Posts tagged ‘Beef’

Elephant Walk Cooking Class

All cooks find themselves in a rut from time to time. In those periods, the same dishes keep appearing on the dinner table week after week – in my case, momofuku noodles (post coming soon), pasta with meat sauce, and sauteed chicken breasts with rice. One solution to this would be to open up one of my million cookbooks and find myself a recipe, clearly.  A slightly more expensive — and certainly more entertaining — fix is to find a cooking class!  Even better, find a cooking class for a cuisine with which you are unfamiliar.  This will ensure both education and several new avenues for experimentation to keep you out of that rut for a long while!

Last weekend, my mother and I attended a cooking class at a local Cambodian restaurant, The Elephant Walk.  Their courses (and food!) were recommended to us by a close friend, and how right he was.  We had a fantastic time visiting a Cambodian market and then returning to the Elephant Walk kitchen to cook up a three-course lunch, which we promptly devoured with delicious wine to accompany.

We chose the class called “Doing It All on Market Day”.  This cost a little more, but was worth every penny.  We arrived at 8:30 at the restaurant and traveled from there to Revere, one of the three largest Cambodian communities in the United States (the other two are Lowell, MA and Long Beach, CA).  A little store market there carried produce and non-perishables from Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, China, and Latin America.  As Longteine de
Monteiro, Elephant Walk’s head chef, explained, as property values in neighborhoods near Boston have risen, Hispanics have moved in to places the Cambodians can no longer afford.  Thus, the market showcased Thai basil next to cilantro, tamarind alongside tomatillos, and lemongrass sidled up to habaneros.  I wish I had taken more pictures of the various exotic vegetables, like banana blossoms, khmer eggplant, and string beans that measured two feet long!  Here is Longteine showing us a fuzzy melon (which is like a spongy squash):

Notice the cactus in the bottom right!  Another “melon” to which we were introduced was called bitter melon – although this one was more like a cucumber:

With each new vegetable, she explained to us how they would be used.  Most to all of them can go into sour soup, if you’re wondering.  If you want more than my memory can provide, fear not! There’s The Elephant Walk Cookbook too.

Once we collected everything we’d need for our class (plus Mom and I picked up bean sprouts, mushroom soy sauce, and tamarind paste to make some Pad Thai later), we headed back to the restaurant.  The 10 or so participants picked partners, and each pair was assigned a course.  Mom and I chose the Spicy Beef with Peppers and camped out at a station in the kitchen. Everything was very clean and organized, and our mise had already been put en place:

Much of the above you’ll recognize: salt, sugar, fish sauce, jalapenos and cubanelle peppers.  The odd ginger-like thing at the top is called galangal or a rhizome.  It is similar in look, texture and use-value to ginger, but tastes more peppery than gingery.  At the top left, you can see the base of a container full of the most incredible ambrosia… lemongrass paste, they call it.  To make it, blend the following ingredients together for 2-3 minutes until smooth:

2 Tblsp. thinly sliced lemongrass
2 large garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1 medium shallot, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons peeled, coarsely chopped galangal
1/2 tsp. tumeric
1/2 cup water

We spent about 35 minutes cooking, and then shared our dishes – green mango salad, sour soup with tilapia, and spicy stir-fried beef at a long table set for an elegant party.  I highly recommend the experience — very good food and definitely a departure from my norm.  The restaurant also offers courses in French-Asian fusion, Vegan & Vegetarian Cooking, and Pan Sauces, just to name a few.  The instruction wasn’t very comprehensive in terms of technique, especially given that in some cases the lemongrass paste was already made and the peppers already chopped, but we had a pretty well-trained group.  For me, the class was more about thinking through new flavor combinations and using ingredients I’ve never seen before.  Consider that rut a thing of the past!

