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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.

            1. Broccoli rabe, broccolini, or escarole, sauteed in garlic and oil. Or else either asparagus, spinach or green beans, also given the garlic treatment. Any of the above optionally brightened with lemon juice or balsamic vinegar.

              1. If you have Italian genes, the side dish is a salad. Cooking time is zilch. Slicing and dicing are involved.

                Buon Appetito!