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Help Please. Need ideas for side dishes (easy please) for short ribs

Making a special Valentine's meal (I am a bit nervous never having made short ribs before.) But, I am confident that I can follow a recipe provided by a friend who is fabulous cook.

I would like to serve a nice salad, but what other sides that are simple would a nice pairing?

Thank you

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  1. polenta or mashed potatoes. both easy, classic pairings with short ribs.

    and if you want a green veg in addition to the salad, sauteed swiss chard.

    5 Replies
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

      Great suggestions! To fancy up the mashed potatoes without complicating things, maybe add some mashed celery root. I was going to say Jerusalem artichoke, but those are such a pain to peel.

      I've never done swiss chard, but I like pine nuts in other sauteed greens sometimes, for a little texture.

      1. re: novelgazer

        I love Jerusalem artichoke, but they may not be the best for a romantic meal. It can create some embarrassing intestinal issues for some.

        1. re: meatn3

          him: "what was that? I heard something!"
          her: "huh? *I* didn't hear anything."
          him: "oh *yes i did*!"


        2. re: goodhealthgourmet

          Swiss chard and polenta is a great combo - I had it at a restaurant with some (very overpoweringly smokey) sausages.

        3. I love polenta/grits with short ribs. And I'd go for a green veggie that will have maintain some texture - like fresh green beans or brussel sprouts.

          1. simple roasted cauliflower is a whole different animal than unroasted. superb with just salt & pepper (so, guilt-free).

            plus, you gotta have potatoes.

            instead of a salad, i'd like green beans, maybe with a warm lemon vinaigrette, depending on what the ribs are braised with.... (you need some crunch on the plate, so avoid all soft veggies).

            1 Reply
            1. re: alkapal

              avoid having every veggie be a soft veggie, i meant.

            2. Well, _how_ are you braising the short ribs?
              Off the top, I'd pick asparagus (good prices right now - just snagged 8 pounds from Fresh & Easy - pencil thin - at 50 cents a pound, last night!)
              roasted parnips - any root, really - and be generous in the serving of it, too.
              What you're braising the short ribs with would matter in final selection IMHO.
              For green side - if not liking long asparagus, or whole green beans - to keep the phallic going - maybe some kale? Kale is _so_ yummy & beautiful right now...

              1. Braise some leeks along with the short ribs. Just about any root vegetables work very nicely added to the braise as well.

                1. I love the idea of polenta and heres thew's recipe for oven-baked which is so easy. My 30 y.o. daughter just served it at a dinner party. Many raves. It's a little guilty pleasure to make something so good that's so easy.


                  Also last night I cooked and then pureed butternut squash. I used my ricer but FP is fine. Then added cream and butter and s&p. From JC's The Way to Cook. It's really good and a pretty color also.

                  1. I always make garlic mashed potatoes, b/c the gravy is so good, you want to eat it all. Steamed broccoli, since my kids eat it, and sometimes, an iceberg wedge salad with homemade blue cheese on it, for contrasting textures, very cool & crispy.

                    1. All of the replies sound so good, but I was thinking don't forget the bread to sop up all the fantastic jus!

                      1. How' are you making the short-ribs (flavor-wise)?

                        I like risotto or polenta usually.

                        1. Asparagus season is just staring, if you can find some nice asparagus stalks, I would steam lighlty and garnish with some salt and pepper. It's a nice pairing to hearty dish like short ribs.

                          1. for a sexy special dinner, I would do a pear, walnut and bitter greens salad, and add a few pine nuts if I had them, to start off, sprinkle in a few tiny edible rosebuds if you can find them. You want a side that will catch and hold that beautiful braised short rib juiciness, I like a mix of mashed potatoes and parsnips, and depending on the spicing of the ribs, maybe a apple as well, that little sweet can bring out so much. As for veggie, I would do a roasted cauliflower (since you are already doing a bitter green in the salad) finished with a touch of cream and an even smaller hint of white truffle oil.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: Quine

                              Ah! In my heart of hearts I'd go with the potatoes & parsnips, but I didn't dare suggest it, thinking I was the only one who did it on Earth '-) LOL!
                              Excellent pairing! <3

                              1. re: Quine

                                Gosh, I'd feel sexy just making that dinner. I'm going to have to save that idea.

                              2. A restaurant chef paired it with a celericac-potato gratin--delish!

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: Funwithfood

                                  i'd eat a gratin anywhere, anytime -- but i didn't suggest it, thinking a gratin would be a bit heavy with the short ribs, which tend to be quite rich from their own fat.

                                  the gratin, however, really doesn't *have* to have so much richness -- one might even be able to use the same amount of dairy in the gratin as one would in a nice mashed potato dish.

                                  in fact, maybe the crunchy "caramelized" top bits of the gratin would be a nice texture contrast with the ribs. (that's always the best part, ya know! :-).


                                  ok, i've talked myself into a gratin!

                                  i like quine's salad -- which can be enriched with a gorgonzola dolce or blue cheese.

                                  however, you don't want too much heavy food -- IF ya know what i mean.

                                  1. re: alkapal

                                    *wink* yeah I was trying to keep that salad lighter than usual, normally I would use a nice cheese as you suggest. Pomagranet seeds are a replacement for the edible rosebuds.

                                    Normally I make the roasted califlower more like a gratin as well, but in this case let that go a bit lighter too.

                                    Gotta leave room for er...dessert.

                                  2. re: Funwithfood

                                    Oops, in the middle of the night I realized I called it a "gratin", but it was just mashed potatoes with celeriac (which gives it a vegetal, lighter flavor.)