Monday, January 17, 2011

Finally Made Short Ribs!

And they were very good. Don't know why I waited this long. Oh I know why, they're expensive. I had a groupon to a butcher shop (in fact, to The Butcher Shop) and got them for half price. Sorry for the blurry picture. We were too excited to start eating to take the time to set it up better.

Tomato and Wine Braised Beef Short Ribs
serves 6 reasonably, 4 ravenously

4-5 lbs short ribs
2 medium onions
3 carrots
2 ribs of celery
3 cloves of garlic
1 6 oz. can of tomato paste
1 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes in juice
2 1/2 cups red wine
1 quart of stock or water
1 bay leaf
3 sprigs of rosemary

for serving: a pound of wide egg noodles, boiled, drained and tossed with a tablespoon or two of butter, some chopped parsley, turnip and carrot chunks, roasted with olive oil, salt and pepper until tender and golden brown.

Season the short ribs with plenty of salt and pepper. In a big heavy bottomed pot (I used my dutch oven), heat about a tablespoon of oil and then brown the ribs thoroughly and deeply on all sides. While the ribs are browning you can cut all your veggies into chunks, and throw them all together into the food processor - grind them up to a fine paste. When the ribs are all browned, move them to a plate (remove some of the fat now in the pan, if there's a lot), throw in the minced garlic and stir around for about 30 seconds, and then add the veggie paste to the pot. Turn up the heat as high as it goes and let it cook - all the water will have to boil off first, and then it'll start to brown on the bottom of the pot. Anne Burrell says to let it brown and crust up on the bottom, and then scrape up the brown bits and stir them around, let it brown and crust up on the bottom again, scrape and stir again*. Add the tomato paste and stir around, let that brown really dark too. Then add the can of diced tomatoes and the wine, and a quart of either water or stock. Bring it to a boil, and let it bubble with the lid off until the liquid reduces by about a quarter to a third. Add the meat back in, cover it, and put it in a 375 degree oven for an hour. Reduce the oven to 300 and cook for another 3 hours.

At that point I took it out so I could bake a pie**, and so I let it sit on the stove top. Just before I put my egg noodles into boiling water, I removed the bones from the ribs, re-covered the pot, and put it back in the 350 degree oven for the 10 minutes it took to cook the noodles, etc. and then served it, with some roasted carrots and turnips.

*Full disclosure: during veggie-paste-browning-crust stage 1, I got distracted and accidentally let the bottom BURN. Not willing to give up/throw it away, I added some water and scraped up some of the bottom layer, then removed it all to a bowl while I cleaned the worst burned bits up off the bottom of the pan. Then starting with the cleaned pan, and feeling sure that those burned bits I had left in the veggie paste would just give the sauce a very deep rich flavor, I continued as if nothing had happened... and it turned out great. Even so I plan not to burn it next time, of course.

** here are some pie pictures, kind of like a before and after thing:

I made the crust with a mix of AP flour, white whole wheat flour and cake flour (because I was low on AP flour). It turned out great! Very flaky (I also credit this to the Cook's Illustrated method of substituting half of your ice water with ice cold vodka). Plus I used up the last of our malingering CSA apples all in one place. PLUS I had gotten some locally made SALTED CARAMEL ICE CREAM to put on top... so even cardboard would have been delicious that way, frankly.

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