I wanted to take a “Modernist” approach to short ribs but while keeping the robust flavors of a traditional braisé. So this recipe is a mix of Nathan Myrhvold 72 hours sous-vide short ribs and my own concoction. I normally would soak the short ribs overnight in a mixture of aromatic vegetables, herbs and red wine but I skipped that step because I figured that with the gentle cooking process over a 3 days period in the Sous Vide Supremethe short ribs and the “braising liquid” would have plenty of time to get to know each other.
I have a vivid memory of the best short ribs I ever made. I used this exact same recipe in a traditional braisé but the difference is that they were made at high altitude, in the Colorado mountains. As you may or may not know the braising process is slowed down at high altitude and it has to do with the smaller vapor pressure and lower boiling temperatures – and as a result I had to braise the wine-soaked short ribs for 8 hours straight. They were beyond incredible.
I had high hopes using sous-vide because I thought it would recreate and even surpass the ultimate environment I remembered from this experience. So how did it go?
It’s hard to decide which one is my favorite recipe now. The short ribs were beyond amazing, and at “amazing vs incredible” I don’t know who wins. Three days is a long time to wait for dinner but the active prep time is only 30 minutes. Just forget about them in the water bath and you’ll have a nice surprise this week-end.
If you’re not equipped for sous-vide cooking the traditional recipe is here.
72-hours Sous-Vide Short Ribs
- Serves 4
For the 72 hours sous-vide beef short ribs:
- 1 bottle dry red wine
- canola oil
- 8 short ribs (4 inch cubes)
- salt and black pepper
- 4 cloves of garlic, smashed and peeled
- 1 medium onion, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
- 2 sprigs of thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 2 cups veal demi glace or stock
For the beef short ribs:
- Preheat the water bath to 144’F (62’C)
- Pour the wine in a large saucepan, bring to a boil and carefully light it with a match. Let the flames die down (it will take a few minutes) and continue reducing the wine by half. Set aside.
- Season the short ribs generously with salt and pepper. Heat a large dutch oven and and brown them on all side in canola oil. Set them aside. Discard the oil, add a little olive oil and add the aromatic vegetables, garlic, thyme and bay leaves. Cook until the vegetables start to caramelize and add the tomato paste. Cook for one more minute.
- Add the wine and the stock, bring to a boil and let it cool completely. When the wine mixture is cold, divide the short ribs between two large vacuum bags. Pour about a cup of the wine and vegetable mixture in each bag and vacuum seal. Keep the remaining wine mixture.
- Place the short ribs in the water bath and set the timer to 72 hours.
- Cool in the short ribs in a large bowl filled with iced water. Refrigerate.
- When ready to serve, carefully open the bags. Set the short ribs aside and peel off the bone. Strain the wine mixture into a saucepan (combine with the leftover wine mixture if any) and reduce the sauce. Reheat the short ribs in the sauce until meltingly tender. Reduce the sauce until it coats the back of a spoon. Serve with potato and carrot puree, celery leaves salad and mushrooms.