Sunday, January 17, 2010

Braised Short Rib Recipe by Tom Colicchio from Food & Wine Magazine

Yesterday, Zelda mentioned the fact that she really wanted to make braised short ribs for the first time, and let me say that I was not only shocked, but I was also very excited. You may think, braised short ribs, big deal! But coming from the mouth of my beautiful bride who is not a red meat eater, I was very excited! Zelda found the recipe earlier in the week on the Food & Wine Magazine's website, and the recipe is from fame restaurateur and famed chef Tom Colicchio, who is known for co-founding The Grammercy Tavern in Manhattan, as well as his restaurants Craft. His latest claim to fame is as a judge on Bravo's television series Top Chef, and he also appears on Food Network's new show, "Chopped." Yesterday, we visited the Whole Foods Market on Route 1 in Princeton to pick up ingredients, so that the short ribs could marinate over night in the fridge. Before I get to in depth about this recipe, let me share the actual recipe with you. The recipe itself can be found at: ACTIVE: 1 HR TOTAL TIME: 3 HRS PLUS OVERNIGHT MARINATING SERVINGS: 6 Make-Ahead Ingredients 2 tablespoons canola oil 6 flanken-style short ribs with bones, cut 2 inches thick (about 4 pounds); see Note Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper 1 large onion, finely chopped 2 carrots, sliced 3 celery ribs, sliced 3 garlic cloves, thickly sliced One 750-milliliter bottle dry red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon 4 thyme sprigs 3 cups chicken stock Directions: In a large skillet, heat the oil. Season the ribs with salt and pepper. Add them to the skillet and cook over moderate heat, turning once, until browned and crusty, about 18 minutes. Transfer the ribs to a shallow baking dish in a single layer. Add the onion, carrots, celery and garlic to the skillet and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until very soft and lightly browned, about 20 minutes. Add the wine and thyme sprigs and bring to a boil over high heat. Pour the hot marinade over the ribs and let cool. Cover and refrigerate overnight, turning the ribs once. Preheat the oven to 350°. Transfer the ribs and marinade to a large, enameled cast-iron casserole. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Cover and cook in the lower third of the oven for 1 1/2 hours, until the meat is tender but not falling apart. Uncover and braise for 45 minutes longer, turning the ribs once or twice, until the sauce is reduced by about half and the meat is very tender. Transfer the meat to a clean shallow baking dish, discarding the bones as they fall off. Strain the sauce into a heatproof measuring cup and skim off as much fat as possible. Pour the sauce over the meat; there should be about 2 cups. Preheat the broiler. Broil the meat, turning once or twice, until glazed and sizzling, about 10 minutes. Transfer the meat to plates, spoon the sauce on top and serve. Make Ahead: The braised short ribs can be prepared through Step 4 and refrigerated for up to 2 days. Serve With Mashed potatoes, buttered noodles or crusty bread. Notes: Flanken-style short ribs (short ribs cut across the bones instead of parallel to them) can be ordered at butcher shops. Zelda did not deviate from the recipe in the least, and let me tell you, there really is no reason to. Obviously Chef Colicchio did his research here, and the recipe is awesome just as written. She also prepared some nice garlic mashed potatoes, and these really paired nicely with the short ribs. Some of you are probably wondering what wine we used with this. The recipe calls for a dry red wine, and she went with a cabernet sauvignon from Napa Valley, specifically, from Yountville, and it definitely worked nicely. Of course we both tried the wine before it went into the pot, and the wine was very nice on it's own. Back to the recipe, I think that marinating the short ribs over night in the fridge is key. This really picked up a ton of flavors, infusing the meat, and making it so tender. In the oven, the aroma's that filled our home were absolutely amazing, and I could not wait to eat this. Finally, the last 10 minutes or so in the broiler give this such a nice crust, and depending on how crispy you want them, you could vary how many times you rotate them. I myself didn't want them all that crispy, so rotated them many times. When they finally came out of the oven, I put them on my plate and you could tell how tender they were. These could easily be picked apart with a fork, with the exception of the pieces that were a bit fatty, and had a bit of skin to them. The meat was a gorgeous color, still having a bit of pinkness to to it, and perfectly cooked. I attribute this to the care that Zelda took n cooking them, as well as our new oven. These would not have come out this good in our old oven, and that is for certain. The first bite was absolute heaven! This is the kind of meal that you never liked as a kid, but now as a thirty something, this is the kind of meal that I crave. Everything was perfectly seasoned, the texture was perfect, and there isn't a thing that I would change. The recipe is perfect as is, and if I were to attempt to cook this, I don't think that I would change a thing. All in all, this was an absolutely perfect meal, and just what the doctor ordered for a rainy Sunday filled with NFL playoff games! In short, I couldn't be any more thankful for having a beautiful bride who cooked an absolutely amazing dinner tonight. Nothing says love like some darn good beef! Special thanks to Zelda for taking the time to research this recipe! What a a treat, and I look forward to the leftovers for lunch tomorrow! Cheers!

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