I also enjoyed seeing the class through the lens of a world history teacher.  Since my last post, I have finished a master’s program at Harvard Graduate School of Education, and have spent two years teaching and living at a boarding school.  No wonder I don’t have time for blogging!  But throughout my cooking class last Saturday, I couldn’t stop thinking about how none of our dishes would have been possible without the Columbian Exchange, the term used to describe the integration of crops and people from the Americas and the rest of the world.  For most of recorded history, these two hemispheres were separated by unnavigable waters.  They thus developed quite different species of flora and fauna.  In the Americas, people grew potatoes, peppers, corn, tomatoes, and pineapple – none of which had been seen before 1492 by farmers in Europe, Africa, or Asia.  Men from those continents brought wheat, rice, onions, most spices, and sugar — not to mention cows, pigs, chickens, and sheep — across the Atlantic to revolutionize agriculture in the Americas.  See how many Old World/New World interactions you can find in the below recipes!

Nyuom Svay (Green Mango Salad), serves 4

4 medium green mangoes, finely julienned
1 large shallot, very thinly sliced
8 oz. cooked pork belly or pork butt, very thinly julienned
1/2 cup fresh grated coconut, roasted
1/2 cup julienned red bell pepper
1 Tblsp. salt
1 Tblsp. fish sauce
3 Tblsp. sugar
1 to 2 Tblsp. fresh lime juice to taste

In a large bowl, toss all the ingredients together. Garnish with fresh mint or basil.  [The recipe book we were given suggests you need 1 cup loosely packed mint, and the same amount of Thai basil.  But if you see the photos, I don’t see anywhere near that much shown.  I think that the flecks of brown are the toasted grated coconut.]

Samalh Machou Trey (Sour Soup with Tilapia and Pineapple), serves 4
4 cups chicken broth
3 tilapia filets, cut into 2 1/2 inch pieces
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 1/2 Tblsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tblsp. fish sauce
2 Tblsp. fresh lime juice
8 oz. pinapple, julienned 1/2 inch thick
8 oz. fuzzy squash (see photo above), peeled and cut into the same size as pineapple
2 plum tomatoes, quartered (we used green tomatoes)
3 Tblsp. fried chopped garlic
1 cup sliced Maam, aka “French mint” or “Asian cilantro” (see image at right)

Put the chicken broth in a medium stockpot and bring to a boil.  Add the garlic, pineapple, squash, tomatoes, salt, sugar, and fish sauce.  Return to a boil, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer for 5 minutes until the vegetables are soft.

Gently stir in the lime juice and the fish and cook for another 8 minutes.

Add the fried garlic and maam.  Serve immediately with cooked jasmine rice in the individual bowls.

Saiko Cha K’dao (Spicy Stir-fried Beef), serves 4
3/4 lb. cubanelle peppers (about 3 large)
1/4 lb. jalapeno peppers (about 5)
1/4 c. vegetable oil
1 recipe lemongrass paste (see above)

1 lb. boneless sirloin, cut into strips 2 inches long, 1 1/2 inches wide, and 1/4 inch thick. [she told us we had short rib meat.  Not sure if that is the case]
1 1/2 Tblsp. sugar
1 Tblsp. fish sauce
1 tsp. salt
2 cups loosely packed fresh mareh preuw (aka holy basil) or regular basil leaves (see photo)

Slice the peppers very thinly lengthwise, removing seeds and veins.  Then cut into 2 inch lengths.  Heat the oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the lemongrass paste and cook until its aroma is released, about 1 minute.

Stirring well as you go, add the beef, peppers, sugar, fish sauce and salt, and simmer for 3-4 minutes, until the meat is cooked through.  Remove from the heat and add the herbs.  Serve with rice.

 

Thank you, Nyep, for the great class.  Thank you, Mom, for inviting me to the great class.  Thank you, Eric, for the gift certificates that allowed us to take the great class!

