Short Rib Marmalade Crostini, A Moxy Inspired Tapas

If you visit Portsmouth, New Hampshire and walk into Moxy for the first time, you might not guess that this casual restaurant’s chef, Matt Louis, has been nominated for Best Chef in the Northeast region by the James Beard Foundation…that is until you sit down and try his food. Before opening this small hip restaurant on Penhallow street in the historic part of the city, chef Matt once worked for the award winning chef Thomas Keller at Bouchon, the French Laundry and Per Se.

The chef prepares what he calls modern American tapas in the open kitchen of a two storied restaurant with walls painted in primary colors of red, yellow and green and an exposed brick wall behind a large blue bar with bright green stools. Wooden plaques in the bar area list the regional farms where Chef Matt sources ingredients for his tapas that have a definite New England twist.

Knowing that the tapas are made with the freshest ingredients and that the menu changes with the seasons, this is a restaurant that my husband and I thoroughly enjoy. It’s also fun going with friends so that we can share little bites from the varied menu. On our last visit we started off with chili kale chips with pumpkin and sunflower seed granola bites. Next we ordered the Johnny cakes, which are a thin scallion cornmeal pancake. They came with pork shoulder, crispy onions, a choice of two sauces , and pickled cucumbers which you then wrap in a leaf of bibb lettuce and enjoy. Our final two tapas were apple cider lacquered pork belly and the short rib marmalade on grilled toast with pickled onions and Great hill blue cheese.

After our last visit to Moxy, I thought I would try to recreate chef Matt’s short rib marmalade tapas at home. While I wouldn’t call the beef really a marmalade, it is a very tender braised beef that is complimented by savory blue cheese and sweet pickled onions. I served the crostini with a marinated asparagus tips and carrot ribbon salad that was also inspired by another tapas dish that we enjoyed at Moxy a couple of years ago.

Short Rib Marmalade Crostoni With Marinated  Asparagus Tip And Carrot Ribbon Salad
Short Rib Marmalade Crostini With Marinated Asparagus Tips And Carrot Ribbon Salad

Short Rib Marmalade Crostini

Short Rib Marmalade

  • 1 lb. boneless beef short ribs
  • 2 – 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, cut into several pieces
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 c. red wine
  • 2 c. beef broth
  • 1 Tbsp. balsamic or red wine vinegar

Season the short ribs with the garlic and onion powder, salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a pot over medium high heat until hot and add the short ribs and brown on all sides.  Remove to a plate. Add the onions and carrots to the pot and sauté until the onions start to get soft. Add the garlic and cook for one minute. Add the red wine and scrape up the brown bits and let cook until reduced by half. Add in the beef broth, thyme and return the short ribs. Bring the liquid to a boil and then reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for about 3 hours or until the meat is fork tender. Remove the short ribs and strain the broth. When the meat is cool enough to handle, shred into bite size pieces. Return the meat to the pot, add some of the reserved broth and the vinegar and cook the liquid until it has almost evaporated but the meat is still very moist. Taste for additional seasoning.

Pickled Onions

  • 1/4 c. sherry or apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 red or sweet Vidalia onion, cut in half and then sliced thinly

Place the onions in a small bowl. Heat the vinegar, water, sugar and salt in a pot, stir until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Pour the mixture over the onions and let sit for 1 hour. Onions can be made a day or two before and kept refrigerated. Drain before using.

To Assemble The Crostini

  • 1 baguette
  • 1 – 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • short rib marmalade
  • blue cheese crumbles

Slice the baguette on the bias about 1/4 inch thick and brush with olive oil. Grill the bread until brown on both sides. Top the bread with a large spoonful of the short ribs, a little of the pickled onions and sprinkle with some of the crumbled blue cheese and serve.


Each crostini is a couple of bites of savory deliciousness and would make a wonderful appetizer for a party. I like serving a dish such as the short ribs that can be prepared ahead of time, the meat reheated and kept warm until ready to assemble. The pickled onions can be kept refrigerated in their brine and can also be used on sandwiches and tacos as well as grilled meats.

