Remember when there was such a thing as a cheap cut of meat?
I set out to cook short ribs, a dish I had not made in quite a while, and like purchasing a new vehicle, I was shocked by the sticker price. I understand all the fuss now, I mean, the glamor associated with this by-product rib section of our beloved beef. Per ounce, it prices out to be pretty close to Prime meat. You know, as in the upper crust of grading meat, above US grade Choice which is about all I can afford these days.
What are beef short ribs anyway? Unlike pork spare ribs, beef short ribs are larger and usually more tender, meatier. A full rack of short ribs are only about 10-inches square and contains just 3 or 4 ribs that protect the fat marbled meat which normally, after removing excess layers of tendons and fat, leaves only 2 or 3 inches of this marvelous meat. Okay, so it ain't the cute little filet mignon of the tenderloin but to a rib eater, I guess it's the next best thing.
So, after deciding whether to purchase the short ribs or pay a utility bill, I set my sight on a lessor priced cut of meat - boneless short ribs, which is from the chuck part of the cow, which I believe is next to the rib section... now ain't that something?
This recipe is a result of many actually; a combination of the French braised short ribs with a wine reduction, the southern classic of grilled short ribs sweetened with apple induced caramelized vegetables and a little Creole touch thrown in for good measure. Enjoy!
Braised Beef Short Ribs
my southern version of the French Bourguignon classic
4 to 5 pounds beef short ribs, either boneless, English or flanking cut
Kosher salt, fresh ground peppercorns
3 cloves of garlic, sliced
5 shallots, sliced
2 celery stalks, diced
3 carrots, diced
1 cup dry sherry
1 cup port wine
1/2 cup apple cider
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
2 bay leaves
handful of parsley
2 cups beef stock
1 crisp apple, peeled, cored and sliced
Sprinkle the meat with salt and pepper and coat with oil.
Heat a large Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add a little oil and add a few pieces of the meat pressing down to make good contact with the bottom of the pan. Cook about 3 minutes on each side or until nice and brown. Remove meat to a platter and continue cooking remaining meat. Keep seared meat in a warm area while making reduction.
Add the garlic, shallots, celery and carrots to the pot. Cook stirring occasionally until softened. Remove to a bowl, cover and keep warm.
Add the remaining ingredients except apple to the pot and heat to a boil. Cook until reduced 1/3 in volume. Strain reserving the stock and discard the herbs.
Add the cooked vegetables to the pot. Place the short ribs on top of the vegetables and pour the reduction over the meat. Scatter the apples on top.
Cook in a preheated 325 degree F. oven for 3 hours.
Remove meat and vegetables to a serving platter, reserving the sauce for use and if desired, further reduce in a saucepan.