Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A Moment of Zen Amidst the Hustle and Bustle

I've had this blog up for a little over a week and feel that I should put up one of the recipes I originally had in mind when long ago the seed for the idea that is this blog began to sprout. Technically there are 2 recipes that fed the flames to where we are today, but as I'm making something similar to one later this week already I'll focus on the other for now. Besides, this recipe is award winning, like giant Le Creuset award winning. And one of my good friends and faithful followers has been bugging me to send this to her and I've continuously procrastinated. But finally, a small little something happened pretty recently (and we're talking less than 24 hours recently) that made me think that it might be a good time to break this out. That's right. I'm sharing my short rib recipe.
We all have those recipes. The ones you know by heart and can make from scratch, blindfolded and hands tied behind your back (ok, well maybe not that extreme but you know what I mean). At one point there may have been a physical copy, most likely something torn from a magazine or written on a well worn recipe card, but now it's all in your head. And when you make it you can just zone out, let your hands do all the work and when it's done and plated it's almost like you're coming out of a trance, feeling refreshed and accomplished. It's your zen recipe.

Now, short ribs are one of those restaurant-y meals that chefs charge an insane amount for and people eating these dishes can have the tendency to think that something that expensive must be terribly complicated. But don't be fooled. If you have the time to braise or a crock pot, restaurant quality short ribs are just a few hours out of your day and so worth the effort. And short ribs themselves are usually pretty cheap, it's the time it takes to make them that causes the upsell in the restaurants.

And as I said above, something happened yesterday, something that I think will be good, I hope will get me out of this winter funk I've been in, but right now it's just too early to tell. So rather then do my usual over thinking, planning way too far ahead for a future that can come crumbling down in a second, I'm zenning myself out, taking my mind to a place that's free of any thought, worry or care and giving you my short rib recipe.

Braised Short Ribs 
6 bone-in short ribs- look for ones that aren't too fatty 
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 large Spanish onion, chopped
2 ribs celery, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 cloves garlic chopped
1 1/2 tsp. tomato paste
1 22 oz. can of chopped or pureed tomatoes-  I prefer San Marzano
1/2 bottle hearty red wine
2 cups water
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. rosemary
1 tsp. allspice- plus 1 tsp reserved
2 Tbl. flour
salt and pepper

1. Season each short rib generously with salt and pepper. Coat a large pot with olive oil and bring to a high heat. Combine flour and all spice and dredge all sides of short ribs. Shake off excess and add to the pan. Brown very well on all sides, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Cook in batches, if necessary. When done, remove to a plate lined wit paper towels.

2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Once short ribs are done, add a little more oil to the pan and add in the onion, celery, carrot and garlic. Saute for 5-7 minutes until very tender. Add tomato paste and let brown for a few more minutes- lower heat if things start to burn. Add wine and scrape the bottom of the pan.  Add tomatoes, bay leaves, rosemary and the reserved allspice. Let the mixture reduce by half.

3. Return the short ribs to the pan and add 2 cups water or until the water has just about covered the meat.  Cover the pan and place in the preheated oven for 4 hours. Check periodically during the cooking process and add more water. Turn the ribs over halfway through the cooking time. Remove the lid during the last 20 minutes of cooking to let things get nice and brown and let the sauce reduce. Taste and add salt if necessary. When done the meat should be very tender. Serve with the braising liquid over herbed polenta or mashed potatoes.

* This is the recipe I use on guys I really like, to showcase my cooking skills.

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...