Monday, November 21, 2011

Ready to Call It: The BEST Dish of 2011

I know we have close to six weeks remaining in the year, but I already declare this the BEST dish to come out of my kitchen in 2011! This is Bon Appetit's red wine-braised short ribs that I served with homemade buttermilk, parsley and garlic mashed potatoes. WOWZA! Here's the recipe, which I HIGHLY recommend! It's a lot of prep, but sooooooo worth it in the end--layers upon layers of rich, succulent flavor! And SURPRISE: I did NOT make this in the crock pot! I made it in the old school French version of a slow cooker, my beloved Le Creuset Dutch oven. However, I think you could transfer everything to a crock pot at the point where the recipe calls for you to put it in the oven, then cook for 5-6 hours on high or 8-10 on low. But anyway you make it, MAKE IT!

Red Wine-Braised Short Ribs
Bon App├ętit, October 2011
Yield: Makes 6 servings

5 pound bone-in beef short ribs, cut crosswise into 2" pieces (I used about four pounds, left on the whole bone, cut into 2-bone sections)
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons vegetable oil (I used olive oil)
3 medium onions, diced
3 medium carrots, peeled, diced
2 celery stalks, diced (I used 3 stalks)
*I also added 1/2 pound of sliced Baby Bella mushrooms--next time, I would use a whole pound!
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 750-milliliter bottle dry red wine (preferably Cabernet Sauvignon)
*I also added about 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
10 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
8 sprigs thyme
4 sprigs oregano
2 sprigs rosemary
*I tied the fresh herb sprigs with kitchen twine
2 bay leaves
1 head of garlic, halved crosswise
*I also added a pinch of red pepper flakes
4 cups beef stock

Preheat oven to 350°F. Season short ribs with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Working in 2 batches, brown short ribs on all sides, about 8 minutes per batch. Transfer short ribs to a plate. Pour off all but 3 tablespoons drippings from pot.

Add onions, carrots, and celery (and mushrooms) to pot and cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, until onions are browned, about 5 minutes. Add flour and tomato paste; cook, stirring constantly, until well combined and deep red, 2-3 minutes. Stir in wine (and balsamic vinegar), then add short ribs with any accumulated juices. Bring to a boil; lower heat to medium and simmer until wine is reduced by half, about 25 minutes. Add all herbs to pot along with garlic (and red pepper flakes). Stir in stock. Bring to a boil, cover, and transfer to oven.

Cook until short ribs are tender, 2-2 1/2 hours. Transfer short ribs to a platter. Strain sauce from pot into a measuring cup. (I fished out the herb bundle and the bay leaves, but I did NOT strain the sauce. Why would I want to throw away all of those yummy vegetables?) Spoon fat from surface of sauce and discard. (Alternately, refrigerate overnight, remove the solid fat, then reheat.) Shred the meat with two forks, and season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Serve in shallow bowls over mashed potatoes with sauce spooned over.

Cooks' Note:
To test if the ribs are done, pull on a bone. It should slide out freely.

As for the potatoes, I peeled and cut into big chunks about three pounds of gold potatoes, boiled them in salted water until tender, drained, added a stick of butter(!), maybe 1/2 cup of buttermilk (or to desired consistency), 1/2 (up to a whole) teaspoon of granulated garlic, a few tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley, and salt and pepper to taste. YUM!

1 comment:

Sarah said...

This sounds delicious! I'll have to try it. We also love mash with a bit of grainy Dijon mustard in it--use it for a recipe similar to this but with oxtail.