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Side dish for braised short ribs + risotto milanese?

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Any recommendations for a side dish or accompaniments? The risotto and short ribs are pretty rich so I'm looking for something that might balance that with a lighter vegetable dish, but still robust enough that it won't seem like an afterthought.

The short ribs are braised in red wine and beef stock with a rosemary sprig, then finished with a run under the broiler covered by some kind of sweet/salty glaze I haven't figured out yet. The risotto contains marrow and saffron and wine.

Anyone have any ideas?

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  1. I think a green vegetable (green beans for example - sugar snaps - etc) blanched and quickly sautéed with butter and shallots would be nice and not an afterthought at all. You could also do the same tossed with a little balsamic vinegar which might be a nice acidic contrast to the rich short ribs and risotto.

    If you want to go a little more substantial - you could try something along the lines of a shaved fennel and orange salad. Also bright and acidic to contrast the rich other dishes - though the success of this pairing might depend on what goes into the sweet/salty glaze.

    Sounds tasty though!

    1. Are you committed to the risotto alla Milanese? The parmigiano and saffron strikes me as a little discordant with a red wine braise and sweet/salty glaze. Last time i did short ribs (similar to your preparation) i did pureed potatoes and it worked very well. For greens i did a frisee salad aux lardons (first course) and the combination worked well.

      Good luck

       
       
      1 Reply
      1. re: rjbh20

        Well, my guests really love the risotto and never make it (they're my parents, they fear risotto) but it's a traditional side with ossobuco which is actually similar to the way I cook the short ribs* so I think somewhere, it'll work. But now that I'm thinking that, I'm considering making a gremolata with it, too, which is also traditional and kind of bright tasting. Maybe drop the rosemary sprig and that might bring it together better.

        I like the frisee salad idea and the fennel salad idea above....

        *Actually they're pretty bonkers for both short ribs and the risotto.

      2. This is screaming for a touch of bitterish greens; maybe some broccoli rabe w/ garlic and a drizzle of very good oil, or some cavolo nero if you enjoy Kale. But definitely a green veg. of some type. If you're not into bitter, some Italian green beans would be great too, or small peas if you can get good ones - frozen can be better than fresh, and piselli's a classic side, w/ a little pancetta and oil maybe. Even braised Cippoline onions would work nicely as an addenda, either as a full side or added to the peas or beans.

        1 Reply
        1. re: mamachef

          +1 on bitter greens, or raw, shaved fennel, to cut trough a very rich meal. very lightly dressed and finished with a splash of citrus juice.

          if you're committed to the risotto, i'd make a very small amount and serve it as a first course, with the ribs and greens as the main.

        2. I am a big fan of asparagus with (or in) risotto. Depending on size, steam them and then finish in a saute pan or just saute. I would add in garlic maybe a touch of the red wince reduction from the ribs, and rosemary.

          1. Petite peas or asparagus tips is my choice. Will complement the risotto rather than get in the way.