Is it really the middle of March already? I swear it was just January like two days ago.
Okay. You convinced me. It's really March and time for another Daring Cooks challenge.
My first major experience with tackling braised beef was Julia Child's Boeuf Bourguinon. This was a few years ago and I was a heck of a lot less seasoned than I am today (not that I am perfectly seasoned now - I still have a LONG way to go). Man, I was such a neophyte. I don't know how I made it through the experience - I just didn't know what I didn't know...
Since then, I have tackled versions from Gourmet, Dorie Greenspan, Michael Ruhlman & a few others. I'd like to think I've become somewhat better, although it seems like I learn something new with each recipe I've tried.
I am not sure to what I owe this amazing feat, but I made a meal without wearing a portion of it.
This, my friends, is a good thing.
The ribs were served with Irish Soda Bread & Cheese Souffles (not shown). I could have really used that gremolata to break up the richness of the rest of the meal.
Adapted from Ruhlman's Twenty
2 Tbs Safflower oil , for browning the ribs (can use any mild to non-flavored oil)
1/4 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour, for dredging
8 beef short ribs - bone in
2 large onions (I like to use a sweet onion), cut into a large dice
Kosher Salt, 1-2 Tbs
6 carrots, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 celery stalks cut into 1 inch pieces
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 cups Port
1 head of garlic, skin removed
2 bay leaves
1/3 cup honey
1/2 Tbs cracked peppercorns
1 Tbs butter
In a 5.5 Qt (or larger) Dutch oven, heat ~2 Tbs of oil (should cover the bottom of the pot). Place the flour in a shallow dish & dredge the ribs, shaking off the excess.
Once the oil has heated through, add the meat & brown on all sides. Don't overcrowd the meat - there should be space between the meat so that it can caramelize - you may have to brown in batches. Once browned, remove the ribs & drain on paper towel.
Preheat the oven to 250F.
Once the ribs are done cooking, drain off any excess oil & wipe the pot clean. Add a light coating of oil to the bottom of the pot & add half the onions. Saute the onions for ~5 minutes; they should soften, but not really brown (they are going to cook longer). Add a teaspoon or so of Kosher salt and add half the carrots & all of the celery. Saute over medium heat for about ten to fifteen minutes to develop some color. Stir in the tomato paste & then return the ribs to the pan. Add the Port, then top with the garlic cloves, bay leaves, salt, honey & crushed peppercorns.
Bring the mixture to a simmer, then partially cover the pot with a lid (you can set parchment down on top of everything if you are worried about splatters) and place in the oven and let cook for ~4 - 5 hours - until meat is fork tender.
Remove the pot from the oven and let cool to room temperature. Remove the ribs from the pot, place them on a plate and cover with plastic wrap & refrigerate. Strain out the braising liquid into a glass measuring cup. Place in the refrigerator until the fat separates.
When you are ready to finish the dish, remove the braising liquid from the refrigerator and skim the fat off the top. Melt butter in the bottom of a heavy bottomed pot. Add the remaining onion & carrots and saute until softened (~5 minutes). Return the ribs to the pot. Cover with reserved braising liquid & return to a simmer. Cover & cook over low heat until carrots are cooked to your liking (~10-20 minutes).
Serve with cooked vegetables & ladle braising liquids over top.
This post participates in The Daring Cooks.