I can’t wait to return to Moxy to see what new tapas have been added to the summer menu. Who knows, perhaps I will be inspired to try to make another of the chef’s creative tapas plates. Tell me, are you like me and do you try to recreate a dish or meal that you have enjoyed while dining at a restaurant?

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121 thoughts on “Short Rib Marmalade Crostini, A Moxy Inspired Tapas

  1. I’d love to go to Moxy – sounds like just the kind of place I love and your recreation of the crostini sounds delicious. Yes I like to sometimes try to recreate a dish I’ve enjoyed in a restaurant. I think it’s great fun to do this and nice to bring a memory of a good meal into your home.

    1. Hi Kay, From reading about all the restaurants you have tried in London, I do think that you would enjoy the delicious tapas at Moxy. I think we are very much alike, my friend. 🙂

  2. What a wonderful tapas dish. I know I would love it. I’ve been trying to keep pickled red onions in the fridge because they go so well with so many dishes. They are great in tacos. You have recreated the chef’s dish very well Karen. I am going to lunch today with a blogging friend and invariably I will find something on the menu that I want to recreate. Hope that is the case today. Hope the packing is going well.

    1. Hi Penny, It was fun trying to recreate chef Matt’s recipe and I was pleased with the result. Having pickled onions in the fridge comes in so handy, they go very well with so many dishes. The packing for our move has slowed down as I’m now working on getting our home “perfect” for realtor showings…wish me luck. 🙂

  3. Karen. these crostini look absolutely scrumptious. I will make them soon. If I’m ever in Portsmouth I hope I remember Moxy, it sounds wonderful. Good luck with your move and the sale of your house .

    1. I agree with you Darryl. There are good chefs and well known restaurants in Boston but it is an hour away from us. We are very lucky that Matt opened Moxy in Portsmouth.

  4. What a great recipe! Love the idea of short rib “marmalade!” Although I have to say what really caught my eye is the carrot ribbon salad — so colorful and fun. Good stuff — thanks.

    1. Thank you John, for your nice compliment. I’m happy that you like the recipe and the looks of the salad…it really is colorful.

    1. Hi Larry, Moxy really is a good restaurant. I was pleased with my version of the short ribs…I think it was real close. Thank you for the compliment. 🙂

  5. We’ll, I am sad as I missed Moxy during our stay in Portsmouth! It looks like a marvelous place and I love your recreations of their offerings! You must have quite the palate to discern the various spices and flavors. Thanks for sharing, we will find Moxy on our next visit and may even muster the courage to recreate your recipes. As always, so enjoyed your post!

    1. Hi Tin Man, Since you missed trying Moxy on your visit to Portsmouth, it just means you need to make a return trip. 🙂 Thank you for your compliment, I’m glad you enjoyed the post.

    1. Hi Sues, You do need to think about making a trip to Portsmouth. I’m sure it has changed a lot but in a very good way. I know you would enjoy Moxy if you do make a trip.

    1. Hi Diane, I know what you mean…these are flavorful little bites. Thank you for your wish, I hope you are having a nice weekend.

    1. Hi Fatima, It seems I’m making my friends across the pond mouths water with this dish. They really were very good…thank you.

    1. Thank you Lynda, I’m happy you like my version of this dish. Do stop for a meal at Moxy, I know you will enjoy the experience.

    1. I totally agree with you Sandra. I would rather have a lot of different little bites than just one entree. Thank you for your compliment, I was happy with the way the short ribs turned out.

  6. Love your short ribs! Great idea to serve as crostini. Must made some pickled onions! We’ve been loving the sweet onions these days and I imagine they would pickle nicely.

    1. Hi B, The crostini really are a nice little bite. The move is on hold for a little while as I’ve been trying to get the house ready for the realtors to start showing.

