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The other ribs October 8, 2010

Posted by Peeps in Cooking, Food, random stuff.

So, last week our local butcher had another sale.  This time it was boneless beef short ribs.  We love those.  We ended up getting a total of ten pounds.  Some to make up the Korean Beef that we love so much.  That went into the freezer.  The rest got divided in half, with one half going in the freezer for another day.  Toys found two recipes she wanted to try, and couldn’t decide on one.

The nice people at Cook’s Illustrated have a recipe for braised short ribs that looked easy and yummy.  Very few of their offerings are ever easy.  And with the cooler weather starting to roll in, this could be comfort food at its finest.

Start by seasoning three and a half pounds of boneless short ribs with salt and pepper.  In a large Dutch oven, heat a tablespoon of oil until just smoking, then start browning the ribs.
Make sure not to crowd the pan. Do it in batches, adding more oil if needed. Once the first side is brown, turn and brown the other.
Try to resist the urge to move the meat around in the pan. Just let it get wonderful all on its own.
As each batch of meat is browned, put it into a large bowl to wait for the next step. Meanwhile, thinly slice a couple onions. You need something to do while the meat is browning, right?
Once all the meat is browned and removed, add the sliced onions to the pot and turn down the heat a bit.
Let those cook, stirring often, until they start to develop some color, about ten minutes.
When the onions are ready, add a tablespoon of tomato paste.
Stir constantly. You want the paste to develop a deeper color and flavor, but you don’t want it to burn. About two minutes ought to do. Then add about six minced cloves of garlic. Stir until you can smell the garlic, probably less than a minute. The add two cups of dry red wine.
You want to scrape the bottom of the pan to get all that wonderful fond. Bring the wine to a simmer and let it reduce by half, about ten minutes.
Finally, you want to add a bay leaf, a few sprigs of fresh thyme, four carrots cut into two inch pieces and a cup of beef broth to the pot. Then layer the browned short ribs on top. Be sure to pour in any meat juices that found their way into the bottom of the bowl! Bring that up to a simmer then cover the pot and place into a preheated 300 degree oven.
Let that cook for two to two and a half hours. The meat should be fork tender when it’s done.
When the meat is finished cooking, remove it and the carrots to a platter and tent with foil to keep warm. Strain what’s left in the pot through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl or gravy separator. Try to remove as much fat as you can. Return the liquid to the pot and bring back to a simmer and let reduce by half, about five to ten minutes.
Meanwhile take half a teaspoon of unflavored gelatin and sprinkle it over a quarter cup of cold water and let that sit for five minutes.
Once the liquid is reduced, remove from heat and add the gelatin mixture and stir to combine. The smart people at Cook’s Illustrated figured out this is the best way to thicken the sauce in the easiest possible manner without having to deal with a slurry or a roux or something even more complicated.  I usually trust them.  Dinner is now ready.
You can serve this with noodles or rice or just about anything. We went for mashed potatoes. Because we could.
This was an utterly fabulous dinner. Maybe the next time we do this, and there will be a next time, we can find a way to keep the dog away from the table.
And a way to keep the leftovers from disappearing quite so fast.



1. mazco34 - October 8, 2010

You may want to consider a taller table, and bar stools.

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