I don't know who picked up NYC and dropped it in Antarctica, but it is freezing out here. I mean, can't walk outside without a bank robber ski mask cold. I mean, ears falling off and hitting the pavement like ice cubes type weather.
Yes, I am from California. We don't do weather like this. Nonetheless it's an excellent time to practice recession recipes. What recession?!?! The one that's making hundreds of restaurants go out of business and cut back on overtime and staff. And forcing more people to cook at home and choose less expensive cuts of meat.
That kind of recession.
If you're like me and feeling the cold inside and out, then this recipe is sure to bring some comfort back in your life. It was one of those experiments that I would happily serve at my own restaurant and to friends and family. Beef short ribs are cooked best when braised at a low temperature over a long time. They are fatty and tough, so the slow cooking aids in turning blubbery sinews into mouth watering morsels.
At the supermarket there are normally two types of beef short ribs: 'flanken' cut which are short ribs cut across the bone into more manageable pieces or 'short ribs" which look like long logs of beef muscle on the bone.
I chose the normal short ribs for this recipe and cut them off the bone so I could keep the rib meat in one piece for half of the cooking time. My goal was not to have a mushy stringy pile of meat but actual pieces. After cooking the rib meat for an hour, I sliced it thick and returned it to the braising liquid for another hour. To finish the dish the braising liquid is de-fatted and a splash of balsamic vinegar and some fresh cherry halve are added to give a little sweetness and acidity to the rich red-wine beef sauce.
The buttermilk biscuits are from my thoroughly destroyed (torn with gooey fingerprints everywhere) 1975 copy of the Joy Of Cooking and I have yet to find a better a recipe. They are quick to whip up in a Cuisinart and simple to roll out.
And frankly, nothing compares to warm soft biscuits fresh from the oven – with or without the short ribs and sauce. This recipe was supposed to provide left overs. But it didn't. Everything was demolished – the best compliment of all! Serve with horseradish cream.
3 beef short ribs, bone-in
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, peeled and chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
2 cups dry red wine
4 cups veal stock (can substitute beef stock)
2 sprigs of thyme
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
Bing cherries halved and pitted (as many as you want to plate)
Buttermilk Biscuits from The Joy Of Cooking
1 3/4's cup sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder
1 teaspoon sugar (optional) 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup lard or 5 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup buttermilk
Preheat oven to 325˚F. Cut the bone away from the rib meat in one straight shot. Keep both. Trim any outer fat on the rib meat if it is thick and white. On the stove top heat a large oven-proof pan with olive oil on high heat. Generously Salt and pepper the rib meat. Sear the rib meat hard on all sides to brown. Remove the rib meat to a plate and if there is a lot of fat in the pan throw away all of it but three tablespoons.
Add in 2 of the bones and the carrots and onions. Sauté until soft then add the rib meat back to the pot. Pour in the wine and reduce by 1/3rd. Add in the beef stock, thyme, and bay leaf and place in the oven to braise for one hour. Check in to make sure things are happily braising and bubbling. After 1 hour remove the rib meat and cut into 1 1/2-inch slices. Place slices back into the braising liquid. If necessary add a little more red wine and veal stock to cover slices. Place a lid on the pot and continue cooking for another hour until the fat in the rib meat has rendered and the meat is tender.
When rib meat is done remove slices to a plate and keep warm. Throw away the bones, strain the braising liquid, and return it to the pot. Carefully spoon out as much of the fat as possible. If the braising liquid is thin – not yet thick enough to coat the back of a spoon – reduce on the stove top. Add the balsamic vinegar little by little until the sauce has a nice rich slightly acidic taste. Toss in the cherries halves to warm right before serving.
The meat can be reheated in the sauce right before serving too.
For the bisuits: Preheat oven to 450˚F. Put all the dry ingredients in a Cuisinart and blend for 2 seconds to evenly distribute. Add the butter or lard in cubes and blend with on and off pulses until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Add the buttermilk and blend with on and off pulses until the dough just comes together. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead gently for 30 second.
Roll the dough gently to a thickness of 1/2-inch and cut with a biscuit cutter (I often use a water glass). Brush the tops (not the sides or they won't rise) with a little milk if you want glaze the tops. Bake on an ungreased baking sheet for 10-12 minutes until they are golden delicious.
Serve warmed short ribs over biscuits. Spoon over balsamic sauce and place cherries around. Serve with horseradish cream