Dublin Dr. Pepper Braised Short Ribs with Queso Fresco Corn Whipped Potatoes and Caramelized Tobacco Onions

Photo: Idaho Potato Commission
From: Chef/partner Dean Fearing, Fearing’s, The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas. Yield: 4 servings.

2 lb. beef short ribs cut 2” x 2”
¼ cup celery
¼ cup carrot
¼ cup onion
1 sprig thyme
1 tsp. sage
1 bay leaf
2 ancho chilis, seeds and stems removed
½ tsp. cumin, ground
½ tsp. coriander, ground
1 tsp. smoked paprika
¼ cup smoked onion
¼ cup tomato
¼ cup red wine
1 tsp. jalapeno pepper, rough cut
4 cups Dublin Dr. Pepper
2 qt. chicken stock
 6 large russet potatoes, peeled
½ stick butter, melted
1 pint heavy cream
1 Tbsp. butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 shallot, minced
2 ears yellow corn, shucked and kernels removed
3 oz. San Pedro cheese or queso fresco
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 Spanish onion, peeled and julienned
1½ tsp. cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp. paprika
to taste, salt and pepper

For short ribs: In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, season short ribs with salt and pepper and sear with vegetable oil, fat-side down. After 3 minutes, turn the short ribs over and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Remove the short ribs from the pan and set aside. Add celery, carrot and onion to the pan and cook until golden brown, approximately 5 minutes. Add spices, smoked onion, jalapeno and tomato; continue to cook for an additional 5 minutes. Add red wine and reduce liquid by half. Next, add Dr. Pepper and reduce by half. Add chicken stock, season and add the short ribs back to the pan. Cover with plastic wrap and foil; place  in a 300°F oven for 4 to 5 hours until tender. Remove the short ribs from the oven and set aside. Strain the remaining liquid from the pan through a fine mesh strainer and into a medium size saucepot. Place the saucepot over medium high heat and reduce liquid by half. Season to taste.

For queso fresco corn whipped potatoes: Place potatoes in  a large soup pot or kettle and cover with water. Bring water to a boil and bring down to a simmer; cook potatoes for 25-30 minutes, or until they are tender when pierced with a fork. Drain. Place into a large bowl and mash by hand for potatoes that are slightly lumpy, or with an electric hand mixer for smoother mashed potatoes. Add heavy cream (a little at a time to avoid potatoes getting too thin) and butter, stirring well after the addition of each ingredient. In a medium sauté pan over medium heat, add butter. Add garlic and sauté to a very light brown, about 1 minute. Add shallots and sauté for 1 minute. Add corn kernels and cook for 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat and add mixture to mashed potatoes. Fold in cheese, stir to combine and taste for seasoning.

For caramelized tobacco onions: In a medium size sauté pan over medium high heat, add oil and onions. Continue to cook onions while stirring until caramelized or medium brown in color. Season with cayenne pepper, paprika, salt and black pepper. Remove onions from heat and reserve.

To serve: Separate the short ribs into 4 equal pieces. On four warm plates, place an even amount of queso fresco corn whipped potatoes in center. Over potatoes, place one short rib. Place 2 Tbsp. reduced short rib sauce over the top of each plate. Garnish with caramelized tobacco onions on top of the short rib.