In this next Project Food Blog challenge we were asked to create a step-by-step instructional photo tutorial demonstrating one of our favorite recipe. The photos need to guide the reader through many winding roads so i’m crossing my fingers that none of you will get lost in the jungle and get eaten by piranhas. One is never too careful around here. There are still a few readers unaccounted for from last time i attempted something like this so if you make it to the other side i hope you will consider voting for me so i get a chance to advance to the next challenge.
If you don’t make it to the other side.. err.. it was nice knowing you!
This is a good recipe. And i mean the jump-on-the-table-and-do-the-happy-dance kind of good but there are enough steps to give Sandra Lee a panic attack so i will need your full attention. Let’s see if we can make one of my favorite recipe work for you as well.
To make braised beef short ribs you need… [drumrolls] beef short ribs. If you don’t have them, go to your butcher now and while you’re at it have him trim them and cut them into 3-inches cubes on the bone. Two of those make a perfect portion, i think. Go ahead, i’ll wait for you right here. [tap tap tap]
Start by making a mirepoix of onions, celery and carrots and sweat them in a pot with olive oil and garlic heads cut in half. When they get all nice and comfy together (aka: sticking to the pot) you deglaze the pot with two bottles of wines. When choosing a wine for cooking remember to pick something that’s affordable, but good enough to drink.
Yes, go ahead. Have a glass. Nobody will notice.
“[hic] You.. you bring the boil..err.. [hic] to the wine.. [burp] and let it alcohol for ..err.. 10 minutes to burn the cook. [hic] I know, what a waste of perfectly good alcohol, riiiight? [hic]“
Next, you leave the wine mixture cool completely before submerging the beef short rib pieces in the liquid. You cover the pot and place it in the refrigerator overnight, or for a maximum of two days. That’s when the wine, the short ribs and aromatic vegetables get to know each other. And boy, i can tell you they have a lot of things to tell each other.
After a good
hangover night of sleep, come back to your short ribs and remove them from the wine mixture and pat them dry. Strain the liquid into a large saucepan and keep the vegetable on the side. Place the saucepan with the wine mixture over medium-high heat and reduce for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat some oil in a large sautee pan. Season the short ribs with salt and pepper and sear them in the hot oil, a few at the time, until brown on all sides. Reserve them on a tray. Make a bouquet garni with leeks, parsley stems, thyme and bay leaves and tie them all up together in a bundle. Also cut a few slices of lemon skin and reserve a handful of olives.
Return the short ribs, the wine mixture, the demi-glace and veal stock to the pot as well as the lemon skin, the bouquet garni and the olives. Bring to a boil over high heat and cover with aluminum foil and place in an oven preheated to 325′F. Close the door and let them mingle together undisturbed for about 3 hours.
Yes, i know. Even beef short ribs need some privacy. No peeking!
While the short ribs are slowly braising you can work on garnishes such as potato puree and vegetables. Steam the vegetables separately and reserve them on the side until ready to serve. You can keep the potato puree warm on top of the stove. The vegetables need a quick sautee in olive oil at the last minute.
When the braised beef short ribs are ready (they will be falling-off-the-bone delicious at this point), remove them from the braising liquid. You can refrigerate them or serve them right away. Strain the braising liquid in a chinois and discard the vegetables, skim off the fat and return the liquid to the pot and reduce until it coats the back of a spoon.
At this point you should have a deep, robust and luscious wine sauce. You could enrich it even more by whisking a tablespoon or two of butter in it before spooning it over the braised short ribs. Evil, i know.
Are you still there? Alive and well? Pfewww.. What a ride!
Take a moment to feel very proud, my friends, but not too long because voting is only open from 6AM October 11th (Pacific Time) through 6PM October 14th (Pacific Time). Thank you and enjoy!
Braised Short Ribs: the recipe
- Serves 4
For the braised short ribs:
- 1/2 cup onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup celery, chopped
- 1/2 cup carrots, chopped
- 2 heads of garlic, split in half
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 bottles red wine
- 8 pieces beef short ribs, trimmed and cut in 3 -inches cubes
- 1 bouquet garni
- 2 cups veal stock
- 2 cups demi glace
- 1/2 lemon peel
- handful of nicoise olives
- salt and pepper, to taste
For the garnish:
- mashed potatoes
- steamed vegetables such as carrots, radishes, artichokes and asparagus
- olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
For the braised short ribs:
- Dice the onions, celery and carrots. Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven and add the vegetables and garlic heads cut in half. When the vegetables are translucent and softened (about 10 minutes later) deglaze the pot with two bottles of wines. Let the wine come to a full boil and cook it down for 10 minutes to burn the alcohol. Let the wine cool completely.
- Add the short ribs pieces to the cool wine mixture. Cover and refrigerate overnight, or for up to 2 days (the longer, the better).
- Remove the short ribs from the wine mixture and pat them dry on paper towels. Strain the liquid into a large saucepan and keep the vegetables on the side. Place the saucepan with the wine mixture over medium-high heat, bring to a boil and reduce for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat some oil in a large sautee pan. Season the short ribs with salt and pepper and sear them, a few at the time, until they’re brown on all sides. Place them on a tray. Make a bouquet garni with leeks, parsley stems, thyme and bay leaves and tie them all up together. Slice the zest of 1/2 lemon and remove as much of the white pith as you can.
- Return the short ribs, the wine mixture, the strained vegetables, the demi-glace and beef stock to the pot as well as the lemon zest, the bouquet garni and the olives. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cover with a tight-fitting lid or aluminum foil. Place in an oven preheated to 325′F. Braised for 3 1/2 hours to 4 hours, or until meltingly tender.
- When the braised beef short ribs are ready, remove them from the braising liquid. Strain the braising liquid and discard the vegetables, skim off the fat and return the liquid to the pot to reduce over medium-high heat until it coats the back of a spoon.
- If not serving the dish the same day (recommended!) you could let the short ribs cool in their braising liquid, the next day scoop out and discard the solidified fat on top. Remove the short ribs. Strain the liquid. Reduce the sauce and heat-up the short ribs in the sauce until glossy, rich and very tender.
- Place some mashed potatoes on a plate. Top with two pieces of braised short ribs. Add vegetables and sauce and serve.