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June 12, 2012 at 9:52 am Leave a comment

Pot Roast

Pot Roast

There is a great scene in Wedding Crashers where a middle-aged, pajama-clad Will Ferrell yells to his mom (who is in the kitchen) from his seat in front of the TV, “MA!  The meatloaf! We want it NOW!”  Whenever I make the retro dishes that RJ loves so much — Meatloaf, Beef Stroganoff, Mac n’ Cheese, Pot Roast, I always think of that scene.  Something about being that faceless mother figure with a boy who only eats meat and noodles.  Strange, I know.  Anyhoo… this pot roast is full of retro goodness, complete with slow cooker appliance and a can of Campbell’s soup.  I may be more than a little hypocritical, given this previous post and my known distaste for processed food products, but for some reason I just really wanted to try this recipe.  And it came out really well.  I feel shame…

I have a couple versions of pot roast in my arsenal, but this one is great for the slow cooker.  The tender meat and the beefy-tomato sauce basically epitomize comfort food, especially when draped over fresh linguini pasta (from Dave’s).  Even my recalcitrant husband ate up all of his carrots since, as he said, they were the perfect size.  Finally, the swirl of balsamic vinegar added right before serving added just the right amount of acidic zip to wake up the palate.  I highly recommend this recipe for two reasons: dinner #1 and dinner #2 (aka Leftovers).  Dinner #2 involves stirring shredded leftover pot roast into a homemade tomato sauce with red wine and lots of garlic.  A healthy dose of parmesan cheese and a side of garlic bread are all that’s needed to round out the meal (for RJ anyway — I would recommend some salad or greens as well!).  Here’s a look at that ragú on cheese ravioli:

shredded-beef-leftovers
Easy Pot Roast with Rich Tomato Gravy
, adapted from The 150 Best Slow Cooker Recipes
(Serves 6-8)

3-4 lbs. beef pot roast (cross rib, rump, or chuck roast)
1 Tbs. vegetable oil
2 onions, thinly sliced
3 stalks celery, peeled and thinly sliced
3 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. dried thyme leaves
1 tsp. salt
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. cracked black peppercorns
2 Tbs. flour
1 can (10 oz.) condensed tomato soup
1/2 c. condensed beef broth (undiluted)
1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbs. packed brown sugar (optional)
2 Tbs. balsamic or red wine vinegar (optional)

Pat roast dry with paper towel. In a skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add roast and cook, turning, until brown on all sides, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer beef to slow cooker insert.

pot-roast-browned

Reduce heat to medium. Add onions, celery, and carrots to pan and cook, stirring, until vegetables are softened. Add garlic, mustard, thyme, salt and pepper and cook, stirring for one minutes. Sprinkle mixture with flour and stir. Add tomato soup and beef broth and stir to combine, cooking until thickened. Stir in Worcestershire sauce.

pot-roast-sauce

Pour sauce mixture over roast, cover and cook on Low setting for 10 to 12 hours or on High setting for 5 to 6 hours. Remove roast from slow cooker and place on serving platter. Stir in brown sugar and vinegar, if using, to pan juices. Pour sauce over roast or serve in a separate sauceboat.

pot-roast-donepot-roast-gravy

If you want to plan ahead you can cook the vegetables and sauce the night before, and store it in the refrigerator.  The next morning, brown roast (this step may also be skipped if you are really pressed for time, though the browning really adds flavor), put the meat in the slow cooker, then pour the sauce over the beef.

Another option would be to cook the whole recipe the day before you’re serving and store the sauce and meat together in the fridge.  The next night, slice the roast and place slices in a casserole dish, covered with the sauce.  Bake in a 350 degree oven until warmed through (or simmer on the stovetop until piping hot).

October 15, 2009 at 4:22 pm Leave a comment

Ropa Vieja

I have some great news to share — my brother-in-law is engaged!!  RJ’s younger brother popped the question in the middle of the Brooklyn Bridge after a twilight helicopter ride over Manhattan.  A far cry from the low-key proposal I remember not so long ago, but equally momentous.

