Sunday, March 6, 2011

Black Pepper-Crusted Wine-Braised Short Ribs with Garlic and Turnips

Today was such a beautiful day, had the windows open which the kitties really loved.  I wanted to make some short ribs I had chilling in the freezer when Dan suggested this recipe.  Thought it was a perfect recipe since the notes say “ When you sear this pepper-encrusted meat, it’s going to create some very powerful smoke; you might want to temporarily disconnect the smoke detector, and make sure that your exhaust fan is turned to high.”  How could I NOT make this?  This is from Chris Schlesinger & John Willoughby’s How to COOK MEAT, which I highly recommend.

Dry off the meat with paper towels.  (If you don't have short ribs, I'm sure you could use another cut of beef that likes to be braised such as blade steak which would be delicious but not as rich or fattening)  Salt generously, the roll in tons of cracked black pepper.

Some of the vegetables - I couldn't find regular turnips, so I used a gigantic rutabaga.  Also, I used pearl onions in addition to the chopped onions.  

Mmmmm, any recipe with 20 cloves of garlic has got to be good, right?  When you brown the short ribs, don't pay any attention to the comments from the armchair chef's in the house...  I'm really glad I had the windows open and the ceiling fan going.  The fumes!  wow...

You should end up with something that looks like this.  Then remove the excess fat from the pan, add a little olive oil and saute the pearl onions, chopped onions, and whole garlic cloves.  I had to add 2 bay leaves, just because I had fresh bay leaves from my tree in the dining room.

After the onion mixture is browned, add the tomato and turnips, cook a few more minutes.  Add wine and beef broth, then bring to a simmer.  Add the short ribs back to the pan and simmer again.

 Cover and place in a preheated 300 degree oven.  After an hour it looks like this. 

Check the meat again in 30 minutes.  Cook until the meat is tender.  Then remove the meat to a bowl and cover.  Gently remove the vegetables to another bowl using a slotted spoon and also cover.  Carefully skim off the fat from the remaining pan juices.  A gravy separator is great for this. It is amazing how much fat there is on short ribs.  I had just under 5 lb that I used in the recipe.  When I had the broth separated from the vegetables and meat, there was about 6 cups of broth.  There was at least a cup of fat that rendered out of the ribs, incredible.  Taste the broth and carefully correct the seasoning adding salt and pepper as needed.  I like to take the meat off the bones and cut into large pieces.  The meat I had was not very uniform, so each portion would be uneven if served on the bone.  Serve with hunks of fresh crusty bread, a salad & a great glass of wine.  I'm having mine over polenta, but you could serve with any sort of potato, egg noodles, or rice.  See....

With  some salad of giant and fresh baby Lima beans...


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