Chef's Corner

From Francesca Vander Stappen - February, 2015
Southern Style Short Ribs

Consider the Short Rib:

The short rib is a glorious combination of lust and utility.

It is often overlooked, and in the hands of an impatient cook it often does not get to reveal its lusty glory.  The short rib is the well-endowed partner waiting for affection and attention.  Love it and it will love you back tenfold.  One forkful of lovingly prepared short rib is more satisfying than a big piece of knife and fork steak…it lingers…
Short ribs are also very much a dual purpose cut.  There is plenty of rich, buttery meat, and a great bone structure with lots of fat and flavor.  Meaning once you have cooked and enjoyed the meal, the bones and debris can go right back into a pot of water for a warm, fortifying broth for soup, cooking or restoration of the body and soul. 

The short rib is a very versatile cut in preparation and takes on the flavors of the world beautifully. I have included four possibilities below….go forth and find your favorite!

Common Mise en Place for Braised Shortribs:

(Mise en place is the semi religious experience of gathering all of your needed ingredients and tools.  It is a much more pleasant experience to read the recipe first, gather your ingredients and tools.  It often makes the difference between a “cook” and a “chef”.)

--Thawed, and patted dry short ribs split in half (1 lb per person means leftovers!!!!!)
--Seasoned flour for dredging-approx. 2 c flour, 1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt, and 1 Tablespoon Fresh Cracked Black Pepper
--Best quality fat for browning—tallow, organic butter, and coconut oil are all delicious and healthy choices.
--Ingredients for your chosen “flavor profile” (see recipes to follow)
--Best cookware for these ribs---An enamel lined Dutch oven and a low oven, or simply a basic crockpot with a removable ceramic dish.

Technique

If you have time, brine your short ribs overnight in this mixture-2 gallons cold water, 2 T Kosher Salt, 1 Tablespoon honey, agave nectar or table sugar.  It makes a difference but it's not a deal breaker for great ribs.

Pat Shortribs dry, and split, between the bones to make short rectangles or squares

Dredge in seasoned flour—shaking off excess flour--- and brown in dutch oven or heavy saute' pan until brown; keep heat at medium high, turning the meat as you must to avoid burning.

Transfer ribs to your chosen cookware and cover with the ingredients of your chosen flavor profile (see suggested recipes below). 

If you are using a crock pot, set timer for 8 hours on high or 10 hours on medium. Time it based on when you want to eat.
If you are using a dutch oven in your home oven, set the temperature to 180 for 8 hours, or 215 for six hours.  Also, remove the lid and turn the heat up to 325 degrees the last 30 minutes of cooking.


Recipes


Korean Bulgoggi Inspired Short Ribs               

¼ cup good quality soy sauce, I use Tamari                          
2 T blackstrap molasses                                                         
2 or 3 whole star anise, or ½ teaspoon ground                     
4 or 5 green cardamom pods, or ½ teaspoon ground            
Zest and juice of 1 large orange                                              
½ teaspoon hot crushed red chile                                           
11/2 inch piece of ginger, minced                                          
1 teaspoon minced lemon grass; generally available               
in the produce department of good grocer                           
1 medium yellow onion, diced                                              
                                                                                                                                  
*Side possibilities:
Wasabi mashed Potatoes
Rice noodles and vegetables
                                                                                                    
                                                                                                      
  Southern Style Slow and Low and Slow Short Ribs
½ cup organic ketchup                                                                                                
1 Tablespoon Blackstrap Molasses
1 Teaspoon Adobo from canned  Chipotles
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
10 shakes of tabasco
2 small apples, diced
1 medium yellow onion, diced

*Side possibilities:
Southern Style Potato Salad
Baked Sweet Potatoes
Creole Slaw
Buttermilk biscuits and sweet butter

Dijonnaise (French Style)                                                          

1 cup strong beef bouillon or consomm√©'                             
1 Tablespoon tomato paste…consider a squeezable tube      
1 yellow onion, julienned                                                        
5 toes of garlic, minced                                                          
3 bay leaves                                                                           
6 sprigs of fresh thyme                                                       
2 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard                                    
2 Tablespoons red wine, if you like                                       
Salt and Pepper to taste just before service                           

*Side possibilities:
Roasted Fingerling or small Yukon Gold Potatoes
Roasted small onions
Roasted Carrots and Parsnips in butter with a hint of honey



 Southwestern Style
4 roasted and seed green chiles,  minced
3 ripe tomatoes, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
5 toes of garlic, minced
2 chipotle chilies, canned
 1 tablespoon agave nectar or gold tequila
 1 Tablespoon achiote' spice
 Salt to taste just before service

Pour your combined flavor profile over the short ribs in the crock pot or Dutch oven. Follow instructions given in the “technique” section.

Set it, forget it...come home to a truly lovely dinner



*The sides are mere suggestions but if you are interested in recipes, please email us and we will do our best to oblige.