Kate's Cuisine

Jan 13 2014

Chuck’s Braised Short Ribs

Braised Short Ribs

Braised short ribs are one of those dishes I’ve always wanted to make but for some reason, the grocery stores I visit never seem to have them. Imagine my delight this past weekend when browsing through the meat section, there they were. Deeply red short ribs, perfectly marbled with just the right amount of fat, and just waiting for me to take them home and do something delicious with them.

Wanting to make these absolutely perfect, I followed Chuck Hughes’ recipe – which, by the way, isn’t just a recipe for braised short ribs, but for an entire meal! I made it just the way he said (with the exception of putting garlic in the mashed seeing as how I forgot about mine in the oven and they burnt to a crisp,) and I also arranged it just the way he said. It was so fancy, in a house where fancy isn’t done all that often, that my husband even said we should have dressed up for dinner! I was tickled, and even more so when I tore into those ribs and they were falling apart tender, and such a good compliment to everything else on the plate.

Again, don’t worry about the cost of the meal. It’s not only worth it, but it’s also the price for the entire meal, and will feed at least six people.

For the ribs:
3 large onions, roughly chopped $1.41
3 celery stalks, roughly chopped $0.39
4 large carrots, peeled and roughly chopped $0.68
3 beets, peeled and roughly chopped $0.81
3 heads of garlic, cut in half $0.99
2 sprigs fresh rosemary $1.00
2 sprigs fresh thyme $0.50
1 star anise $0.53
1 cinnamon stick $0.29
2 tablespoons canola oil $0.14
6 beef short ribs $31.65
1 cup flour $0.14
2 bottles red wine $22.48 (you can also substitute some or all of this with beef broth, the way I did)
2 tablespoons cocoa powder $0.50
1 cup brown sugar $0.20
Handful of peppercorns $0.05
Generous pinch of coarse salt $0.01
Freshly ground black pepper $0.01

For the potatoes:
1 head garlic $0.33
1 tablespoon olive oil $0.03
Several pinches of coarse salt $0.02
Freshly ground black pepper $0.01
2 sprigs of rosemary $1.00
6 Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed but not peeled $1.26
1/3 cup butter $0.30
1 cup heavy cream $0.88

For the green beans:
1 pound green beans $3.49
Water Free!
Salt $0.01
1 shallot, julienned $0.37
2 tablespoons butter $0.12

For the tomatoes:
1 package of cherry or cocktail tomatoes, still on the vine $3.99
1-2 cups olive oil $0.69
1/2 head garlic, sliced in half $0.50
2 springs fresh rosemary $1.00
Salt $0.01

Total Cost $75.79
Cost per person $12.63

For the ribs:

1.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2.) Prepare all vegetables and place in a large bowl. Add herbs and spices, set aside.

3.) Cut ribs between the bones.

4.) Season ribs very well with coarse salt and dredge in flour until all sides are well coated.

5.) In a large Dutch oven, pour oil into pan and set over high heat. Sear all ribs on all sides until they are well browned all over (about 3 minutes per side.) Set aside.

6.) Turn heat down to medium-high and drop all vegetables into the same pan you browned the ribs in. Stir to pick up all the brown bits off the bottom, and cook until veggies are carmalized.

7.) Place meat back into pot and pour wine and/or beef broth over top. Make sure everything is covered. If not, fill with water until everything is.

8.) Sprinkle cocoa powder and brown sugar over top of the liquid and bring to a boil. Cover with lid or foil, and place in oven until meat is fork tender and falling apart (about 3 hours.)

9.) When ribs are finished, remove them from the oven, take them out of the pot, and place them on a platter, covered, to keep warm.

10.) Strain sauce into a different pan and boil rapidly until it’s reduced by half. When it’s reduced, add a bit of butter for sheen and flavour.

For the potatoes:

1.) Slice the top off a head of garlic, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and wrap in a foil packet. Roast for about one hour.

2.) Fill a large saucepan with water and add salt and potatoes.

3.) Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, and simmer until they are fork-tender.

4.) Strain the potatoes and return potatoes to pot. Add butter and cream and mash well. Squeeze roasted cloves of garlic out of the paper skin and add to potatoes. Stir, and season with more salt and pepper if needed.

For the green beans:

1.) Clean the beans and blanch them in a pot of salted boiling water for about one minute.

2.) Drain and immerse in an ice bath to stop the cooking. Drain again.

3.) In a large skillet on medium-high heat, add butter and shallot; stir to soften. Add beans and then toss so that all beans are warmed through. Season with salt and pepper.

For the tomatoes:

1.) In a sauce pan, bring olive oil up to about 325 degrees Fahrenheit, just below the frying point. The oil just barely cover the potatoes.

2.) Season the oil with salt and pepper, and add the garlic to the oil.

3.) Carefully place the tomatoes into the oil poach until they swell slightly and nearly burst.

To assemble:

1.) Place a mound of mashed potatoes on the plate and flatten slightly.

2.) Place 2 or 3 short ribs on top.

4.) Place a small handful of green beans over beef, and top with tomatoes.

5.) Serve and enjoy!

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