In general, it can be very hard to passively observe your siblings in their relationship cycles, watching good ones and not-so-good ones get away, knowing that you have no say whatsoever in the girl they pick as “the one” (a.k.a. “the one” you have to live with at every holiday and family vacation for the rest of your life!).  Yet both RJ and I squealed when we heard the news, as Erica is just who we would have picked for Brian if anyone cared about our opinion.  She is kind and sweet and beautiful and, as RJ says, she’s great for Brian.  More importantly, when she comes to visit she almost always brings cake with her from all the fabulous NYC bakeries I dream about…

Brian and Erica are Engaged!

So today I’m featuring a recipe for a dish that I know Erica would love, since she introduced it to me (the first of many family recipe exchanges I’m sure!).  The last time she was at our house, she and I got into a big love-fest conversation about the slow cooker.  She and Brian live and work in the Big Bad City, and often don’t have time to cook a dinner when they get home (though their kitchen, I must say, is the biggest one I’ve ever seen in New York).  To avoid takeout all the time (this is what my brother does) she often does fun dinners in the slow cooker.  I have about 6 different slow cooker cookbooks in my house, but really only rotate through a couple recipes – pulled pork, beef stew, pork stew, and chili.  I know it is far more versatile, but the old standbys are really good!

Erica told me about one that she really likes, Ropa Vieja, and I was intrigued.  She said it was Cuban in origin and was a different flavor than the standard beef-and-wine stew.  It also had lots of peppers in it, since her husband-to-be loves them (let it not be said that RJ’s limited appetite is his the fault of his upbringing – his mom and brother both love vegetables!).  Literally two weeks later this recipe pops up in The Boston Globe Magazine.  I might have missed it if I had not been at my parents’ house, flipping through their Sunday paper.  I guess it was a sign that Erica – and this Ropa Vieja! – were destined to be in my life forever…

Ropa Vieja

Ropa Vieja, from The Boston Globe Magazine, Feb. 15, 2009
(Serves 6)

Traditionally, the beef is braised in a separate step, which I have eliminated. Flank steaks are rarely as large as 3 pounds; more likely you’ll find two 1½-pound steaks. Serve with yellow rice, lime wedges, and hot sauce.

Browned Round Steak2 tablespoons olive oil
3 pounds flank steak [I used round steak, which worked fine but wasn’t quite as stringy]
Salt and black pepper
2 large onions, thinly sliced (about 3 cups)
2 tablespoons flour
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
2/3 cup dry sherry
1 cup homemade or packaged low-sodium chicken broth
1 14½-ounce can diced tomatoes
4 bay leaves
2 medium red bell peppers, cored, seeded, and cut into ½-inch strips
1 cup green olives, pitted and sliced
1½ cups frozen peas, thawed
6 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Beef n' onionsHeat 1/2 tablespoon of oil in a large, heavy-bottomed Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sprinkle meat with 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper, add 1 steak to pot, and cook without moving until deeply browned on bottom, about 4 1/2 minutes. Turn and cook without moving until second side is deeply browned, about 4 1/2 minutes. Transfer meat to a plate. Add 1/2 tablespoon of oil to the pot and repeat with remaining steak (reducing heat if drippings begin to burn); transfer to plate.

Reduce heat to medium, add remaining tablespoon of oil, allow it to heat for a moment, then add onions and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Stir to coat and cook until onions just start to soften, about 2 minutes. Add flour, stir to mix, and cook, stirring constantly, for about 2 minutes. Add garlic, cumin, cinnamon, and cloves and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 40 seconds. Add sherry and chicken broth, increase heat to high, and use a wooden spoon to scrape up the brown film on bottom of pot until it is all dissolved, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes, bay leaves, and browned meat with accumulated juices, push it down into liquid, bring to a boil, reduce heat to very low, cover, and simmer until beef is tender, about 2 1/2 hours. [Though this recipe uses a dutch oven on the stove top, there’s no reason you couldn’t put the meat and liquids in the slow cooker for 8-10 hours on low.] Remove steaks and when cool enough to handle, cut in half across the grain. Use 2 forks to break down meat into thin shreds and return to pot.