    1. Hi Boleyn, I know that you would enjoy tapas if you get a chance to try them. Thank you for your compliment about the crostini. 🙂

    1. Thank you Fae, for your enthusiastic compliment…I’m glad that you enjoyed the post about one of my favorite restaurants in Portsmouth and the crostini. 🙂

  7. What a fabulous recipe, Karen! I like the one reader’s suggestion to make sliders out of them. Inspiring! We don’t go out to each much, so I get my inspiration from blogs like yours!

    1. Thank you for your nice compliment, Kathryn. I’m glad that you like the recipe and yes, I think creating sliders would be great. I’m happy to know that my recipes give you inspiration. 😀

    1. Thank you Frank, I’m glad that you like the looks of this short rib recipe. I think all of us foodies do try and figure out how to recreate dishes we have seen or tried.

  8. Love the idea of ‘small bites’ – well, all degustation menus are based on that concept, aren’t they? Looked at the moreish ‘tapa’ and said ‘pulled pork’ until I saw the extra step to make it a ‘marmalade’ 🙂 ! Delicious dish worth trying to copy. Must admit I usually try to sneak a look at the recipe in print!!

    1. Hi Eha, You are correct about degustation menus being a perfect example of small bites…usually very delicious and sometimes the very best bites you will ever taste.

  9. I think you did an excellent job recreating this fabulous tapa. That is what makes Matt a great chef he inspires his patrons to go home and try to recreate it. Love it.


    1. Thank you Velva, I agree with you that a great chef does inspire us to try to aspire to be a better cook. If we can get a dish to taste like one they created and we have enjoyed, it makes a home cook very happy, indeed.

    1. Hi Angie, The food was great and the Johnny cakes is one of my husband’s favorite dishes…lots of good flavors and you get to add just what you want to make them your own.

  10. I love the bright colours in the restaurant and the food looks great! Your crostini look delicious, and I love pickled onions and imagine they add a lovely fresh bite to the beef. Great recipe!

    1. Hi Nazneen, Don’t you just love the vibrant colors…just walking into the restaurant, you know you are going to have a fun evening. Pickled onions really add a nice comlipment to lots of dishes.

  11. I love tapas, and the short rib crostini would be a definite crowd pleaser, or party of two. 🙂 We are part of a family reunion in a couple of weeks and we do a lot of meal sharing. It would be fun to set up a little tapas bar. This would be a great addition to liven up the typical options. 🙂

    1. Hi Debra, It seems that we all love tapas as we get to enjoy lots of little bites of different foods. I think a tapas bar would be perfect for any get together with family and friends.

  12. All you wrote about this restaurant makes me want to go there. And the crostini are something I’d really serve up next time I have friends coming over. I’m saving the recipe! 🙂

    1. Hi Didi, I know you would like this restaurant…too bad it is thousands of mile away. I’m happy you like my version of this recipe, I hope you and your friends enjoy the dish.

  13. Next time I’m in Portsmouth I’m definitely heading to Moxy! What lovey food and atmosphere you must have enjoyed there. I am often inspired by dishes that I’ve had while eating out and have attempted to recreate them at home. However, when my favorite chowder place in RI was about to change hands/go out of business several years ago I begged the chef to give me his recipe before he left, and he did! It makes it a lot easier to recreate something when there’s no guess work involved. Only trouble is he had to give me rough estimates as he made his chowder by the gallons which would not really work out in my home kitchen! Hope you had fun recreating this tasty looking dish Karen. 🙂

    1. I believe you would enjoy Moxy, Laura. I know what you mean about asking a chef for a recipe. They can tell you the ingredients but the amounts are usually for a large quantity.

  14. I think you nailed the crostini! What an inspiration both restaurant and chef must be. I have always loved the idea of tapas. Often when going out to eat, the tables will order a bunch of appetizers to share. What better way to sample and taste!

    1. Thank you Rosemary, I was happy with the way the crostini came out. I’m with you about ordering a bunch of appetizers…smaller portions and lots of different tastes.

