Saturday, April 20, 2013

Beef Short Ribs, Cheese, and Jalapeno Panini

Panini... Italian for fancy smashed grilled cheese sandwiches.  Ha, ha!
Husband picked out these good looking rolls... this has "Guy Food" written all over it.

Cheese top and bottom to "glue" it all together... we used Swiss cheese since we had it on hand...  I scooped out a little of the bready, fluffy-ness to make a well in both the top and bottom buns...

 I would have preferred Pepper Jack cheese, so I added some jalapeno slices from a jar...

Then I filled the sandwich with shredded meat (boneless beef short ribs... braised in the slow cooker with a great spice rub)...

Spread a little margarine or butter on the top and bottom of each bun, as you would with a grilled cheese sandwich... and place the sandwiches in a grill pan, panini press, or George Foreman Grill... why, on the Food Network, I've seen those fancy chefs use a brick (from the garden or random construction site?) covered with aluminum foil... I don't know about you, but I do NOT have random bricks lying around my home.  Thankfully, my mother-in-law, Maryellen, gifted me this amazing grill pan a number of years ago.  I also make these sandwiches in my George Foreman Grill... but that thing is a pain to clean... but I digress...

My grill pan came with a cast iron lid.  I seriously think the press weighs 3 to 5 pounds... seriously.  It does a good job smashing the sandwiches. 

Boneless Beef Short Ribs (Slow Cooker)
This will make a great number of meaty sandwiches (10 to 12 sandwiches). I use two packages of boneless, beef short ribs.  This recipe can easily be cut in half for fewer sandwiches.

2 to 2 1/2 pounds trimmed boneless beef short ribs, trimmed of visible fat 
1/2 to 3/4 cup water
2 teaspoons smoked sweet paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder or granulated garlic
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ancho chili powder
several grinds of black pepper (about 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon)
jalapeno slices from a jar
sliced cheese of your choice (provolone, Swiss, Monterrey jack, or pepper jack are all good choices)
fresh rolls... hoagies, buns, something with height because you are doing to smoosh the heck out of it
Trim beef (might also work well with chicken or pork) of visible fat. Add 1/2 to 3/4 cup water to slow cooker.
In a small bowl, combine the seven spice ingredients.  Sprinkle the spice mixture over the beef (or chicken or pork), coating all sides as best as possible.  Place the seasoned beef in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 4 to 6 hours, or until the meat shreds easily.

Remove the beef (or chicken or pork) from the slow cooker and shred with two forks. To make sandwiches, place sliced cheese in bun/hoagie rolls, and top with shredded meat, and jalapeno pepper slices (optional). Spread a little butter, margarine, or olive oil on the outside of the buns and cook like a grilled cheese sandwich on both sides... in a pan, on a griddle, in a panini press, on a George Foreman grill, or a panini pan (like mine).

If desired, strain cooking liquids from the slow cooker through a fine mesh sieve or strainer. Serve sandwiches with the cooking liquid just like a French Dip sandwich with Au Jus on the side.

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