Shredded beef

Add bell peppers to the pot, submerge them in liquid, cover, increase heat to medium, and cook until just tender, about 10 minutes. Remove bay leaves, add olives, peas, and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and black pepper, stir to mix, and cook until peas are heated through, about 5 minutes. Add 4 tablespoons of parsley, taste stew, and adjust seasoning with salt and black pepper, if necessary. Serve at once, sprinkling with remaining parsley.

Ropa Vieja

April 19, 2009 at 9:48 am 4 comments

Green Peppercorn Sauce

Peppercorn SauceA while back, I introduced you to the nouvelle cuisine of my father-in-law and his famous Chicken Marsala.  I have cooked that one over and over by now, adapted it for Veal with a couple of my own touches, and eaten the original chez Chip numerous times.  But I have not, until now, had the opportunity to taste the just-as-famous but considerably more elusive Green Peppercorn Sauce.

And wow, did this ever live up to its reputation!  A blanket of thick, rich, slightly tangy sauce, draped over a perfectly cooked filet mignon – I drool just writing about it.  Chip allowed me to photograph his process last night, but made me swear that I would give the recipe full credit to Williams-Sonoma, who included it on the tag that came with his jar of beef demi-glace.  This recipe is also a great way to use up some more of the green peppercorns called for in my last post!

Green Peppercorn and Cognac Sauce, from Williams-Sonoma recipe developers and product marketers

2 tablespoons clarified butterimg_0297
4 filet mignon, each 6 oz., 1 1/2 inches thick
1 shallot, minced
¼ cup cognac
 cup heavy cream
 cup beef demi-glace
1 tablespoon green peppercorns, well rinsed
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temp, cut into small pieces

In a large saute pan over medium heat, warm the clarified butter until nearly smoking. Place the filets in the pan and sear until nicely browned underneath, about 5 minutes. Turn the filets over and continue cooking until nicely browned on the other side, about 5 minutes more for medium-rare, or until done to your liking. Transfer the filets to a warmed platter, season lightly with salt and pepper, and cover loosely with aluminum foil.

img_0313Pour off all but 1 Tbs. fat from the pan. Set the pan over medium heat, add the shallot and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 3 minutes. Off the heat, add the cognac. Return the pan to medium heat, bring to boil and cook until the cognac is almost evaporated, about 3 minutes. The cognac may ignite, but it will burn off. Add the demi-glace, cream and peppercorns and whisk to combine. Cook until the mixture is slightly thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the butter and whisk until incorporated. Season with salt and pepper, and pass the sauce alongside the filets or pour over them just before serving. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

Filet with Peppercorn Sauce


April 5, 2009 at 3:31 pm Leave a comment

Cooking with Beer – Beef and Guinness Pie

Dig in beef stew!

I’m going to keep this post short and sweet.  This recipe is about as Irish as you can get – meat pie.  The stew is rich with stout flavors and studded with bites of spicy green peppercorn.  While I did go all out and made my own puff pastry this time, I have also made this dish with store-bought.  The biggest difference is the thicker, more buttery bite of the homemade – if you have the time, do it yourself!  As you can see, my pie tops fell into the soup bowls a little bit — I recommend making sure there is a substantial overlap of the dough over the sides before you bake.  That being said, the slightly soggy, meaty pastry floating in the stew is pure heaven!

Beef and onionsBeef and Guinness Pie, from Gourmet magazine, October 2004

(serves 4 as a main course)

2 lbs. boneless beef chuck, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 Tbs. vegetable oil
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
3 Tbs. water
1 1/2 Tbs. tomato paste
1 c. beef broth
1 c. Guinness or other Irish stout
1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. drained brined green peppercorns, coarsely chopped
2 fresh thyme sprigs
Rough Puff Pastry dough (see below, or use the highest quality prepared dough you can find)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon water

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F.

