I have gotten fully lazy and a bit disheartened regarding taking foodie pics with my fancy pants camera. I recently got "Plate to Pixel" (food photog book) but have yet to set aside time to learn how to take mouth watering pics. Alas, I have resulted to my phone. And sometimes they actually turn out better. What?
I also got the "Smitten Kitchen Cookbook" - I have a link to the blog to the right. The cookbook adds several new recipes and a few I've tried from the blog (salted brown butter crispy treats!). For the J Man's birthday I made my first recipe out of said cookbook and it was TO DIE FOR. My new foodie friend here in Cville not only recommended the cookbook but swore up and down that the Balsamic and Beer-Braised Short Ribs with Parsnip Puree were amazing. HOLY CANNOLI. It was not amazing. It was AMAZING. Finger licking good. Except that you shouldn't eat said beef with your fingers. Go ahead and use your fork.
|For Jer's birthday, he got to use our "You Are Special" plate. I got it as a shower gift from my sister; we grew up with a "You Are Special" plate and I love continuing the tradition with my family :)|
This was seriously super easy peasy and made our home smell spectacular! And the birthday boy was please as punch with this little treat! I made the recommended parsnip puree and it was also ridiculously easy. This is the perfect meal to make if you are trying to impress someone (like the love of your life, your boss, new foodie friends, etc.) or just want to be a weeknight gourmet!
Balsamic and Beer-Braised Short Ribs
~ Serves 4 to 6 ~
5 pounds bone-in short ribs (English style - i.e. separated, about 6 large or up to 10 smaller ones) at room temperature, trimmed of excess fat
Freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoons olive oil
1 large red onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
2 tablespoons tomato past
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar (Have you tried the Whole Foods 365* Aged Balsamic? Fantastic! It was rated very highly and doesn't break the bank - plus, Deb states that you don't need to use your best aged for this recipe)
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (I love saying "Worcestershire.")
2 bottles (24 ounces) dark beer, such as black lager (I only had one bottle so I added a Yeung Ling and I honestly have no idea if that was a mistake or not because it tasted just fabulous.)
2 to 3 cups beef stock
Minced fresh flat-leaf parsley to serve (optional)
1) Prepare the Braise: Season the short ribs generously and on all sides with salt and freshly ground pepper. Heat a large Dutch oven (7 to 8 quarts) over high heat, and add enough olive oil to coat the bottom. Once the oil is hot, brown the short ribs on all sides in batches. Deb takes her time on this stage, making sure to get a nice brown sear on all six sides. A singe batch can take 10-15 minutes to brown. Transfer the browned ribs to a plate and then repeat with remaining ribs.
2) Braise the Ribs: Preheat your oven to 325*. Once all the ribs are browned and removed from pot, turn heat down to medium-high and pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the oil and fat. Add the onion, season with salt and pepper, and cook until softened and a little brown, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic cloves, and saute for 3 minutes more. Add the tomato paste, and cook for another few minutes, until thickened; then add the vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and beer, scraping up any bits stuck to the bottom. Return the browned ribs to the pot. If you can, arrange them with their meatiest sides face down. If there are too many ribs and not enough surface space, stand them up on their sides, with the bones vertical. Add enough beef stock to just cover the ribs. Bring the liquid to a simmer, then turn off heat. Cover the pot tightly with foil, then with a lid. Deb said that if you don't use foil, the liquid evaporates too much in the oven, leaving the ribs exposed and a bit dry.
3) Bake the Ribs: Bake for 3 hours, or until the meat can easily be pierced with a knife or pieces can be torn back with a fork. If the bones look as if they don't want to stay in much longer, that is another good sign. Remove from the oven and let the ribs rest for 15 minutes, uncovered. Skim as much fat as you can off the top. At this point you can pop them in the fridge for up to one day. The advantage is that it will be super easy to remove the fat from the dish as it will separate and firm up.
4) To Serve: Serve with a sprinkling of chopped flat leaf parsley and a side of parsnip puree!
|Elliott turned 5 months the day Daddy turned 34 years old :)|
2 pounds parsnips (about 6 medium), peeled, sliced into medium-sized chunks
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish sauce or freshly grated horseradish
1/2 teaspoon table salt
Freshly ground black pepper
In a large, heavy pot, combine parsnips with enough cold water to cover. Place over moderately high heat, cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cook until tender, about 20 to 30 minutes, then drain.
Puree hot parsnips, butter, heavy cream, horseradish, salt, and freshly ground pepper until smooth. (As a side note, I though the parsnip puree needed more salt!)
I know this was a long one, but TRUST ME, totally worth it!!! And it is much easier than the length of this post indicates!