Braised Short Ribs with Jalapeño Grits and Cilantro Pesto

Winter is for comfort food, and with temperatures this year already delving into the twenties, we might need a lot.
That quest for comfort is well understood by Matt Farley, executive chef for The Southern Steak and Oyster, The Southernaire, and ACME Feed and Seed. From seafood gumbo in dark roux to smoked baby back pork ribs and white cheddar mac to curried chickpeas, coconut rice and cashews, the TomKats family of restaurants understands our need for upscale yet approachable dishes with solace and warmth.
Can’t get out? Chef Matt’s got you covered. Here he’s shared a recipe for a fabulous dish that marries his “Broken Spoke Pot Roast” (Braised Beef Short Ribs) served at ACME, with the jalapeno grits, (roasted cipollini onions and cilantro pesto), served at The Southern. Together they form the best of all comforts: creamy cheesy grits sparked with heat, caramel-sweet onions, crowned with the king of tender-rich beef, braised and plated in its sumptuous juices. The final touch, cilantro pesto, is a bright hit of green, a reminder that spring will indeed come.
By | January 18, 2016


1. To prepare the short ribs, heat oil  in a large skillet over medium heat.  

2. Season the short ribs generously with salt and pepper. Add to the skillet and cook over medium/high heat browned. Remove beef from skillet and set aside. In the same pan, add onions, carrots, celery and garlic and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until very soft and lightly browned, about 15 minutes. 

3. Preheat oven to 325°F. Place short ribs in a roasting pan. Put cooked vegetables over the meat. Add thyme, rosemary and bay leaves. Pour enough veal stock or low sodium beef stock to cover the short ribs. Cover with foil, and bake for 2 hours or until the bones start to loosen when moved or a skewer can easily be pushed through meat. Transfer the meat to a clean shallow baking dish. Strain the sauce and skim off as much fat as possible. Pour sauce over the meat. 

4. To prepare onions: Preheat oven to 375º. Toss onions in olive oil, salt, pepper and thyme. Roast for 15 minutes, or until caramelized and soft.  

Set aside until the beef is done. Add to the beef and sauce.  

To serve, Place a scoop of grits in the center of a large pasta bowl. Top with short ribs, onions and sauce. Garnish with cilantro pesto if desired. 

Related Stories & Recipes

Jalapeño Cheddar Grits

It doesn’t matter if they are white or yellow grits, but for best results, be sure that they are stone ground grits. At ACME Feed and Seed, the grits of choice are sourced from Falls Mill in Belvidere...

Cilantro Pesto

Even though we associate cilantro with summery South of the Border dishes, it flourishes in cool weather. Make a big batch of this grassy pesto and use it to embellish other things such as breakfast b...

Fall Recipes from Acme Chef Matt Farley

Autumn. Cool crisp air, a different slant of light, green leaves turning into brilliant shades of orange and gold--these welcome shifts lift us from the sluggish end of summer. As the season c...


  • 4 tablespoons canola oil
  • 5 pounds beef short ribs, cut 2 inches
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 3 celery ribs, sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, thickly sliced
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 quarts veal or beef stock
  • 12-16 cipollini onions
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
Build your own subscription bundle.
Pick 3 regions for $60