RAGIN CAJUN SHORT RIB, BEET, AND BUTTERNUT CHILI OVER GORGONZOLA SWEET POTATOES
1 ½-pounds beets
2 tablespoons olive oil
3.5 pounds beef short ribs
2 tablespoons Dish off the Block Ragin’ Cajun Spice Blend
2 medium-large onions, chopped
6 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
2 jalapenos, chopped fine including seeds
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
¼ cup brown sugar
2, 28-ounce cans crushed San Marzano tomatoes
1, 20-ounce can pineapple chunks
2 cups orange juice
4 cups butternut squash, peeled and chopped into 2-3” chunks
4, large sweet potatoes (about 2 ½ pounds)
1, 19-ounce can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1, 15.5-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1, 15.5-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
½-1 cup water
2, 5-ounce packages Treasure Cave Crumbled Gorgonzola Cheese
½ cup scallions, chopped
¼ cup cilantro leaves, chopped
Cut the leaves off of the beet root leaving about 2” of stems attached. Cover the beets with water in a large pot and boil for 1-1 ½ hours until the beets are tender when a knife is inserted in the center. Drain and cover with cold water. When the beets are cool enough to handle, peel off the skins, under cold running water (so you don’t stain your hands). Chop into 1” chunks and set aside.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
In a large Dutch oven (6-8 quart), heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Let the pan get very hot while you season the short ribs.
Rub the short ribs all over with 1 tablespoon of the Cajun seasoning. Sear in oil on all sides until nicely browned, about 2 minutes per side.
Remove the seared ribs to a plate and add the chopped onions, garlic, and jalapenos to the pot. Stir and cook until onions are translucent and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the remaining tablespoon of the Cajun seasoning, chili powder, cumin, brown sugar, the 2 cans crushed tomatoes, pineapple, and orange juice to the pot. Stir well to combine and bring to a boil. Add the short ribs back to the pot, cover, and place in oven.
Cook for 2 ½ hours and remove from oven. Add the butternut squash to the pot and gently stir to combine. Short ribs should be very tender and may start to fall apart. Place back in the oven for an additional 30-40 minutes until the butternut squash is tender and the meat is falling off the bones.
At the same time, line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and coat with non-stick cooking spray. Scrub the sweet potatoes under running water to remove any debris and the poke all over with the tines of a fork. Place in the oven and bake for 40-50 minutes until they are very tender and soft in the center. Timing will depend on the size of the potatoes.
Remove the short ribs from the oven and take the ribs and bones out of the sauce and set aside to cool slightly. Skim any excess fat off the top of the sauce in the pot. Add the chopped beets, all 3 cans of rinsed beans, and corn to the pot. Add enough water to give a thick gravy consistency.
Shred the meat off the short ribs and discard the bones and any cartilage. Add the meat back to the pot and keep warm until ready to plate. Just before serving, stir in one container of the crumbled gorgonzola cheese.
When the sweet potatoes are soft, remove them from the oven and split each one lengthwise down the center. Add 1-2 tablespoons of the crumbled gorgonzola to each potato and gently mash it into the flesh with a fork.
To serve, top the gorgonzola sweet potatoes with the chili and garnish with scallions, cilantro, and more yummy crumbed gorgonzola.