Saturday, November 6, 2010
Symon's Braised Short Ribs with Orange and Olive Salad
It was late in the evening when I started making these short ribs. My husband was out and the kids were in bed. Ah, quiet time. The perfect time to be in the kitchen. Like a good book, you can get lost in a recipe. The methodical chopping, the sizzling noises, and the intoxicating aromas. If you listen, those ingredients are telling you a story. The story of what's to come.
Last night, in the glorious peace and quiet, I listened. In the end, I didn't really have a choice. All at once, the seductive aromas came screaming at me from across the room. The scent was so promising, so glorious, and so inviting that I couldn't help but sit there and smile. I knew those ribs were going to be fantastic. They were definitely telling me a story. A story with a VERY HAPPY ENDING.
I've made many short ribs over the years and was never really bowled over by them. Symon's short ribs have made me a convert. I have to say that I absolutely loved them. Hands down one of my favorite things I've had lately. I say that a lot, don't I?
Braised Short Ribs
6 pounds meaty beef short ribs on the bone
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
1 carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
1 fresno chile, halved
1/2 cup tomato paste
5 sprigs of fresh thyme
3 salt-packed anchovy fillets, rinsed (I use the equivalent in anchovy paste)
1 bay leaf
1 head of garlic, cloves peeled
1 quart (4 cups) Chicken Stock
2 cups dry red wine (I used Barefoot Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon, $6.99 a bottle)
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
The day before cooking the short ribs, season them with salt and pepper and refrigerate. NOTE: I did take note of this and season the night before. Is it possible that this step really makes a huge difference in flavor? Maybe so.
The next day, remove the ribs from the refrigerator 30 minutes before you want to cook them. (I'm definitely a big believer in letting the meat come down to room temp before cooking)
Preheat the oven to 325F. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large enameled cast-iron Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add half of the short ribs to the pan and cook on all sides until browned, a few minutes for each side. Transfer the ribs to a plate. Repeat with the remaining oil and ribs.
Pour off all but 2-3 tablespoons of fat from the pan. Add the celery, carrot, onion, and chile to the pan along with a large pinch of salt, and cook over medium heat until softened, about 7 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, until glossy, about 2 minutes. Add the thyme sprigs, anchovies, bay leaf, and garlic and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the stock, wine, and vinegar and bring to a boil. Return the short ribs to the pan, cover, and braise in the oven for 1 hour. (Note: I read in Symon's book that it is very important to use the correct pan when braising. The braising liquid should only cover 2/3rds of whatever you are braising. In my case, the tops of the ribs were peeking out over the sauce).
Lower the oven temperature to 225F and cook for 4 hours, or until the meat is very tender. Remove the ribs to a large bowl and strain the liquid into the bowl. Discard the solids. Refrigerate overnight.
To serve, skim the congealed fat off the liquid and reheat the ribs in the liquid. Remove the ribs to a serving platter and cover to keep warm while you simmer the liquid to reduce it by half. Pour the sauce over the ribs and serve. I served my short ribs over Symon's Soft Polenta with Mascarpone, which is perfectly delicious all on it's own.
Michael Symon's Orange and Olive Salad, recipe sourced by Natashya from Living in the Kitchen with Puppies
* 2 oranges, cut in segments
* 1 shallot, thinly sliced
* 1 cup pitted kalamata olives
* 2 tablespoons capers
* 1 cup packed parsley leaves
* 4 ounces olive oil
* 1 lemon, juiced
For the salad, place all ingredients in nonreactive mixing bowl and toss together.
Notes/Results: The meat on the short ribs was fall off the bone tender and the sauce was so succulent that you could just eat it with a spoon. Full of body and rich flavor, the short ribs went very well with the creamy and cheesy polenta. The salad of oranges and olives rounded out the whole meal, adding a little brightness. All in all, it was a fabulous meal with knock-out aromas. One of my favorite Symon dishes yet.
Note: I also think Symon's recipe for short ribs could easily be adapted to suit a beef roast(I like to use the shoulder cut). A tender beef roast is every bit as good as short ribs and often easier to find, easier to work with, and much more economical. I loved the flavors and the sauce on the short ribs and hope to make a version with a beef roast soon.
I am submitting this to Brenda at Brenda's Canadian Kitchen for her weekly Cookbook Sundays event. I am also submitting this to Ashlee of Veggie by Season for her bimonthly Symon Sundays roundup.
Also, my friend Arlene over at The Food of Love is looking for short rib recipes. If you have a favorite recipe, please send her a link. (You can find her site by clicking on The Food of Love link above.