Beef stewPat beef dry. Stir together flour, salt, and pepper in a shallow dish. Add beef, turning to coat, then shake off excess and transfer to a plate. Heat oil in a wide 5- to 6-quart ovenproof heavy pot over moderately high heat until just smoking, then brown meat in 3 batches, turning occasionally, about 5 minutes per batch, transferring to a bowl.

Add onion, garlic, and water to pot and cook, scraping up any brown bits from bottom of pot and stirring frequently, until onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Stir in beef with any juices accumulated in bowl, broth, beer, Worcestershire sauce, peppercorns, and thyme and bring to a simmer, then cover and transfer to oven. Braise until beef is very tender and sauce is thickened, about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours. Discard thyme and cool stew completely, uncovered, about 30 minutes. (If stew is warm while assembling pies, it will melt uncooked pastry top.)

Put a shallow baking pan on middle rack of oven and increase oven temperature to 425°F.

Divide cooled stew among bowls (they won’t be completely full). Roll out pastry dough on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin into a 13-inch square, about 1/8 inch thick. Trim edges and cut dough into quarters. Stir together egg and water and brush a 1-inch border of egg wash around each square. Invert 1 square over each bowl and drape, pressing sides lightly to help adhere. Brush pastry tops with some of remaining egg wash and freeze 15 minutes to thoroughly chill dough.

Bake pies in preheated shallow baking pan until pastry is puffed and golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Reduce oven temperature to 400°F and bake 5 minutes more to fully cook dough.

Rough Puff Pastry Dough

Pebbly dough1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) plus 5 Tbs. unsalted butter, frozen
5 to 6 Tbs. ice water

Sift together flour and salt into a chilled large metal bowl. Set a grater in flour mixture and coarsely grate frozen butter into flour, gently lifting flour and tossing to coat butter.

Drizzle 5 tablespoons ice water evenly over flour mixture and gently stir with a fork until incorporated.

Test mixture by gently squeezing a small handful: When it has the proper texture, it will hold together without crumbling apart. If necessary, add another tablespoon water, stirring until just incorporated and testing again. (If you overwork mixture or add too much water, pastry will be tough.)

Gather mixture together and form into a 5-inch square, then chill, wrapped in plastic wrap, until firm, about 30 minutes. (Dough will be lumpy and streaky.)

Roll out dough on a floured surface with a floured rolling pin into a 15- by- 8-inch rectangle. Arrange dough with a short side nearest you, then fold dough into thirds like a letter: bottom third up and top third down over dough. Rewrap dough and chill until firm, about 30 minutes.

Arrange dough with a short side nearest you on a floured surface and repeat rolling out, folding, and chilling 2 more times. Brush off any excess flour, then wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill at least 1 hour.

Guinness Pie

March 28, 2009 at 12:57 pm 1 comment

Braised Beef Short Ribs with Coriander and Cardamom

 beef-final1

Yet another braise to get us all through the winter months. It is hard to imagine, with the wind biting below zero, that winter is not yet upon us. Harder still to think that we have another couple weeks of “technically fall” before the Winter Solstice. Nevertheless, it is cold in New England, and gosh darnit I want to braise.

At the grocery store, I saw some great looking English Short Ribs, and I valiantly thumbed through my 4-inch binder of clipped recipes to locate a short rib preparation that I hadn’t yet attempted. I found a recipe from an April 2007 issue of Bon Appetit (pre-redesign: those were the days) for coriander and cardamom spiced Short Ribs printed in the annual Restaurant issue’s R.S.V.P. section. The restaurant in question was the Inn at West View Farm in Dorset, VT and a woman named Cheryl Parker O’Connor requested the recipe. No sooner had I finished and tasted this delicious dish, but what do I see in my November (2008) Bon Appetit magazine? The same recipe, from the same Inn, in the same (R.S.V.P.) section, requested by Franklin Moore of Montreal.

