BRAISED SHORT RIBS OR OX TAIL

December 4, 2010 § Leave a comment

Braising is cooking meat or a vegetable in liquid in slow heat.  The result is a tasty dish that will melt in your mouth.  The technique produces layers of rich flavors that are surprisingly complex considering the relative simplicity of the preparation.

The recipe below is for short (beef) ribs, but it works just as well with ox tails.  It may seem curious that the recipe calls for chicken stock, but once you taste it you’ll see why.  And you can see that the seasonings are quite simple.  The flavors that you get from braising are so robust that you don’t need much more than the taste of the ingredients.  Of course, it’s your kitchen, add whatever seasonings you like; just remember that braising will magnify or diminish their effects, depending on which herbs or spices you add.  

Be sure the vegetables are coarsely chopped.  You don’t want them to disappear in the long, slow cooking.

I have done a lot of braising, and it’s my favorite cooking method.  I like this recipe because it fairly reflects what I do when I am throwing a dish together with whatever I have on hand.  Try it.  I think you’ll be pleased and pleasantly surprised with the results.

 BRAISED SHORT RIBS

1             Tbsp. vegetable oil

1 1/2     Lb. short ribs, cut into 3″ pieces, about 6-8 in all, or flanken

2            Medium onions, coarsely chopped

2            Carrots, sliced

2            Stalks celery, coarsely chopped

2            Cloves garlic, minced

8            Oz. sliced mushrooms

6            Oz. tomato paste

3            Tbsp. all-purpose flour

1            Bottle (750 ml.) red wine

2            Cups chicken stock

               Salt and black pepper to taste

               Egg noodles, cooked

Pat the meat dry.  Season with salt and black pepper.

Heat the oil in a dutch oven until it shimmers.  Add the meat and brown on all sides over medium heat.  Remove the meat from the pan and set aside.

Drain all but one tablespoon of the oil.  Add the onions, carrots, celery, garlic, mushrooms and a sprinkle of salt and cook until the vegetables begin to soften, about five minutes.

Add the tomato paste and flour and mix thoroughly with the vegetables.  If necessary, add a splash of wine to facilitate the mixture.  Let the mixture heat, stirring often, for about five minutes.

Stir in the red wine and chicken stock.  Add the meat back to the pot.  Bring the contents to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium-low and cover.  Cook for two hours.  Remove the pot top and let cook for another fifteen minutes to reduce.

Serve over the cooked egg noodles.

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