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Ask Me Anything: What I'm Thankful For
This week: Where to eat in Puerto Rico, the recipe for my short rib borscht, and Thanksgiving sides advice.
Happy Monday and welcome to Ask Me Anything, the weekly feature where I answer anything you want to know. Not surprisingly, a few of this week’s questions are about Thanksgiving. (Here’s my complete guide to the holiday. Want something delicious to make before Thursday? Try these tacos.)
You really can ask me anything—just buy yourself a subscription to Spilled Milk (here, take 25 percent off!) and you’ll have full access to the comments section, where you can leave your questions. In previous weeks I’ve talked about how I keep track of what hotel room I’m in, great places to eat in Portland, Maine, and smoothies.
People ask how I do it all. The truth is, I don’t. For a few dollars a month, you can support Spilled Milk and the team that makes it.
Puerto Rico Recommendations
Drive to Guavate on a Saturday and eat the best lechón all day and dance to all the music.
Any Jose Enrique restaurant
Any Wilo Benet restaurant
Short Rib Borscht
The Stock (Yields 4+ quarts)
7 lbs. beef short ribs
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced thin
1 onion, minced
2 carrots, minced
2 ribs celery, minced
Bouquet garni: 2 sprigs parsley, 1 bay leaf, 1 sprig rosemary and 2 sprigs thyme
2 cups pureéd tomato
2 cups red wine
Brown ribs in a large pan seasoned with 2 tablespoons oil, and reserve to a large stockpot.
Deglaze pan with the vegetables and herbs, tossing to color up the vegetables.
Add the tomato and wine.
Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes.
Pour contents of pan over the ribs, add 6 quarts water and bring to a boil.
Lower heat to maintain a simmer and cook for 90 minutes.
Strain and cool liquid, skimming and discarding fat.
Remove ribs and bones. When they’re cool enough to handle, slip the meat from bones, and discard bones.
Slice meat ‘rectangles’ away from the cartilage that holds them to the bones. Discard the cartilage and reserve or dice the meat. You can place meat in broth and chill overnight, or pan crisp and serve the meat as another meal.
The next day, discard any additional fat that solidifies over the top of the broth.
Utilize as needed for the recipe below or for other enriched beef stock recipes.
The Borscht (serves 10-12)
1 cup each diced carrot, celery and onion
1 small head cabbage, cleaned, cored and shredded
3 lbs. beets, peeled and diced
Juice of 1 lemon
6 crushed garlic cloves
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 bay leaves
4 tablespoons dill sprigs, minced
3 tablespoons minced parsley
½ gallon beef stock and beef
2 tablespoons white vinegar
32 oz. can diced tomato in its own juice, drained, juice reserved for another use
Sugar, salt and pepper to taste
Place a few tablespoons of oil in a large pot over medium high heat and add the vegetables, garlic, tomato paste and spices. Sweat until the onions are glassy.
Add the liquids, beef and tomatoes.
Bring to a simmer and cook for 1 hour.
Season and serve with black bread, prepared horseradish and sour cream
This week’s questions
I’m going to a friendsgiving and the host asked me not to bring food, which I am trying not to be insulted by! Anyway I need to bring SOMETHING. What’s a good fall/Thanksgiving host gift?
My partner and I are going to Puerto Rico next year, so … what should we eat, and where should we eat it?
Hi Andrew! What do you think about steamer ovens verses conventional ovens? Thank you.
How can I get better at cooking over an open fire?
Will you ever share the recipe for your short rib borscht?
What’s your favorite Moroccan snack?
Is this the Timberwolves year?
What do you think about post-pandemic fees that restaurants say they’ll refund if customers ask? It feels weird to me that they’re making it the diner’s responsibility.
Any sides you always make for Thanksgiving?
What are some things you’re thankful for this year?