This bugs me on a number of levels. First – I am using up ridiculous amounts of storage space in my small condo pantry for all my recipe clippings and cookbooks. If the editors of Bon Appetit (or other food magazines for that matter) are going to just reprint the same recipes they have in previous issues, it is very possible that I will have duplicate clippings in there, thus extending the years it will take me to cook through the growing pile, as well as the angst my husband has over the size of said pile. Second – as I have mentioned before, I have often requested recipes through Bon Appetit‘s R.S.V.P. section – in particular a Valentine’s Day special from New York’s Nice Matin (Red snapper with a Blackberry Merlot Sauce) that still haunts me – to no success. Yet this “Mr. Moore” from “Montreal” dares to ask for a recipe that has ALREADY BEEN PRINTED BEFORE, and Bon Appetit has the gall to give give it to him! Over my transcendent snapper dish, no less!  Finally – I am unnerved by the very thought that Bon Appetit is running out of new recipes to print.  My blog, not to mention the rest of the foodie blogosphere, relies on the illusion that there will never be an end to the number of possible ingredient combinations printed in our cookbooks and magazines.  If Bon Appetit is repeating recipes already, what will our children write about on their blogs that hasn’t already made it onto the internet?  Oh, the humanity!

OK, rant over.  Back to the food.  These were damn good short ribs!  I can see why so many (including Cheryl and Franklin) are fans.  As RJ said, the flavor and spice balance is perfect – enhancing the meatiness rather than overpowering it.  We served the ribs with lots of the cooking liquid over egg noodles.  RJ thinks potatoes are too heavy to be paired with a braised meat – I tend to disagree, as does the Inn at West View Farm which “serves the ribs with mashed potatoes, braised carrots and snap peas”, but the noodles worked fine as a compromise. 

Braised Beef Short Ribs with Coriander and Cardamom, from Bon Appetit twice over (this text, though, is out of the April 2007 issue – very slight changes were made to the November reprint)!

(Serves 4 to 6)Beef ribs

1/2 c. canola oil
4 lbs. beef short ribs
4 large carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 large leek (white and pale green parts only), chopped
1 whole head of garlic, halved crosswise
1 Tbs. ground coriander
1 Tbs. ground cardamom
2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
1 750ml. bottle of dry red fruity wine, such as Zinfandel
2 c. low salt chicken broth

Beef short ribs braising liquid

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Heat canola oil in heavy large ovenproof pot over high heat.  Sprinkle short ribs with salt and pepper.  Working in batches, add ribs to pot and cook until brown on all sides, about 6 minutes per batch.  Transfer ribs to large bowl.  Add carrots, onion, leek and garlic to pot.  Cook until vegetables are brown, stirring often, about 12 minutes.  Add coriander and cardamom, then flour; stir to coat the vegetables.  Add wine and bring sauce to a boil.  Return ribs and any accumulated juices from bowl to pot.  Add chicken broth.  Bring to boil, cover, and transfer pot to oven.  Braise ribs until tender, about 2 hours.

[Bon Appetit here notes that this recipe can be made up to two days ahead, cooled on the counter uncovered, then refrigerated.  They say that the added resting time is good for the flavor of the dish.  I did make this ahead and found it was delicious, plus it made it easier to scoop out some of the extra fat that had cooled on the surface.]

If made ahead, warm up the dish on the stovetop.  Remove the ribs to a large platter.  Stain sauce into large saucepan, discarding solids in strainer (as you can see above, I did not do this step – I like carrots!).  Bring sauce to boil, then pour over ribs and serve.

**A couple of nights later, I took the remaining short rib and shredded it up with two forks.  The shredded  meat can be used in Enchiladas or mixed in with your favorite (homemade) tomato sauce for a quick ragu.

Shredded Beef ribs

December 4, 2008 at 4:15 pm 8 comments


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