Monday, September 5, 2016

Braised Beef Short Ribs with Parsley Butter Wagon Wheel Pasta

     Old Fashioned Comfort Food! 
     Braising is a classic cooking technique.  Braising brings makes tough cuts of meat tender.  The braising sauce infuses flavor, even when a recipe is very simple.
     Beef Short Ribs are traditionally braised till the meat is almost tender enough to fall off of the bone.  These beef short ribs are usually braised in brown gravy and aromatic mirepoix vegetables can be added late in the recipe to increase the flavor.  The braising pan is covered, so the savory flavors stay locked in.
     Braised Beef Short Ribs are usually served with mashed potatoes or buttered boiled potatoes.  In Penn Dutch Country, Beef Short Ribs are often served with egg noodles.  Buttered Wagon Wheel Pasta also is a traditional favorite with braised food in the Northeast and Midwestern states.  Wagon Wheel Pasta is called Rotelle in Italian language.  

     Braised Beef Short Ribs:  
     This recipe yields 1 hearty portion.
     Never follow the old expression of braising till the meat actually falls off of the bones!  That would result in some very overcooked short ribs.  The meat should just be tender enough to easily pull away from the bones!
     Step 1:  Select 4 to 6 beef short ribs that are cut 2" to 3" long on the bone.  The total amount of meat attached the short rib bones should be about 8 ounces for 1 hearty portion.
     If there is excess fat covering the meat, then trim the fat so it is less than 3/16" thick.
     Season the beef short ribs with sea salt and black pepper.
     Step 2:  Heat a wide sauce pot or braising pan over medium heat.
     Add 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter.
     Place the short ribs in the pan.
     Sauté the ribs till they are thoroughly browned on all sides.
     Step 3:  Remove the pot from the heat.
     Remove the short ribs and set them aside on a platter.
     Remove the excess grease, but leave 1 1/2 tablespoons in the pot.
     *If the short ribs are extra lean, then add enough butter to the pan grease to equal 1 1/2 tablespoons.
     Step 4:  Place the pot back over medium heat.
     Add just enough flour to soak up the grease, while stirring with a whisk, to make a roux.  (About 1 1/2 tablespoons.)
     Stir till the roux turns a light brown color.
     Step 5:  Add 2 cups of beef stock while stirring.
     Bring the sauce to a gentle boil while occasionally stirring.
     Step 6:  Remove the pan from the heat.
     Return the short ribs to the braising sauce in the pot.
     Add enough water, so the sauce almost covers the short ribs.
     Step 7:  Place a lid on the pot.
     Place the pot in a 300ºF oven.
     Braise the short ribs for 1 hour.
     Step 8:  Remove the pot from the oven.
     Add 1/3 cup of thick carrot slices.
     Add 1/4 cup of coarsely chopped leek.
     Add 1/4 cup of coarsely chopped onion.
     Add 1/3 cup of coarsely chopped celery.
     Add 1 minced garlic clove.
     Add 1 bay leaf.
     Add 1 small pinch of ground celery seed.
     Add 2 pinches of thyme.
     Adjust the seasoning with sea salt and black pepper.
     Stir the gravy in the pan.
     Step 9:  Cover the pot with a lid.
     Place the covered pot back in a 300ºF oven.
     Slowly braise till the short rib meat starts to become tender.  (About 45 minutes.)
     Step 10:  Remove the pot from the oven.
     Remove the lid.
     Place the pot over medium low heat.
     Simmer and reduce till the braising sauce is a medium thin consistency that can coat a spoon.
     Keep the braised short ribs warm over very low heat.
     Remove the bay leaf before serving.

     Parsley Butter Wagon Wheel Pasta:
     This recipe yields 1 portion.
     Step 1:  About 10 minutes before the short ribs are finished simmering, start cooking 1 portion of Wagon Wheel Pasta (Rotelle Pasta) in a sauce pot of boiling water over high heat.
     Cook the pasta till it is al dente.
     Drain the water off of the pasta.
     Step 2:  Return the pasta to the sauce pot.
     Immediately add 1 1/2 tablespoons of unsalted butter.
     Add 1 pinch of sea salt and black pepper.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of chopped Italian Parsley.
     Step 3:  Place the pot over very low heat.
     Gently stir till the butter melts.
     Keep the Parsley Butter Wagon Wheel Pasta warm on a stove top.
     Braised Beef Short Ribs with Parsley Butter Wagon Wheel Pasta:
     This recipe describes 1 entrée.
     Step 1:  Place a ring of the Parsley Butter Wagon Wheel Pasta around the border of a plate.  Leave the center of the plate bare.
     Step 2:  Use a slotted spoon to place the tender braised vegetables on the center of the plate as a bed for the braised beef short ribs.
     Step 3:  Place the short ribs on the vegetables on the center of the plate.
     Spoon a generous amount of the braising sauce over the short ribs.  (About 3/4 cup.)
     Garnish with an Italian Parsley sprig.

     Braised Beef Short Ribs with Parsley Butter Wagon Wheel Pasta is the perfect comfort food for the chilly autumn and winter seasons!

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