For us here in Northern California, the end of berry season is bitter sweet. It means we'll soon be harvesting olives and almonds, that butternut squash and pumpkins will be gracing our stoops, and that the evenings will cool down and patio dinner parties will be much more frequent.
The berries, though, will be gone, and we'll be left with the craving for a fresh, juicy blueberry to add color and vibrancy to our morning granola.
This is precisely why we love our brand new Ripe Blueberry Balsamic Vinegar. It's sweet and tangy and the perfect compliment to any berry craving dish.
With the cooler weather creeping in and the slow cooking on the brink of every day, it seemed only appropriate that we experiment with this blueberry goodness in a savory way.
Sure, we could have tossed it on a salad with some end of season peaches and freshly barbecued chicken. It would have been great as a drizzle on some broiled salmon or even better in a blueberry balsamic martini. But, alas, the family was craving some warm, melty, rich shredded beef sandwiches.
It was pleasantly surprising how quickly this recipe came together, and the smoky tangy flavor had the family asking if there were any leftovers the next day.
makes 4 sandwiches | total cook time of 4-6 hours
4.5 lbs beef short ribs, cut in two rib chunks
1 small yellow onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, smashed but left whole
2 tablespoons Wild Groves Kitchen Blend olive oil
1/4 cup Wild Groves Ripe Blueberry balsamic vinegar
1 small can crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
2 tablespoons dried thyme
salt and pepper, to taste
4 sesame seed buns
Freshly cut rounds of red onion
4 thin slices cheddar cheese
Warm olive oil in a deep stock pot until shimmering
Add short ribs, browning each side (about 2 minutes per side)
Remove short ribs and keep covered on a plate
Add onion, garlic, paprika, thyme, salt and pepper to pot, and stir until onion is just softened and transparent.
Pour in balsamic vinegar, scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.
Simmer until bubbling, then add crushed tomatoes.
Stir softly until small bubbles form on the surface.
Gently add short ribs back to the pot, turn the heat down to low and cover.
Let simmer for 4-6 hours, until rib bones have fallen out of meat, and meat is easily shredded with a fork.
Once meat is shredded, stir back into sauce.
Toast each hamburger bun under the broiler or on the grill.
Top bottom halves of buns with a generous helping of shredded meat and sauce.
Layer onion and cheese on top.
Place back on grill or under broiler until cheese is sufficiently melted. Top with the hamburger bun top, and devour.