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mamster

Beef Short Ribs -- The Topic

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I've never tied short ribs, and I've never found that they fall apart. Also, since I trim off the connective tissue that holds the meat onto the bone, tying them seems like it would be more trouble than it's worth.

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Out of the oven (a bit too early, sad to say, due to preschooler bedtimes):

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Served over polenta with mirepoix and the fat/jus from the ribs:

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My market had short ribs on sale, so I bought some today, hoping against hope that I can try to recreate a short rib soup I had recently at a restaurant here in Atlanta. It was simple -- an incredibly dark beefy broth with shreds of short ribs and caramelized onions, topped with a bit of brie on a crouton. But it was the broth that was amazing (well, along with the melt-in-your mouth rib meat). I'll see what I can do -- otherwise, I'll be living at the restaurant this winter, eating that soup.

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I'm braising short ribs right now, using a Barbara Lynch recipe from an old issue of Gourmet that calls for ribs on the bone, no marinating, a fairly conventional wine-stock-mirepoix braising liquid -- and 1/2 cup of red wine vinegar. When I first assembled the liquid -- nearly 2 quarts worth -- the vinegar flavor was overwhelming, and I was worried that I was heading for some sort of funky pseudo-French sauerbraten. But after 2 hrs in a 325 oven, the kitchen smells the way you'd expect beef braised in wine and stock to smell, with no vinegar note, and I'm wondering if it'll mostly cook off. We'll find out in 90 min or so.

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The vinegar note was detectable but subtle, and the dish was superb. This is the recipe I used (I didn't do the baby veg, but did the rest as written), and I'll use it again.

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It is outstanding and I will make it again.

HPIM1211.JPG

short ribs braised in ancho chile sauce

Gourmet | January 2006; originally published 2003


Edited by heidih delete admin comment (log)

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Today I swung by 'my butcher' to pick up an order (two pork jowls for guanciale and 2 lb. beef tendons) and he didn't have it but had great bargain on old beef short ribs, English cut, so I picked up 5 lb for 9$. ^_^

 

I usually do peposo d'Imprunetta with short ribs (a recipe from Chef John), but I didn't feel like making it today so I fiddled with his recipe for short ribs and porcini braised in tomato sauce (I was a bit underwhelmed how the sauce turned out first time I tried it). In case anyone's interested, here's how I'm doing it (I'd welcome any comments or critique)...

 

First I browned the beef (seasoned with some coarse sea salt and black pepper) on a tbsp or two of vegetable oil in 5qt Dutch oven, then removed the meat and sauteed 4 finely diced largeish onions on remaining fat. I waited until they were 'reduced' to about the quarter of initial volume (15-ish minutes on relatively high heat), then added thawed porcini (about 3/4 of a cup), sauteeed until onion got down to 1/5th of initial volume, added 2-3 tbsp tomato puree and 'roasted' it for few minutes before adding smoked paprika and cayenne and 'roasting' them some more. Added 2 tbsp flour and kept on same heat for few minutes before adding quality passata (I'd say a cup) and half a bottle of chianti and a cup, cup and a half of beef stock to deglaze, plus 2 bay leaves, a pinch of rosemary and one finely diced salted anchovy fillet. Once it reduced a bit, returned the ribs to the pot and am keeping it on the stove top under laziest of simmmers. So far, it's been abut two hours braising- I seasoned it a bit with ground pepper and stirred in a tsp of mustard. I've started the braising with meat 'bone side down', and haven't turned it over yet- I'm trying to get the bones to yield most of their succulence to the sauce before turning the meat... ^_^ So far, the sauce is spot on (might adjust the salt, or add a bit of mustard later on), and am, judging by expirience with this older beef, looking at leat at another 2-2 and a half hours braising. :D I don't think I'll need to reduce the sauce, it's already got a consistency I'm looking for (and it doesn't seem to change too much as braising progresses).

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@Wolf  I can only add that I started my braising via Julia Child & Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Over time I let the browning go and seemed to get a more gelatinous yield,. My lamb shanks and veal shanks are no longer subjected to the hot pan. Just my 2 cents. On occasion simpler can be better,. I still "brown" the onions and tomato paste and aromatics almost as one would a tadka. Your sauce sounds like ready for good pasta or polenta. 


Edited by heidih (log)
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10 hours ago, heidih said:

@Wolf  I can only add that I started my braising via Julia Child & Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Over time I let the browning go and seemed to get a more gelatinous yield,. My lamb shanks and veal shanks are no longer subjected to the hot pan. Just my 2 cents. On occasion simpler can be better,. I still "brown" the onions and tomato paste and aromatics almost as one would a tadka. Your sauce sounds like ready for good pasta or polenta. 

 

More gelatinous in terms of the meat ? This is very interesting ... Would your assessment then be that the browning “facilitates” the leakage of gelatine into the sauce ? 

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1 hour ago, Duvel said:

More gelatinous in terms of the meat ? This is very interesting ... Would your assessment then be that the browning “facilitates” the leakage of gelatine into the sauce ? 

 

No what I was trying to convey is that the browning might "seal" the meat and even inhibit. However I am not a science nerd so this is all anecdotal. Browning gives us some "maillard" but I have seen in other cuisines that just "tossing the meat in" may not be a bad thing.  I used to brown the lamb shanks but last 2 times just tucked them in the slow cooker. Loved them as much as ever. 


Edited by heidih (log)
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Thanks for the tip, Heidi. :D I usually stew for shorter periods (goulash and similar) and never brown the meat- I think the conventional wisdom for goulash and stuff is not browning the meat (the sauce would not infuse meat as much, and in turn meat is supposed to flavour the sauce less when browned).

 

Later, I found out about jus au pan, which benefits from caramelized bits of meat, and when I started long braised dishes I continued to brown (because everyone else seemed to do it)- but in lieu of Your post, I'll seriously reconsider it. Your way also seems to make sense, so I'm willing to try it out. 👍

 

BTW, the dish turned out great, except for small niggling detail- it didn't reheat as well as I expected. Despite the sauce getting more savoury each time it reheated, it also lost most of its aroma and spiciness (most notably, rosemary and smoked paprika were 'gone' on first reheat- both beef and wine seemed to taste more pronounced on each reheat)... :| Oh, and it was really an old cow- it tok me around 6 hours braising to get it tender(ish)... xD

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