How To Cook Glazed braised Short Ribs



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The short rib is surely one of the top-three

most delicious pieces of meat on a cow. I

like to braise them until they've gone the

texture of jello and then reduce the braising

liquid to a sweet, sticky glaze.

You'll need a big pot with a lid, and I'm

going to pre-heat this to a moderate heat.

Here's about three and half pounds of short

ribs, English cut. English cut means little

rectangles of meat with one long bone in them.

This looks like a ton of meat, I realize,

but it's really only enough for about three

or four people.

I think you want two or three English-cut

ribs per person, because much of the mass

here is bone that we're gonna take out, and

fat and connective tissue that we're gonna

melt out. Certainly make sure that you've

got at least two thick, meaty ones like this

per person, because some of the ones you get

will be like this — there's hardly any actual

meat on that.

Teeny little bit oil in the pan just to get

these started. A ton more fat is gonna come

out of these, and I'm gonna lay them in and

brown them slowly. Moderate heat. No point

in seasoning them, they're gonna be totally

coated in glaze.

While that's going, I'll prep some veggies

to flavor the braising liquid. Just some ratty

old carrots and celery from the fridge. It's

all getting strained out at the end. Roughly

chop up a red onion, and I would specifically

recommend red here — it's gonna be good

for the color.

When the ribs are brown on the first side,

I'll flip them around, and as they shrink,

look at how much exposed surface there is

on the pan. Look at how much more there is

once I start laying these on their sides to

brown the sides. If we were really aggressively

searing these, all of that exposed surface

would be burning, and that would be a catastrophe.

The sauce is everything with this dish, and

if you burn the fond on the bottom of the

pan, you ruin the sauce. Take your time, brown

these slowly, they don't have to be deep brown

all over. If you were trying cook enough for

like eight people, you would want to color

them in two batches.

Pull out the ribs for a sec, and then throw

in the veggies to get a little color on them

— just a little head start. Don't let anything

burn. Here comes a little squeeze of tomato

paste. That is not gonna make this sauce taste

tomatoey. It just brings depth and strength

of flavor, especially if your stir it around

a little bit and let it brown. But now you

gotta be careful, because that stuff is full

of sugar and it'll burn in a flash. Right

before it does, I'll deglaze with a whole

bottle of cheap, dry white wine.

This is the recipe that got me using white

wine in everything. I cooked this with red

for years, because the "the rules" say you

always cook beef in red. But I'm reducing

this liquid to a glaze at the end, and when

you reduce a lot of red wine to a glaze, it's

really too intense, in my opinion. It goes

bitter and harsh. But when you reduce white

wine to a glaze it tastes like candy, and

I figure that if I use a red onion in there,

you'll still get a purplish liquid at the

end that looks nice on beef, if you care about

that.

If you don't want to use alcohol, I'd use

about three cups of chicken or beef stock

plus maybe a quarter cup of balsamic vinegar

to start with. Probably add more vinegar to

taste at the end.

For other flavorings, you could throw in whatever

spices or dried herbs you want at this stage.

I'm gonna do a star anise. I really like how

that licorice flavor balances the sweetness

of the glaze, but this is a polarizing flavor.

A lot of people don't like. If you're not

sure if you like it, maybe use a little chunk

of one of these, not a whole one. I'm also

throwing in some coriander seeds, those pair

nice with the star anise.

But like, any flavors could go in here. Some

smoked dried chiles. Some orange peel. Go

crazy. White wine is a blank canvas for flavor.

I'll start with a big pinch of salt. I'll

probably add salt to the glaze later to taste.

Ribs back in. It doesn't matter that they're

not fully submerged. They don't have to be.

And if you were doing more you could just

pile them on each other in here. You could

cook these quicker by really boiling them,

or by putting this in the oven, or certainly

by doing this in a pressure cooker. But I

like to get the heat to a bare simmer, then

cover and cook these very slowly, all day

— about 8 hours.

If the heat is really low, you can just get

it going and forget about it. If you're at

home, you can check in on them every couple

hours, flip them around a little bit, though

I don't think that does much. If you just

keep it at bare simmer, the liquid will not

boil out and you won't have to worry about

it burning, the house smells amazing all day,

and at the end you'll have thoroughly braised

beef that is still pink on the inside. It's

a real magic trick.