    1. Hi Katerina, Portsmouth is a nice small town full of character and has lots of good restaurants…it is a fun place to visit here in New Hampshire.

    1. Hi Teresa, If you make a trip to the seacoast region of New Hampshire, Portsmouth should be at the top of your list. It is a charming town with very good restaurants.

    1. Hi Charlie, I’m happy that you like the recipe…thank you. I do think they would be an easy appetizer to serve at a party.

  15. What a great restaurant! Love small plate and tapas places. You get to try so many different things. Love the look of those crostinis!

    1. Hi MJ, Moxy is one our favorite restaurants…there are so many tasty tapas on their menu. I’m glad you like the crostini, thank you!

    1. Thank you Didi, I’m glad that you like my version of the short ribs that Moxy serves. You are right, it is a fun restaurant.

    1. Hi Maureen, Yes…Moxy with a “y” is a restaurant and a really good one. I’ve never been brave enough to even take a sip of Moxie. 😀

  16. Looks like a great place. My perfect meals usually involve lots of different small dishes – that way I get to try everything! Love your interpretation of the ribs…you know a restaurant is great when it inspires you to recreate a dish at home. I remember once being very impressed with a blue cheese ice cream at a small restaurant in Whitstable, Kent (a trendy fishing village on the South East coast of England) that I came home and made!

    1. I’m with you Tanya, I love eating lots of little bites of different things. I’m glad you like my version of Moxy’s short ribs. Blue cheese ice cream…I think I might have to try that. 🙂

  17. Portsmouth is on our ‘to visit’ list this year because of your posts about the town. It’s a little hectic w/the wedding planning but we’re hoping to get up there. Sounds like we’ve got another great place to eat though.
    Looks like you did a marvelous job on these.

    1. Hi Diane, I know you are very busy with the wedding plans but when you get the time I believe you will enjoy a visit to Portsmouth. It is an easy town to get around in and has great places to eat. Thank you for the nice compliment.

  18. This sounds like such a scrumptious and inspiring place to eat. 🙂 Your version sounds so good.

    1. Hi Krista, The food at Moxy really is very good…New England food but with an interesting twist on tapas. Thank you for your compliment, I’m glad you like my version of the short ribs.

    1. Hi Susan, Thank you for your nice compliment and wish, they are very much appreciated. It’s nice that you have several tapas restaurants…Moxy is the only one in our area and it is 30 minutes away.

  19. Karen, We have very good friends who live in Portsmouth and they dine out very frequently. I will definitely pass on the name of this restaurant to them! I know tapas are all the rage now, especially with the young adults. I think they are such a great idea, like having all appetizers when you can’t decide what to order! Linda

    1. Hi Linda, I bet when you talk to your friends they will tell you they have been to Moxy…it is one of the most popular restaurants in Portsmouth. Tapas really do take the pressure off of what to eat…you can order lots of little different bites instead of just one entree.

    1. Hi Kelli, I think you will really love how pickled onions not only enhances this recipe but many other dishes as well. Enjoy!

    1. I totally agree Cheri, tapas are a terrific way to try new foods that you might not want to try if you had to order an entree. Thank you for your visit and comment.

  20. I love Portsmouth but it has been so many years since I visited. I love visiting the best places for food though, so I definitely need to try Moxy the next time I visit. In the meantime, I need to try this recipe!

  21. Hi Ashley, You definitely have to plan a return trip to Portsmouth…I think you will be pleasantly surprised. The town has become a happening place to visit with some terrific places to eat. I believe you wound enjoy Moxy. I’m happy you like my recipe. I hope you will enjoy it, thank you.

  22. My mouth is watering…and I just finished dinner lol. I love the idea of short ribs as tapas. With summer picnics, it’ll help more to go around with these crostini than a big ‘ol bun…not that I wouldn’t mind the bigger version of course 😉 hehe

    1. Hi Ruth, I’m glad that this recipe was appealing to you. You are right about the crostini being a good way to stretch the short ribs although I too could have a bigger version. 😀

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