Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Sunday night was perfect for a nice long leisurely meal. It was one of those nights where you can break out a bottle of Cheap-Red and just enjoy a meal. No rush, just lots of time... That's actually kind of infrequent nowadays. The idea that I can, could, and should take as much time as possible to just work on any particular dish has given way to much more dubious intentions. I cook at home, much of the time, like I would cook at work: Fast and sleazy.

Not that my cooking is bad, mind you. I've just grown accustomed to working for quantity results rather than savory, tender quality.

So, to get back in touch with my love of slow cooked foods I decided to make Braised Short Ribs. and they were perfect. Soft and fork tender, they were bursting with perfectly savory combination of tomatoes and chianti. If I were to die and not go to Hell, God would be greeting me at the Pearly Gates with a plate of these divine short ribs.


Chianti Braised Short Ribs

3-4 Lbs Boneless Beef Short Ribs
Salt & Pepper

2 Medium Onions, Diced
4-6 Large Garlic Cloves, Minced
2 Cups Chianti
1 28oz. Can Crushed Tomatoes
3 Cups Beef Broth
2 tsp. Herbs du Provence
Salt & Pepper to Taste

Season Short Ribs liberally with Salt and Pepper

Coat a large saute pan (with a lid) with olive oil and place over medium heat. When Olive Oil has heated, sear rib until they are nicely browned and caramelized. Remove ribs from pan and set side on a plate.

In the same pan, while still hot, add the diced onion and cook until translucent. Next, add garlic and cook until fragrant. (Do not brown!)

Add the Chianti, Beef Broth, and Tomatoes - one at a time. Allow each to come to a boil before the addition of the next. Finally, add the Herbs du Provence and stir in thoroughly.

Return the ribs to the pan, plus any of the juices on the plate, and turn the heat down to Low. Cover and allow to simmer gently for three hours.


This will, admittedly, leave you with a F-Load of extra sauce. No worries, just pour whatever you don't serve with the ribs into a nice large jar (or three) and use it for pasta or pizza sauce.



Anonymous said...

Wow - that sounds incredible - and definitely worth making for my hubby!

Question though - what are Herbs du Provence? Can I get them at our lame-ass Wal-mart?


BGslum said...

Herbs du Provence (Or DE Provence) are a simple mixture of Rosemary, Marjoram, Basil, Bay Leaf, Thyme -and most notably- Lavender. Lavender is the defining flavor, and should always be included in whatever brand you buy.

If you have a full herbs-n-spices section, it should be there. I've found it at both Meijer and Kroger, so it's not terribly hard to find.

It will, I honestly believe, change your life.


Anonymous said...

OK - update on trying this recipe:

First of all, in lovely Olney, it seems you can't get bone-in ribs. No, really, that's not a joke. So I had to substitute the "country-style" boneless ribs.

Then I halved the recipe because I bought only 2 pounds worth of meat.

Then....and I'm going to sound like a total rank amateur with a capital "STUPID", I missed the beginning instruction (because I was trying to cook in a hurry, and we all know what can happen to relatively inexperienced cooks when that happens) - "season liberally with salt and pepper". Dumb. Ass. Seasoning after searing just doesn't cut it.

But, the rest of it went OK, and the family liked it. I'm going to try it again, and hopefully when I can score the right kind of meat, and take my head out of my rectum while reading the recipe.

Also - I used the base of the sauce to use to braise my prociutto-wrapped chicken breasts. Here's what I did:

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
Kosher Salt
Fresh Ground Pepper
2 tsp Olive Oil
1 Vidalia onion, diced
14 ounces canned crushed tomatoes
1 1/2 cups chianti
4 slices of prociutto
2 tsp sugar
1 tbl lemon juice
6 oz spaghetti

SEASON LIBERALLY THE CHICKEN WITH SALT AND PEPPER. (No, I wasn't yelling, I was just searing those words into my mind.) Brown the chicken on both sides, remove and set aside.

In the olive oil, sweat the onions until translucent. Then add the chianti and tomatoes, bringing each to a boil before adding each ingredient. Add sugar and lemon juice to taste, reduce heat to simmer.

Around each chicken breast, wrap two slices of prociutto, and use toothpicks to hold them to the chicken. Place the prociutto-wrapped chicken in the simmering sauce, and insert a probe thermometer to monitor the temperature. Lid the pan, and allow to simmer until the chicken reaches 160 degrees.

While the chicken is cooking, cook the pasta.

When the chicken reaches 160 degrees, remove and place on platter. Serve pasta and chicken with sauce.

It came out pretty well. I liked it more as the meal went on.

Now - things I would change:
1. After wrapping the chicken with the prociutto, I'd perhaps brown that as well, to get some crisp on the prociutto. It was a little tough in texture.
2. I'd add some garlic. I had a rehearsal in about an hour, and I didn't want to be in a pit reeking of garlic.
3. I'd add some herbs. Basil, most likely - any other suggestions?

I'm sharing this to first, show you that your recipe inspired me making up another recipe, and secondly, to get your input as to how you think it could be improved.



Anonymous said...

Oh yeah - and don't forget to remove the toothpicks before serving. I forgot to do that with a recipe once, which led to for a month, Claire asking with every meal (even scrambled eggs) - "Did you take the toothpicks out???"

I'm such a culinary dumb ass.