Wednesday, February 29, 2012

suzanne goin's three-day braised beef short ribs

On Sunday, Daniel and I walked down to Hayes Valley to grab lunch at Suppenkuche and then spent some time wandering around the neighborhood, which is fast becoming one of my favorites. We ended up stopping by The Fatted Calf to ogle expensive meats for a while- truly, the place looks more like a jewelry store than a butcher's shop. The meats all gleam so richly from behind the glass that it's hard not to feel a little awed. In spite of our more frugal instincts, we ended up leaving with several pounds of beef short ribs, neatly wrapped in paper.

I already knew the recipe I wanted to try- Suzanne Goin's braised beef short ribs from Sunday Suppers at Lucques.

I knew the recipe would be a bit of an undertaking- you have to season the meat and leave it in the refrigerator overnight, then brown and braise the meat the next day, then skim off the fat and crisp up the meat in the oven on the third day, in addition to making sides- so we decided we might as well make an event out of it and have friends over for dinner.

So in preparation for our little soiree, on Sunday evening I rubbed the short ribs with pepper and fresh thyme (we have an herb garden on our fire escape) and refrigerated them overnight.

On Monday, I came home from work, took the short ribs out of the refrigerator and let them come to room temperature for an hour, salting after 30 minutes, while I roasted pearl onions and made a mirepoix. Then I browned the meat. I despise browning meat. Within minutes, my entire stovetop had been misted with heavy brown grease. Yuck. Although it did look pretty good, post-browning.

After browning the meat, I added the mirepoix to the pan to caramelize before adding (almost a half bottle of) port, (almost a bottle of) red wine, some thyme and several cups of beef stock. It all simmered away for a while before I poured it over the short ribs, nestled tidily in my dutch oven, added a few sprigs of parsley, and then put the whole thing in the oven to cook for 3 hours.

All of which made cooking dinner on Tuesday simple as pie. I refrigerated the short ribs overnight and then scooped off the congealed fat in the morning. When it came time for dinner, I sieved the sauce and put the ribs on a baking sheet to crisp them up in the oven before serving. Done.

We served the short ribs over polenta and a pile of wilted swiss chard with pearl onions and it was, in my humble opinion, quite tasty. Three days very well spent. 

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