Monday, March 17, 2014
Chef Jason Lynch's Gravy Ready Braised Short Ribs
From Chef Jason Lynch's Straight from the Line
Note: Short ribs are one of my favorite cuts of meat. I love them best sliced across 3-4 ribs - thin for marinating and grilling and about 1.5" thick for braising and in hearty soups. I've made them a bazillion different ways - some successful, others not so much. But this one actually took my breath away when I lifted the cover after three hours. The aroma of all the herbs, garlic and vegetables was insane - or as my grandsons would say when something is spectacularly wonderful - RIDICULOUS!!!!! But what was even more surprising was the gravy. Normally when braising, the juices are - well... delicious as they may be... juices. And if you want to make a gravy, you stil have work to do. Not with Chef Jason's recipe. The first step is critical - tossing the ribs in in seasoned flour before searing them!
Note: Don't rush the searing process - it is the longest step, but take your time. Make sure your pan is hot before adding the ribs; Don't crowd the hot pan; Let the ribs sit for 3 minutes before checking to see if they are well browned and ready to turn; Continue to sear the other side for 3 minutes and remove from the pan. Repeat until all your ribs are seared.
Prep time:40-45 minutesCooking time: 3 1/2 hours or so
1/3 cup all purpose flour
salt & freshly ground pepper
4.5- 5 lb/2.2 kg beef short ribs (I like mine cut across 4 ribs, about 1.5" thick, with lots of meat on the bones)
4 tbsp olive oil, divided (I actually used grapeseed oil)
2 medium red onions, cut into 1" pieces (or roughly chopped)
2-3 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2" pieces
1 celery rib, cut into 1/2" pieced
3 large cloves of garlic, smashed or minced
2 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
1 tbsp, fresh thyme leaves, (I give them a chop or two also)
2 cups full-bodied red wine
2 cups chicken stock (since I was out I used my homemade roasted vegetable stock)
2 cups diced roma tomatoes with their juice (I use a 19oz/398ml tin of diced fire roasted tomatoes and their juice)
1/2 cup good quality balsamic vinegar (this time I used Sicilian Lemon White Balsamic Vinegar from Liquid Gold - a cool tasting bar for all things olive and vinegar)
1. Preheat the oven to 350F/175C and place the rack at the lower position. .
2. Mix the flour, salt & pepper in a large zip lock bag and toss the ribs in to coat them. Do this in batches, so all of the ribs get some coating. Knock of the excess flour and set the dusted ribs aside while preparing the other batches.
3. My personal step to make the rest of the prep work easy: Prepare all the ingredients in the order they will be added to the pot. For this one I chopped the onions, carrots and celery and placed them in one bowl. In a small prep bowl, combine the crushed garlic and herbs. Premeasure wine in one cup, stock & vinegar in another and have the tomatoes ready.
4. Pat the ribs dry and toss them in the flour mixture (see my note at the top).
5. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a wide, heavy bottom pot (I have an old cast iron roasting pan that I used as I wanted to have the ribs spread out as much as possible) over medium-high heat. Brown the ribs in hot oil (3 minutes or so per side, but it might be less or longer, depending on the thickness and length of your ribs) Remember not to crowd the ribs or check for sear too soon. Rule of thumb: Using tongs, the meat will easily come off the bottom of the pan only when the sear has taken. Lift too early and you will only succeed in removing the coating. BE PATIENT! Remember not to stuff the pot, you want your ribs to sear, not boil and for that they need room. Once the ribs are done, remove the batch to a platter and repeat the slow process, until the last of the ribs are seared.
6. There should be very little oil left in the pot, but if there is, spill it out before adding another 2 tbsp of oil to the hot pot. Reduce the heat to medium and add the chopped onions, carrots and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are just softened and beginning to brown (ab out 10 minutes).
7. Add the garlic and herb and cook, stirring frequently until the aroma hits you and you are transported - less than 2 minutes! Add the wine, stir once and allow to come to a boil. Let it reduce to half ( at least 5 minutes, maybe longer). Add the stock, tomatoes and vinegar and bring to a simmer (soft bubbles).
8. Return the ribs to the pot. I like to try and spread them out so there is no more than two layers of meat, but not to worry if you need to do an extra layer. Just make sure the ribs are covered with sauce.
9. Cover the pot/roasting pan with a well fitting lid or two layers of heavy duty foil, sealing the pot as best you can. Place the pot in the oven and braise until the ribs are fork tender (about 3-3.5 hours).
The book tells you to use a slotted spoon to remove ribs and transfer them to a large serving bowl. Let the cooking liquid stand briefly and skim fat from top. But there wasn't any extra fat in my batch and the gravy/sauce was thick and perfectly seasoned. All I had to do was serve it with something delicious to sop up the gravy... could be rice, pasta or,mashed potatoes...or as I did, mashed sweet potatoes & carrots with as side of broccoli.