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I like my ribs like I like my cake – short February 19, 2009

Posted by Toy Lady in Cooking, Food, random stuff.

Braised short ribs are wonderful.  Actually, braised anything doesn’t really suck, to be honest.  😉


But last week, at the market, we picked up a couple of pounds of short ribs.   Actually, three.  I guess, if your short ribs still have the bones in them, you want to plan for a pound per person.  😯

As it turns out, this is pretty generous.  We had leftovers.  (Yes!  Lunch!)  😆

So we get the ribs – what to do with them?  Braise them.  That’s what you do with beef short ribs, right?  You barbecue spare ribs and braise short ribs.

We had some real success a couple of weeks ago with braised beef when we made the  Boeuf à la Bourguignonne, and, if you knew me better, you’d know that I am all about technique.

Put another way, if it works, why mess with it?  😯

So we decided to go a similar route with the ribs.  First, decided to marinate the ribs overnight with a selection of herbs (some rosemary, a bit of thyme,  a few cloves, a little sage and a healthy dash of whole mustard seed), along with a pinch of salt and several peppercorns (about a Tablespoon full).

Photobucket Photobucket


To the herbed ribs, we added an onion, quartered, a couple of cloves of garlic, and a cup each of beef stock and red wine.  No, that was a quart of beef stock with a cup of wine.    That’s right.  😳

Now we just let that sit in the fridge overnight.

Did I mention that this will, ultimately, take three days?  Trust me, it’s worth it.  😀


First thing next morning, I pulled the ribs out and patted them dry.  Meanwhile, I took about a quarter pound of bacon and browned it, mostly for the bacon grease.  And yes, I supplemented that from my bacon grease stash.  Everyone has a bacon grease container in the back of the fridge, right?  😯

Just like we did before, I pulled the bacon out and browned the beef (ribs).


After browning the ribs a bit, then we sauté another chopped onion.


And throw in a bunch of carrots.


And then we dumped everything, including the marinade, back into the dutch oven, covered it tightly, and popped it into a low – and I mean LOW – 275° – oven for about 6 hours.


And after 6 hours, this is what it looked like.

Everything is cooked to the falling-apart stage.

The onions are soft.

The carrots are ready to disinteegrate.

And even the puppster knows there’s something in it for him.  And he’s not leaving until he gets a taste.  😯


We pulled the ribs out of the braising liquid, and they, uh, fell off the bones.  😳


Hey, you know what the coolest thing about short ribs is?  They’re like little snack-sized bones for the dog.  They pack all sorts of beefy flavor (I assume!), and they’re a great exercise in chewability, and they’ll amuse the baby for a good half hour or so.  Outside.  Because bones are outside toys, right?  😆

So anyway, we separated the bones (most of them went in the freezer for a later treat), the carrots (we were going to toss them, but they were still so flavorful that I couldn’t bring myself to give them to He Who Already Got The Bones) and the braising liquid (that’s gonna have a lot of fat!).  Everything went into the fridge overnight.


And sure enough, the grease separated from the rest of the braise.  Isn’t that just appetizing?  Seriously  there was about a third of an inch of solid grease covering the gel that used to be the stock and wine.

You know, the whole bone-marrow-gelatin thing.  😯

Now, to put it all together for dinner.

First, I knew I might need to thicken the sauce a bit – while it was plenty thick when it was cold, as soon as I lit a fire under it, I knew that gelatin would break right down again.  So we’re going to need a roux.


A roux is fat + flour.  Flour plus fat.  It doesn’t have to be butter.  It could be a fat like, say, BACON FAT!  😛

So I took another quarter pound or so of bacon and fried that, then sprinkled a Tablespoon of flour in and stirred.


Now I added my braising gel liquid.  That will thin down as soon as it heats up.  Really.  I also added about another Tablespoon of red wine – just to brighten it up a little.    I’d have thrown some fresh parsley in, but it wasn’t “fresh” anymore – it was closer to “slimy” and went straight to the compost bucket.  😦


And as soon as our sauce is, well, saucy, I add the meat, then the carrots.


Those poor carrots.  I added them last – they were very fragile by this time, though very tasty.  😯

Then the whole pot got covered and stuck in the low oven until it was heated through and until the potatoes were cooked.

This just stuck me as the gentlest  way to reheat – especially the carrots (without nuking them, of course!).  But even the beef was so fall-apart tender that it needed special care too.  😯


All in all, we were very happy.  All of use were.  The beef was, in fact, spoon-tender.  The carrots were full of beefy-carroty flavor. We went again with the crashed potatoes, as well as some squash that we pulled from the freezer before we decided to salvage the carrots.

This was so good.  I don’t even know what else to say.  We all enjoyed it for dinner, and two of us enjoyed it for lunch the next day.  I’d happily eat more, but it’s all gone.  😥

Next time we’ll have to make more.  😉

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