Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Braised Short Ribs in Sherry

Braised Short Ribs in Sherry
From Bon Appetit March 2009 Issue

Prep time: 20 minutes
Stove top cooking time: 20 minutes
Roasting time: 2 ½ hours
Fridge time: overnight (this sets the flavors and brings easy to remove fat to the surface)
Reheat time: 15-20 minutes on top of the stove

Serves 6-8

5lb/2.2kg meaty short ribs (actually the store only had 1.5 lb, so I used blade steak – good for stew - cut in 2” pieces as well)
Vegetable oil (just enough to coat the bottom during searing and a splash or two for the onions)
2 large onions, coarsely chopped
1 medium fennel bulb, chopped (BA calls for celery, but since it’s not my fave, I often substitute with fennel which gives a lovely subtle flavor that keeps everyone guessing)
2 large carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
6 large cloves garlic, peeled and whacked (BA says “pressed” but since I wasn’t sure if that meant put through a garlic press or just pressed by the side of a knife releasing some of the juices)
2 large bay leaves
1 cup medium dry sherry
4 cups beef broth

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF/175°C

2. Heat a very thin coating of olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Working in batches so as not to crowd the pan, sear the meat on all sides. Remove each batch as it browns and set aside.

3. Lower the heat to medium and add a little more oil to the bottom of the same pot and sauté the onions, fennel and carrots for about 20 minutes. They should be lightly browned. Add the garlic and bay leaves and stir for about 1 minute…just until the fragrance hits you.

4. Place the meat on top of the vegetables and pour the sherry over top. Bring to a boil and boil for 2-3 minutes. Add the beef broth, give it a stir, bring to a boil, cover and transfer to the oven.

5. Braise in the oven for about 2-2 ½ hours. The meat should be tender. Remove from oven.

6. Chill uncovered until the stew is really cool and then cover and chill in fridge overnight.

7. Remove from the fridge and remove the layer of fat that has hardened. Reheat on top of the stove over medium-low heat, covered. Stir occasionally for about 15 minutes or until meat is heated through.

8. Transfer meat to a platter and keep warm (cover with aluminum foil or place in a warm oven) while you prepare the sauce.

1. Strain mixture, keeping the liquid and discarding any solids that can't be pressed through the sieve.

2. Return liquid to pot and simmer rapidly to thicken slightly. (This did take more than five minutes.) Taste for seasoning and pour over the ribs.

Great served with mashed sweet potatoes or a mix of potatoes and carrots to sop up the sauce. Some buttered tubular pasta would work too.

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