Monday, September 27, 2010

Short Ribs

One of my many mailing lists ( got me all worked up for some yummy ribs.  Especially after I watched Giada make some the other day.  Here are both recipes for two very different takes on short ribs.  There has got to be a way to do Giada's in the slow cooker, so I'll have to work on that.
Zinfandel Short Ribs
2 cups good-quality Sonoma Zinfandel
3 tablespoons butter
1 small red onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups low-sodium beef broth
4 pounds cross-cut beef short ribs, 1/2 inch thick
Steak seasoning salt, as needed
To make the sauce: In a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat the Zinfandel. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes, until reduced by half. Remove from the heat and set aside. In another medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and garlic and cook for about 4 minutes, stirring often until the onion is tender. Add the flour and mix well until blended. Add the beef broth and the reduced Zinfandel and mix well. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes, until thickened.
Prepare the grill for cooking over direct medium heat. Season the ribs on both sides with the steak seasoning salt. Place the ribs directly on the cooking grate. Cook for 5 minutes. Flip and brush with the sauce. Cook for another 5 minutes and repeat. Continue flipping and brushing for about 40 minutes, until the ribs are browned and tender. Discard any remaining sauce. Remove to a platter to serve.

Penne with Braised Short Ribs

4 pounds beef short ribs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
5 Roma tomatoes, cut into eighths
1 cup red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 cups low-sodium beef broth
1 pound penne pasta
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Place an oven rack in the lower 1/3 of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Season the ribs with salt and pepper. In a large heavy-bottomed Dutch oven or ovenproof stock pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. In batches, add the ribs and brown on all sides, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the ribs and set aside. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, wine and mustard. Bring the mixture to a boil and scrape up the brown bits that cling to the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Return the ribs to the pan. Add the beef broth, cover the pan and place in the oven for 2 1/2 hours until the meat is fork-tender and falls easily from the bone.

Remove the ribs from the cooking liquid. Using a large spoon, remove any excess fat from the surface of the cooking liquid. Using a ladle, transfer the cooking liquid in the bowl of a food processor. Process until the mixture is smooth. Pour the sauce into a saucepan and keep warm over low heat. Remove the meat from the bones. Discard the bones. Using 2 forks, shred the meat into small pieces. Stir the shredded meat into the sauce. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain the pasta and place in a large serving bowl. Using a slotted spoon, remove the meat from the sauce and add to the pasta. Pour 1 cup of the sauce over the pasta. Toss well and thin out the pasta with more sauce, if needed. Sprinkle the pasta with Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley before serving.

** Reader reviews add a bunch of great ideas:
- add tomato paste toward the end to thicken the sauce and add a little depth of flavor
- serve with apple and acorn squash puree versus pasta
- use pork or a traditional roast instead of short ribs
- serve the ribs whole rather than shredding them

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