simmer over medium heat until thickened and reduced by about a third, 15 to 18 minutes. Add shredded meat and stir until evenly coated with sauce and heated through.
To prepare pancakes: Preheat oven to 200 degrees; place baking sheet in oven. Whisk together flour, cornmeal, granulated sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Stir in egg and milk until dry ingredients are evenly moistened. Fold in corn.
Heat a splash of olive oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Drop batter by the tablespoonful into skillet, spreading it into 3-inch rounds. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Transfer to oven to keep warm and repeat with remaining batter.
To serve, top each pancake with a spoonful of short rib mixture and a bit of apple.