Monday, January 6, 2014

Braised Short Rib in Fennel Puree

I took this recipe from Thomas Keller and modified it to my liking.   It tasted as amazing as the picture shows. This is probably how I will make all of my braises going forward.  This recipe costs $30 ($10 for food and $20 for the wine) takes about 2 hours total time (only half of that is actually cooking) and feeds 2-3 people.

Red Wine Reduction
1 bottle good red wine, Cabernet perhaps
1 red onion, diced
1 cup peeled carrots, chopped
1 fennel bulb, green parts only, reserve frawns for garnish
1 leek, chopped
1 shallot, chopped
3 large garlic cloves, smashed
3 thyme sprigs
6-flat-leaf parsley sprigs
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns

You will also need to reserve:
1 yellow onion, diced
1/2 cup carrot, chopped
1  leek, chopped white and light green parts only
2 garlic cloves, smashed
3 thyme sprigs
1 bay leave

Combine all the ingredient for the red wine reduction in a large Dutch oven or other heavy ovenproof pot that will hold the everything comfortably. Bring the liquid to a simmer over high heat and then reduce the heat to low to maintain the simmer for 45 to 50 minutes or until the the wine has reduced to a glaze consistency. Turnoff the heat.  Then add the reserved fresh onion, carrots, leeks, garlic, thyme and bay leaves to the wine reduction and toss together. 

Optional Step: Cut a piece of cheesecloth about 4 inches larger than the diameter of the pot. Moisten the cheesecloth and wring dry, place over the vegetables, and fold over the edges to form a “nest” for the meat. The cheesecloth will allow the liquid to flavor and cook the meat but prevent bits of vegetables and herbs from clinging to it. 

Short Rib Braise

6 pieces boneless short rib, about 1.5 lbs
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
All-purpose flour
Canola oil
1 box organic vegetable or chicken stock

While that red wine reduction is cooking, trim the short ribs and season all sides generously with salt and pepper and coat in flour, patting off any excess. Heat some canola oil in a large sauté pan over high heat until it shimmers. Add the meat fat-side-down, reduce the heat, and brown the meat for 3 minutes on each side. Set aside on a rack.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.Put the short rib on the cheesecloth and add the stock; it should come just to the top of the meat. Cut a lid of aluminum or parchment paper and place it over the meat.

Transfer the pot to the oven and reduce the heat to 325°F  The  short ribs will braise for 1 1/2 or until very tender. To check, uncover the meat and press on it: the fibers should separate as you press down, but the meat shouldn't be falling apart., Transfer the meat to a heatproof container. Strain the braising liquid twice through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl, then strain into a fat separator or deep bowl and allow the fat to rise to the top. Skim off the fat and strain the liquid over the sliced meat. 

Fennel Puree
1 organic fennel bulb, white part only, chopped 
1/2 white onion, chopped 
1 shallot chopped
4 tablespoons, extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
salt and white pepper to taste

Once the meat is braising, place the fennel, onion and shallot in a medium pot of cool water. Start on medium high until boiling.  Let boil 8-10 minutes or until tender.  Place all the ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

Lay the short ribs into the fennel puree and garnish with the reserved fennel frawns.  Spoon some sauce over the meat and serve.  Buon Apetito!!