This slow but very easy braise melts the meat into a texture toddlers adore. Serve with mashed potatoes or pasta, such as penne.
2 lbs short ribs
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp chopped garlic
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 tbsp molasses
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 box (900 mL) reduced-sodium beef broth
2 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick
4 cups sweet potatoes, diced into 1 in (5 cm) chunks
Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Season short ribs with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large ovenproof pot at medium and cook short ribs in a single layer (you may need to do this in 2 batches) until chestnut-brown, about 4 minutes per side.
Transfer to a plate. Drain off all but 2 tbsp (30 mL) of the fat, and cook garlic, celery and onions at medium until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the short ribs, molasses, tomato paste, stock, bay leaves and cinnamon stick. Bake covered in the oven for 1½ hours.
Remove from oven, add sweet potatoes and, if the braise seems dry, add up to 1 cup (250 mL) water or stock. Bake until sweet potatoes are tender and soft, about 20 minutes. Skim off fat now, or allow it to cool, refrigerate overnight, and then remove hardened fat.
4 adult and 2 toddler servings.
To tempt toddlers: Simply remove meat from bones, shred into small pieces and mix with sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes or pasta.
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