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Recipe: Short Rib Sliders with Blue Cheese and Dates

Want to be a superstar at the Fourth of July BBQ?  Scratch that...want to be a superstar anytimeMake my friend Jaeson's sliders.  When he brought these out, they turned a group of polite adults into ravenous vultures, bent on decimating the offering before us.  In other words - they are GOOD!  They have a perfect balance of sweet, salty, and just a touch of sour.  Recipe below, as told by Jaeson:

Short Rib Sliders with Blue Cheese and Dates
Makes 36 servings

You will need:

5lbs beef short ribs
A dry rub (Jaeson makes his own, and while he's not revealing the exact recipe, I can tell you it consists of Salt, Pepper, Cumin, Cayenne, Smoked paprika, Ancho chili, Brown sugar, Mustard seed, Onion powder, Garlic powder.)

Ingredients for searing
Olive oil
1 cup red wine

Ingredients for the Dutch oven
2 large onions quartered
2 carrots roughly chopped
2 stalks of celery roughly chopped
1 large can of San Marzano tomatoes
2 cups beef broth (home made if you have it, if not low sodium)
6 pitted dates
4 cloves garlic
fresh Thyme
2 bay leaves
2 hot peppers (I used dried cayenne but have used others as well)
white vinegar 1/3 cup

Ingredients for relish
1 cup chopped green onion (or more...you can be flexible with this amount)
1 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup white sugar

Ingredients for slider assembly
36 mini ciabatta rolls
18 pitted dates, cut in half lengthwise
2 cups crumbled blue cheese
Melted butter or olive oil
Finishing salt

1) Pat beef short ribs dry then rub with a dry rub until coated on all sides. Place in fridge for minimum of two hours, or up to over night. 

2) When you're ready to cook, add oil to pan and seer outside of short-ribs on all sides in a hot pan.  De-glaze with 1 cup of red wine, and pour into dutch oven.

3) To the dutch oven add everything in the "Dutch Oven" ingredients, above.  Set oven to 275 degrees and cook for 4-8 hours until meat is tender and falls apart.

4) While the beef is cooking, you can make the relish.  Heat 1 cup of vinegar to a boil and stir in a pinch of salt, some black pepper, and a quarter cup of sugar.  Pour over chopped onions.  Let stand at least 30 minutes, and up to 2 weeks.

5) Once the beef is done, assemble the sliders.  On a small roll, add onion relish, half a date, 1 oz of short rib, and blue cheese.  Place sliders on a sheet pan with a wire insert.  Cover with foil, and cook for 20 minutes at 200 degrees F.  Remove from oven, brush the top bun with melted butter or olive oil, add some finishing salt, and place back in oven uncovered for 5 minutes.

Serve hot.

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