Braised Short Ribs with Sautéed Rapini and Beans au Jus (Serves 6)
This is a perfect example of how slow braising can take an affordable cut of meat like the humble short rib and raise it to meteoric heights. This braising liquid recipe uses both ultra-rich wine soaked vegetables and fresh un-soaked vegetables for a blend of intense and bright flavors. Wrapping the short ribs in cheesecloth prior to braising helps keep them pristine for a magazine-worthy final presentation.
This recipe is long, and has many ingredients, but it is not difficult and the results are spectacular.
Drink Parings: Red Bordeaux or California Cabernet or Australian Shiraz
Rapini Side Dish
1. Heat a little olive oil to a pot or dutch oven. Add 1 cup each of all the vegetables, three cloves of garlic, two bay leaves and 6 sprigs each of the parsley and thyme.
2. Sweat the vegetables and herbs for 3-5 minutes until fragrant.
3. Add the entire bottle of red wine and bring to a simmer.
4. Let simmer for about 40-45 minutes, until the wine has reduced to a thick syrup consistency.
5. Trim any excess surface fat or sinew from the short ribs, but keep the large strips of integrated fat, which will melt into the braising liquid. Season them with salt and pepper.
6. Spread the flour out on a plate and coat each side of the short ribs, shaking off any excess flour. Discard flour.
7. In a separate frying pan heat canola or grapeseed oil over medium-high heat. Add the short ribs and sear them on both of the bone-visible sides to develop a golden brown crust. Depending on the size of your pan, you may have to sear in batches, just make sure to check the oil level after each batch to keep the fond from burning.
8. Preheat your oven to 325.
9. Once the wine has reduced to a syrup, add the additional cup of onion, 2 garlic cloves, 2 bay leaves, 3 sprigs of thyme, 2/3 cup of carrots, and 1 ½ cups of leeks. Push the fresh vegetables down to make an even coating on top of the wine soaked veggies.
10. Cut the cheesecloth into a rough square a little bit larger than your pot. Wet it with water, and lay it over the vegetables with the ends draped over the pot.
11. Nestle the short ribs in the pot on top of the cheesecloth in a single layer & fold the ends of the cheesecloth over to cover them. Pour in the veal stock.
12. Cover the pot and bring the mixture to a simmer, then move to the oven to braise for 1 ½-2 hours until the short ribs are fork tender.
13. Remove the pot from the oven, unfold the cheesecloth and remove the short ribs. Discard the cheesecloth.
14. Strain the braising liquid, and discard all the solids.
15. Let the liquid cool just until the fat rises to the surface. Skim off the fat.
16. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil (the larger the better). Trim the ends off the rapini and add it to the pot.
17. Make an ice water bath and have it standing by ready to shock the rapini once it’s cooked.
18. Blanch the rapini for 1-1 ½ minutes (depending on stem thickness).
19. Immediately plunge the rapini into your ice bath to stop the cooking process and set the color.
20. Put whole short ribs in a frying pan with the reserved braising liquid (about 1 cup per two short rib pieces), and simmer the liquid down to a glaze, basting occasionally.
21. Sweat the remaining half clove of diced garlic in olive oil until fragrant. Add the rapini and sauté until it is cooked through, but still has a crunch.
22. Fill individual bowls with the stuben beans, and top them with the glazed short ribs and rapini. Pour any remaining reduced braising liquid over the top. Serve.
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