I am a little obsessed with honey right now. It’s not just that we eat so much of it on the Jewish holidays, it’s also about the worker bees.
Because I know how diligent honeybees are. Gathering nectar and storing it in sacs in their tummies. Handing over the harvest to more worker bees back at the hive, who actually chew the nectar, changing it from sucrose into glucose and fructose.
After that more worker bees put the liquid into honeycombs, where it becomes thick and syrupy as its water content evaporates.
It reminds me of the (mostly) women who gather ingredients at the store and don’t hand over the harvest but actually spend more time changing the ingredients into delicious dinners and lunches and desserts and wrap up everything and put it in the fridge or freezer so everyone in the family can eat well, especially during the holidays.
But the work is gratifying, as it must be for the bees. Because it’s when family comes and it’s really nice when everyone buzzes around the home fires.
Besides, a new year always seems to start off hopeful, doesn’t it? So we can celebrate even though — and maybe even because — we’ve worked so hard.
But back to the honey.
This year, in addition to serving apples and honey, I am cooking all sorts of savory honey-infused items. Like the Roasted Cider Chicken recipe I posted yesterday. And these really tasty Braised Short Ribs, a recipe you can make way ahead and freeze!
Braised Short Ribs with Honey
5-6 pounds short ribs with bones or 4 pounds boneless
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large onions, sliced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup bottled chili saice
1/2 cup red wine
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup honey
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon ground ginger
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Dredge the meat in some flour and shake off the excess. Heat 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the meat, a few pieces at a time and cook them for 3-4 minutes per side or until lightly browned. Remove the meat to a dish and set aside. Pour the remaining vegetable oil in the pan. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally for about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook briefly. Return the meat to the pan. Pour in the chili sauce, red wine, water, apple cider vinegar and honey. Add the bay leaf and ginger, stir the ingredients and spoon the sauce over the meat a few times. Sprinkle with salt and pepper if desired. Cover the pan, turn the heat to low and cook for about 4 hours or until the meat is tender. reduce the sauce if desired: skim the fat and cook at high heat. Makes 6 servings