Friday, January 22, 2010

Braised Beef Short Ribs

This was my first time making beef short ribs. They were on sale at the market so I figured I'd give them a shot. They are cut from the chuck primal, meaning they're perfect for a low, slow, moist cooking environment, AKA a braise. The short ribs I got are boneless, an added bonus because the bone in ones tend to take FOREVER to cook.

Braising is simply cooking things, like tough cuts of meat, in a flavorful liquid, at low temperatures, for a long time. This magical way of cooking will transform tough, cheap cut of meat into a succulent moist and delicious cuts your family will go crazy for. You've probably braised before and just don't realize that's what you were doing. Ever made a pot roast? What about a stew? Yup, those are both braises. The long, slow, moist (wow that was pretty sexy!) cooking method breaks down the collegens and fat, producing geletain, which makes the meat delightfully sticky and savory, it has a velvety mouth feel, very unctuous and full of umami. (to those of you who don't speak chef, that means you'll get a yummy tender beefy tasting piece of meat)

In a beef braised dish normally I'd use red wine. However I was out, and getting more wasn't an option. So I used white wine and augmented it with balsamic and red wine vinegars as well as soy sauce. The vinegars I hoped would provide a deeper, rounder flavor, more like a red wine would produce. The soy sauce provided the umami, which is the 5th taste, beefy and meaty. Trust me, the addition of a little soy sauce really amps up the YUM factor. The cooking liquids then get reduced to make a jus (gravy), served over hot buttered egg noodles. Its cold day dinner bliss!

Braised beef short ribs
Makes 6 servings
1 lb boneless beef short ribs
1 can diced tomatoes
1/2 c white wine
1 T soy sauce
2 T red wine vinegar
1 T balsamic vinegar
2 bay leaves
1 t dry Italian seasoning
1 onion, sliced
4 large cloves garlic chopped roughly
4 carrots, peeled and cut into 3 in chunks
1 rib celery, cut into 1 in cubes
1 T oil for browning beef

Pat meat dry. Sprinkle with S&P. Brown each piece of meat well on all 4 sides. This will take a few installments. As always don't worry about the funky stuff building up on the pan, thats your flavor base.

Once all pieces are browned deglaze pan with water and vinegars. Avoid steam, vinegar fumes are nasty to breath!

Take care to scrape up all the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Once its fully deglazed add the tomatoes and their juices, herbs and onion. Add beef back to the pan, cover with foil and then with lid. This ensures a tight seal so your beef will be very tender and juicy.

Cook at 250* for 5-6 hours.

3 hours into the braise add carrots and celery. Recover and finish cooking.

Remove from oven, remove ribs and veggies to a serving platter. Strain the cooking veggies in a mesh strainer and return the cooking liquids to the braising pot. Bring liquid to a boil and reduce by half. This will result in a very concentrated jus which is a French term for the cooking juices from meats. What we call it is the best darn gravy ever!

Serve with egg noodles or mashed potatoes.

Nutrition Facts
6 Servings
Amount Per Serving 1 1/2 ribs each with vegetables

Calories 292.0
Total Fat 16.4 g
Saturated Fat 1.6 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.5 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.8 g
Cholesterol 48.0 mg
Sodium 716.1 mg
Potassium 551.2 mg
Total Carbohydrate 9.0 g
Dietary Fiber 1.9 g
Sugars 3.1 g
Protein 23.5 g

1 comment:

All Our Fingers in the Pie said...

These look really good and I am surprised at the calories. I would have thought it to be higher! I guess I am used to eating the whole thing - since I live alone!

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