Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Meal: Braised bone-in short ribs

You know how there are recipes you make, and then there are the Recipes in Magazines. The kind you read about, but don't cook on your own? Recipes that include words like "ganache" and "saffron" or "duck fat". You know the kind. My personal list includes the words like "galette" or "lemongrass" or "bone-in short ribs".

Until recently.

I've been salivating over bone-in short rib recipes for some time. Maybe two years or so, give or take a month. I saw the recipe first in Bon Appetit, which I subscribed for after some misguided publishing company gave me a "professional rate" of $10 per year. Professional rate must be code for "gets too many damn cooking magazines."

In any case, I looked for bone-in short ribs at the local grocery. None to be had. That was an easy give-up on my part. The recipe called for something like four hours of my precious time I could spend polishing my nails or reading the latest Twilight. No skin off my nose.

Until a month ago, when in the queue at the local meat case, I saw them. Bone-in short ribs. Had to even ask the guy if that's what they were for sure. "Yep. We get 'em in seasonally." Well, I thought to myself, you're screwed now.

I took the Christmas/NY vacay (read: flu-ridden trip) to think it over, and ended up presenting the idea to my step father in law. I described the dream: Bone-in short ribs, braised, slow-roasted, over mashed potatoes. He practically fainted with hunger. I took it as a sign.

So, a week ago, I took the plunge. I asked my meat guy for the usual -- two pounds of ground chuck, some pork chops -- and threw in the bomb: 2 pounds of bone-in short ribs. I got an eyebrow raise and a brown paper-wrapped package. I think I might have earned some kind of cred.

I brought it home, and sort of eyed it. Being the chicken I am, I put them in the freezer.

Come Friday, I saw a weekend looming. A free weekend, with plenty of time to braise, etc. I put them in the fridge to thaw.

Saturday dawned. Ribs are thawed. I went to get groceries, tossing some shallots and a cheap bottle of shiraz just in case.

Then, about 4 p.m., I was bored with TV. I even turned it off in the middle of BBC's Pride and Prejudice. It was time.
The ingredients
I ended up using an amalgamation of recipes -- are you surprised? But mostly it was from The Pioneer Woman. Can that chick make a bad meal? Clearly not. It turned out great. I'd make two changes, which I included in the recipe below. 1. More liquid. There wasn't hardly anything left at the end. 2. More concentrated broth. It needed just a touch of salt. 3. Garlic. What was I thinking??

You'll notice I threw out the onion and pancetta. For one thing, the shallots made me cry, so an onion was out of the question. Two, I'm not paying a million bucks for pancetta when there is a jar of bacon grease in my fridge.

So here you go. The Meal. Braised bone-in short ribs.

1 T. bacon grease
1 T. butter
2 lbs. bone-in short ribs. This translated into four for us.
3 T. flour
1 t. salt
1/2 t. cracked black pepper
1 T. butter
1 T. olive oil
2 shallots, chopped
2 carrots, small dice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 t. rosemary
1 t. thyme
Coarse salt
Cracked black pepper
2 c. red wine
1.5 cups water
2 beef boullion cubes

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Melt the grease and butter in a dutch oven on medium high. Whisk up the flour, salt and pepper in a shallow bowl.  Pat the ribs dry with paper towel. Dredge them in the flour, tapping off excess. Place in the dutch oven. Brown on each side not quite a minute or so. Set aside on a plate.

Melt butter and olive oil in dutch oven. Throw in shallots, carrots and garlic. Saute for a few minutes. Then pour in the wine and stir, scraping browned bits off the bottom. Let this boil for a few minutes. While that's cooking, grind up your rosemary and thyme. Microwave your water, and blend in your boullion cubes.

Ribs should be submerged in liquid prior to putting in the oven.

Once your wine is done, add the broth, a bit of salt and pepper and your ribs, pouring in the extra juices that have collected on the plate. Then sprinkle over the rosemary and thyme. Put the whole thing in the oven for two hours. 2 hours! Then turn it down to 325 degrees for 45 minutes.

Take it out and let rest for a bit. Serve over mashed potatoes, with juices.*

There's some bit about taking out the fat from the juices on every recipe I read. I didn't have enough juice to worry about it, and chances are, once you taste this, you won't care either!
The finished product

1 comment:

  1. Yeah - this looks amazing. Now i'm hungry & its still 2 hours till lunch!