Well hello there…
It has been a very, very long time since my last post and with an exemplary arsenal of new ideas this should be a lot of fun. The last time I posted I was in a transition of my living space, still working about 70 hours a week in 2 kitchens and keeping up that quality of life we all set goals to have. Then, work stress and life got the best of me. I kept telling myself it was imperative to keep blogging, sharing my ideas and what not but ultimately the best choice, in my opinion, was to keep you all waiting. Not because I was lazy but merely due to the fact that what was lacking from this page was TRUE comfort food with my twist. New flavors have been discovered, new methods have been learned and more importantly a new refreshed chef has been made. What I hope to share is what I learn and do everyday as a Sous Chef in contemporary Italian, French and Mediterranean cuisine utilizing my knowledge of spices and food from my Caribbean background and prior work experiences. And to kick this all off i’m giving you all a few new recipes today, some easier than others but with some practice and great instructions, you’re welcome, the inner chef in you will burst out ready to impress your friends and family. Hopefully it creates a lifestyle change for you as it did for me. As we say here, im determined to make you hungry!
Lets begin by talking about what we are cooking. Short ribs… Good ole short ribs. Some people would argue that short ribs are the cream of the crop when it comes to rib meat. Beef rib meat however also contains flank, brisket and back rib cuts, all tender but utilized for different things and cooked many different ways. Personally I prefer brisket over all of these, and there will be some brisket coming here as well. However, the french method of cooking short ribs by braising is very effective, easy and yields a terrific end result. The fattiness melts in your mouth while the soft crunch from that caramelized exterior makes this dynamic duo of textures a 1-2 punch. The braised vegetables are soft and savory, the wine gives a nice bite and the smell will have your neighbors ringing the doorbell. When I first made this at work for a special one night we got massive positive feedback. In fact its a menu item now that we serve with creamy polenta and broccolini. The sauce, a broddo, is very very good and is essentially a flour-less gravy. I’m sure by this point you’re all like, “Dude, hurry up…” and im getting there but one last thing. This recipe was done in mass quantity at my job, using a convection oven and readily available tools some of you may not have. Fortunately I will provide separate instructions for the infamous crock pot, but the standard method is far tastier. The recipe calls for 2.5 lbs of boneless short rib (note, the recipe is the same bone in or not) which I think you can get for around 17-23 dollars at a Publix or Kroger. Whole Foods will definitely be more expensive for very near if not worse quality. Boom I said it. Best served with mashed potatoes, polenta or risotto and a roasted tomato halved per plate.
And here’s a shot of the work life (60 lbs at a time)
2.5 Lbs Short Rib
1 Carrots peeled and diced
1 Large Yellow onion diced
1 Stem Celery diced
1/2 qt Red Wine
1/2 qt beef stock salt free
1 tbsp Tomato Paste
2 tsp all purpose flour
1/2 tbsp cumin
1/2 tbsp minced garlic
Thyme 1 tbsp
Mint 3 Leaves Chopped
Sage 1/2 tbsp
Salt & Pepper to taste
BEGIN by heating a large skillet on medium high with oil. While the oil is getting hot season the meat with cumin, garlic, and a generous amount of salt and pepper. Place the meat any side down since we are doing all of them. let it sear for about 30 seconds, you should hear it sizzle but not get splashed with oil. Rotate, always flipping the meat away from you so any excess oil that does fly will go towards the back of stove instead of your crisp apron, and yes I support the at home apron. When all sides are browned remove the meat from the pan but do not turn off.
Preheat oven to 325 F
Add the diced vegetables, flour and tomato paste. Allow these to cook for a 3-5 minutes together so they can caramelize and soften. Season with salt and pepper generously again.
Add the wine and allow to reduce about half way. This should take 7-12 minutes. You will need a deep baking dish large enough to place the beef in it with at least 1 inch on each side. Sorry I did not get dimensions here, but most grocery stores sell disposable one use baking tins for .99 cents so you can always get one there and find the appropriate size.
Remove the pan from heat and pour ingredients over beef. Add the beef stock and remaining herbs to dish. Cover with plastic wrap and then foil. It is important to make sure both of these are tight to keep all the moisture in. The tighter the seal the better your end result. Bake on the middle rack for 2.5 to 3 hours. If you have an older oven go closer to the 3 hour mark because it will most likely be a little cooler due to wear and tear. If your oven is brand new 2.5 is perfect. DO NOT turn the meat or open the oven door for any reason. Keep it hot and keep the temperature consistent.
To make the broddo you will need a blender or food processor. All you need to do is take some of the braising liquid and vegetables after the short ribs are done cooking and blend until smooth. Should come out nice and golden brown and taste like stewed veggies.
Okay, so to check the ribs when you take them out after many hours of waiting simply take a butter knife to the meat and insert. The meat should be easily cut. Slice to plate and serve over your choice of starch. Pour sauce over top and garnish with a nice sprig of parsley.
For my crock pot folks you can put all ingredients at the same time, minus flour, and cook on low heat for 4 to 6 hours. You will still need to brown the meat beforehand. Again this method is not my favorite but is effective for anyone who doesn’t have the time or is constantly on the go. Keep in mind that this is not a cheap recipe so when you make it for friends or family make it on a holiday. Friends-giving is right around the corner and what says I love you bro more than some short ribs? Your mom will forget anything you did to upset her nerves in the past few months and if your down on your luck this kind of comfort food brings home to wherever you are. Keep on cooking on