By Stephanie Butnick

Independence Day is upon us, and while it’s not a Jewish holiday, it does have a ‘they tried to rule us, we won our independence, let’s eat’ vibe to it. In the spirit of freedom, and grilling—which is, after all, the official fourth of July pastime—here are two of our favorite barbecue recipes from Tablet’s archives.

New York Knicks power forward Amar’e Stoudemire, a part-owner of Israeli basketball team Hapoel Jerusalem whose interest in Judaism has been well-documented (by us, at least). His new cookbook, new cookbook, Cooking with Amar’e, includes the short rib recipe his family love to serve at their epic Shabbat dinners.

Braised Barbecued Beef Ribs
Serves 6-8
Reprinted with permission from Cooking with Amar’e, published by HarperCollins

6 bone-in short ribs (about 5 1⁄4 pounds)
1 large Spanish onion, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
2 celery stalks, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
2 carrots, cut in half and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, stemmed and chopped
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1 cup hearty red wine
1 cup vegetable stock
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
1 bunch fresh thyme, tied with kitchen string
2 bay leaves
2 lemons, sliced into rings
Kosher salt
Extra-virgin olive oil

Season each short rib generously with salt. Coat a very large stockpot with olive oil. If you don’t have a pot large enough to hold all the meat and vegetables, divide them between two pots. Set the pot over high heat.

Add the short ribs to the pot and brown them very well, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Do not overcrowd the pan. Cook in batches, if necessary.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

While the short ribs are browning, puree the onion, celery, carrots, garlic, and cilantro in a food processor until a coarse paste forms.

When the short ribs are very brown on all sides, remove them from the pan. Pour off the fat into a small, heatproof bowl. (You can dispose of it when it cools down.) Coat the bottom of the same pan with about 1/4 cup of additional oil and add the pureed vegetables. Season the vegetables generously with salt and brown them on medium-low for 5-7 minutes, or until they are softened.

Add the tomato paste. Cook over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the wine and vegetable stock, and cook, scraping the bottom of the pan, for about 10 minutes or until the liquid is reduced by half. Lower the heat if the mixture starts to burn.

Return the short ribs to the pan and add the barbecue sauce. Add the thyme bundle and the
bay leaves.

Cover the pan and bake for 2 hours, checking periodically and adding more stock if the meat seems to be drying out. Turn the ribs over after 90 minutes. Remove the lid during the last 20 minutes of cooking so the meat gets nice and brown and the sauce is reduced. When the meat is very tender but not falling apart, remove it from the oven. Remove the bay leaves. Serve it with the braising liquid. Garnish with lemon slices.

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