At some point the bones will start falling

off. That's just fine. You could probably

stop cooking at that point, but I really like

to cook these to the point where they're like

beef butter, which you can tell just by poking

at them, or maybe give one a little tear.

Extremely soft, so be very careful as you

start pulling these out to a plate. They are

very delicate.

A little sieve over a bowl and I'll strain

out the braising liquid. Give those solids

a good squeeze and then toss them out. You

can see there's a huge layer of fat on top

there, and we have to get it out. I often

leave the fat in my braising liquids, but

we're going to reduce this to a glaze, and

glazes do not hold fat inside them. The fat

would all just spill out like that, but way,

way worse, because by the time we reduce this,

there'll be like three times as much fat by

volume compared to the glaze.

You could take out the fat with a gravy separator,

or you could do what I do which is to throw

some ice cubes in there to cool this down

and then throw it in the fridge. I usually

do everything you've seen so far the day before.

Once the meat has cooled down a bit we clean

it up. Take the bones out, and each big cube

of meat will have a big band of connective

tissue on the outside where the bone was.

You could eat that — it's soft, but if it

grosses you out, you can scrape it off with

a butter knife. You can do the same with any

really big globs of un-rendered fat on the

outside, but don't go crazy. Short ribs have

a ton of fat marbled through them, and that's

part of why they taste so good.

Alright, pure, ready-to-eat meat there. In

a bowl, cover it up, throw that and the covered

braising liquid in the fridge and goodnight.

This is a really good dinner party dish, because

you'll see how little work we have to do on

this second day.

First thing is to de-fat the braising liquid.

If the fat isn't solid enough to do this,

throw the bowl in the freezer for a bit. I

really like diluting this with ice cubes the

night before, not only because that cools

it down, but also because it's easier to lift

fat out of a thinner, more watery stock. If

it's really thick, it tends to blend in with

the fat. I'm switching to a slotted spoon

there to fish out the last bits of fat, which

I will save for ... a thing.

Liquid goes into the Chrissy Teigen pan. Any

wide pan will do, but this one's Chrissy's.

Heat on high to start boiling that down, and

I'll get a pot of water to boil potatoes — I'm

doing three Russets. I'll peel them and then

hack them into roughly equivalent chunks for

faster and more even cooking. In those go

to the water and then get them boiling.

This sauce took a half hour to reduce down.

I didn't have to stir it or do anything until

the end, when you need to stir it constantly.

It's full of sugar, and when it gets this

thick, it could easily stick and burn on the

bottom of the pan. When you can make little

trails in it, like that, you're done. Give

it a taste and then make some adjustments.

I'm gonna throw in some balsamic vinegar — or

any vinegar, just to brighten up the taste

that's gone dull with the long cooking — and

salt. This is a glaze, it should taste super

intense, because a tiny amount of it is going

to flavor a large volume of meat.

Speaking of which, here's the meat straight

from the fridge. When it's cold like this,

you can toss it around in the glaze pretty

aggressively without breaking it up. Just

cover it. If you don't have a lid, foil is

fine. Leave the pan on just warm, and then

the meat will heat through again.

I'll drain off my potatoes, throw in a glug

of milk and a big pinch of salt to start with

and yes, I'm going to put in the fat from

the beef instead of butter. Mash that up,

stir it, taste it, give it more salt or milk

or anything else that you want, and now dinner

is basically done. It could sit on the stove,

on warm, just like this, for hours without

any degradation of quality, which is another

reason why this is great for dinner parties.

You might have to add a little water to the

glaze if it dries out, but that's all.

I'm gonna grab some fresh rosemary off my

shrub, chop it up. I'll get some frozen peas

thawing it hot water in the microwave. Love

peas and mash. Drain them off, throw in some

butter and salt.

I'll mix my rosemary into my potatoes right

at the end to keep it green. Mash on the plate

first, because out of our three elements,

that's the one that is best at retaining heat.

Now, the beef is extremely delicate, so be

very gentle as you lift it out and lay it

on the plate. Pour a little of the glaze over

each hunk. Peas on the plate last, because

they go cold the fastest, and there you go.

Candied beef butter is really the best way

to describe this, which is why I think it's

OK that we don't have a ton of meat per-person

here. It is extremely rich. And look at that

— cooked to smithereens and yet still pink

on the inside. Every strand of meat coated

in melted fat and collagen. Gotta get myself

a triple crown — that's mash, peas and saucy

meat all on one forkful.

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Nice napkin.

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