Short Rib Grilled Cheese with Fig Spread

I don’t know about you, but here in Rhode Island we have had crazy winter weather.  Ice, snow, wind, cold air and now a balmy day with snow melt and rain.  On gray days like this one of our favorite family dinners is comfort food at its finest- short rib grilled cheese.  It can be paired with a creamy soup or eaten on its own- the best part? Most of the components can be prepped earlier in the day and then assembled and grilled off just in time for dinner.

For this recipe we love to use our Cuisinart electric pressure cooker.  It is our go to quick cooking tool in the kitchen.  We started with good quality short ribs which we seasoned with salt and pepper and then browned in the pressure cooker (with a splash or olive oil) on the browning setting. We find this to be so convenient because it means one pan cooking.  Which means less clean up! Once browned we removed from the cooker and set aside.  We added a little mix of one chopped onion, one chopped carrot, and cooked until the onion was translucent.  We then added rosemary and a good splash of red wine to deglaze the pot.  The ribs went back in and we cooked this on high pressure for approx. 45 minutes, with the natural release of about ten minutes before we opened the top.  The meat was pulled off the bones and chopped rough.  This can be used right away or put in the fridge for cooking later in the day.

At our house most of us like a good sweet and savory mix in our meals.  For this recipe we made a simple fig spread by peeling and chopping figs, placing in a saucepan with a splash of water and reducing until a thick jam like consistency formed.  We toasted our bread, topped with the fig spread, some good local cheddar which we shredded, the chopped meat and a good handful of arugula, more cheese and the top piece of bread.  These were toasted in a grilling pan with our Cuisinart grill press (which we find works equally well inside for pressed sandwiches).  The end result? Total yumminess with a sweet little hint of fig.

As I said earlier, this can all be prepped earlier for quick assembly and grilling.  If your house is anything like mine, we are busy in the afternoons.  When we get home from activities the kids are STARVING and want dinner quick.  Having all the little steps ready makes for quick prep time later in the day.  Happy kids = easy night!