BEEF SHORT RIBS

Here’s a recipe for beef short ribs from our recent cooking class in San Francisco on braising. I can’t think of a better way to cook meat than a long, slow braise. Forget all the recent sous vide mania which basically takes away all of the mystery and excitement of cooking and puts the process on autopilot. Braising cuts of meat produces a superior texture and product every time if done carefully. We use whole plates of short ribs which come with three large bones and are about 5.5 pounds each but you can certainly have your butcher portion them so they are easier to work with. The bones are really a nice addition as they enrich the braising liquid and will enable a better sauce. If you choose to brine these as we do here, you want to be careful to not over-reduce the braising liquid while building your sauce. It can get to salty. We serve this with a celery root puree and a radicchio, caper and celery leaf salad to help balance out the richness of the beef.

Braised beef short ribs with celery root puree
1 plate, bone in beef sort ribs (about 5.5 pounds)
Brine
4 quarts water
1 cup sugar
1 cup salt
1 head garlic
1 bay leaf
1 dry chile
Braise
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 onion, diced
½ cup celery, diced
½ cup fennel, diced
½ cup carrot, diced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 bottle dry red wine
1 quart chicken stock
4 cloves garlic
4 sprigs thyme
4 sprigs parsley
1 bay leaf
3-4 tablespoons butter
Celery root puree
3 pounds celery root; cleaned, peeled and cut into 2’’ pieces
6 tablespoons butter
Salt
White pepper (optional)

Peel and clean the celery roots and cut them into roughly two inch pieces. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and season with two tablespoons salt. Add celery root and cook until tender, about fifteen to twenty minutes. Remove the celery root with a slotted spoon and reserve the cooking water. Puree celery root and butter in a blender in batches adding enough cooking water to puree until smooth. Season with salt and white pepper to taste and keep warm. Makes one quart.

Combine all of the brining ingredients in a pot and bring to a simmer. Cool completely and pour over the short ribs. Let soak in the refrigerator over night. Remove the short ribs and rinse under cold water thoroughly. Dry them and bring to room temperature. Heat a large pan and add the canola oil. Brown the short rib, meat side down until golden brown. Turn and brown on all sides except for the back. Remove from the pan and set aside in a roasting dish, bones up.

Strain off all of the oil and discard. Add the onion, celery, fennel and carrots and sauté over high heat until caramelized. Add the tomato paste and cook for a few minutes until the color darkens and the flavor no longer tastes raw. Add the wine, stock, garlic and herbs and bring to a simmer. Scrape up any of the brown bits from the pan. Pour everything over the beef, cover tightly with foil and bake in a 325 oven until the meat is extremely tender, about four hours. Remove from the oven and allow the meat to cool in the braising liquid. When it’s cool, remove the bones and dry the meat. Put the meat in between two baking sheets and press until firm in the refrigerator. Strain the braising liquid and cool as well in the refrigerator so the fat will congeal at the top and be easy to remove and discard.

When the meat is cold, trim off all of the connective tissue from the bottom where the bones were. You can discard this, it’s not really edible. Portion the meat into six even pieces and set aside. Strain your braising liquid again and bring it to a simmer in a sauce pan. Reduce this until you have the desired texture and concentration for your sauce. Whisk in a few tablespoons of butter and season to taste. Reheat the short ribs in a 350F oven until warm throughout. Plate about one quarter cup of celery root puree and top with a short rib. Season meat to taste with a little salt and finish with some sauce. Serves six with extra sauce and celery root puree.

Jordan

About Jordan Schachter

The majority of my childhood memories took place in the neighborhood pizzeria. My friends all called me “Slim” but as I recall I could eat any of them under the table. In college, I discovered a strong interest in sustainable agriculture while working on organic farms. It was during this time that I cultivated my appreciation and respect for the highest quality, farm fresh ingredients. Ever since I have identified with a strong desire to feed people and this is what would lead me to cooking and the hospitality industry. For a few years after college, I was able to travel extensively exploring the cuisines and culinary traditions of Europe, Asia and Central and South America.

In 2001 I moved to San Francisco, CA and shortly after began working as a private chef while staging from time to time at some of the cities great local restaurants. In 2008 I began teaching hands on cooking classes in the Bay Area as a way to share my passion and knowledge with others. The classes have been sold out ever since and we have had the privilege to host home cooks from all over the world. Teaching has been an incredible way for me to connect with and also learn from others. Our mission is to build and nourish community through the joy of cooking and eating with one another.

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