Monthly Archives: May 2016

Short Ribs Braised in Red Wine with Bacon, Parsnips, and Pearl Onions

Short Ribs Braised in Red Wine with Bacon, Parsnips, and Pearl Onions 

Serves 6
If braising and serving the ribs on the same day, bypass cooling the ribs in the braising liquid; instead, remove them from the pot straight out of the oven, strain the liquid, then let it settle so that the fat separates to the top. With a wide shallow spoon, skim off as much fat as possible and continue with the recipe. Though this recipe and the one that follows calls for the widely available English-style short ribs, both recipes will also work with flanken-style short ribs. (We actually prefer flanken-style ribs, but they are more expensive and difficult to find.) We like to serve these short ribs with mashed potatoes (see page 195), but they also taste good over egg noodles. For information about roasting pans, see the Equipment Corner. For information about Dutch ovens, see the Equipment Corner.

Short Ribs
6 pounds bone-in English-style short ribs,
trimmed of excess fat and silver skin, or
bone-in flanken-style short ribs

Salt and ground black pepper
3 cups dry full-bodied red wine
3 large onions, chopped medium
2 medium carrots, chopped medium
1 large celery stalk, chopped medium
9 medium cloves garlic, chopped (about
3 tablespoons)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
11/2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary leaves
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves
3 medium bay leaves
1 teaspoon tomato paste

bacon, pearl onion, and parsnip garnish
6 slices bacon (about 6 ounces), cut into
1/4-inch pieces
8 ounces frozen pearl onions (do not thaw)
4 medium parsnips (about 10 ounces), peeled
and cut diagonally into 3/4-inch pieces
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves

1. for the short ribs: Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Arrange short ribs bone-side down in single layer in large flameproof roasting pan; season with salt and pepper. Roast until meat begins to brown, about 45 minutes; drain off all liquid and fat with bulb baster. Return pan to oven and continue to cook until meat is well browned, 15 to 20 minutes longer. (For flanken-style short ribs, arrange ribs in single layer in large roasting pan; season with salt and pepper. Roast until meat begins to brown, about 45 minutes; drain off all liquid and fat with bulb baster. Return pan to oven and continue to cook until browned, about 8 minutes; using tongs, flip each piece and cook until second side is browned, about 8 minutes longer.) Transfer ribs to large plate; set aside. Drain off fat to small bowl and reserve. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees. Place roasting pan on two stovetop burners set at medium heat; add wine and bring to simmer, scraping up browned bits with wooden spoon. Set roasting pan with wine aside.

2. Heat 2 tablespoons reserved fat in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat; add onions, carrots, and celery. Sautee, stirring occasionally, until vegetables soften, about 12 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in flour until combined, about 45 seconds. Stir in wine from roasting pan, chicken stock, tomatoes, rosemary, thyme, bay leaves, tomato paste, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to boil and add short ribs, completely submerging meat in liquid; return to boil, cover, place in oven, and simmer until ribs are tender, about 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Transfer pot to wire rack and cool, partially covered, until warm, about 2 hours.

3. Transfer ribs from pot to large plate, removing excess vegetables that may cling to meat; discard loose bones that have fallen away from meat. Strain braising liquid into medium bowl, pressing out liquid from solids; discard solids. Cover ribs and liquid separately with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. (Can be refrigerated up to 3 days.)

4. for the garnish and to finish dish: In Dutch oven, cook bacon over medium heat until just crisp, 8 to 10 minutes; remove with slotted spoon to plate lined with paper towel. Add to Dutch oven pearl onions, parsnips, sugar, and salt; increase heat to high and saute, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 5 minutes. Spoon off and discard solidified fat from reserved braising liquid. Add defatted liquid to Dutch oven and bring to simmer, stirring occasionally; adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Submerge ribs in liquid; return to simmer. Reduce heat to medium and cook, partially covered, until ribs are heated through and vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes longer; gently stir in bacon. Divide ribs and sauce among individual bowls, sprinkle each with 1 tablespoon parsley, and serve.

Porter-Braised Short Ribs with Prunes, Brandy, and Lemon Essence
Brandy-soaked prunes take the place of vegetables here, so this version is particularly suited to a mashed root vegetable or potato accompaniment. Use a dark, mildly assertive beer, not a light lager.

Beef Chili with Kidney Beans

Beef Chili with Kidney Beans
Makes about 3 quarts, serving 8 to 10
Good choices for condiments include diced fresh tomatoes, diced avocado, sliced scallions, chopped red onion, chopped cilantro leaves, sour cream, and shredded Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese. If you are a fan of spicy food, consider using a little more of the red pepper flakes or cayenne–or both. The flavor of the chili improves with age; if possible, make it a day or up to five days in advance and reheat before serving. Leftovers can be frozen for up to a month.

2 tablespoons vegetable or corn oil
2 medium onions, chopped fine (about 2 cups)
1 medium red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, cut into ½-inch dice
6 medium cloves garlic, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 tablespoons)
¼ cup chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 pounds 85 percent lean ground beef
2 cans (15 ounces each) dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, with juice
1 can (28 ounces) tomato puree
2 limes, cut into wedges

1. Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed nonreactive Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering but not smoking. Add the onions, bell pepper, garlic, chili powder, cumin, coriander, pepper flakes, oregano, and cayenne and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Increase the heat to medium-high and add half the beef. Cook, breaking up pieces with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink and just beginning to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the remaining beef and cook, breaking up pieces with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, 3 to 4 minutes.

2. Add the beans, tomatoes, tomato puree, and ½ teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour. Remove the lid and continue to simmer 1 hour longer, stirring occasionally (if the chili begins to stick to the bottom of the pot, stir in ½ cup water and continue to simmer), until the beef is tender and the chili is dark, rich, and slightly thickened. Adjust the seasoning with additional salt. Serve with lime wedges and condiments (see note), if desired.

Pan-Roasted Chicken Breasts with Sage-Vermouth Sauce

Pan-Roasted Chicken Breasts with Sage-Vermouth Sauce
Serves 4
We prefer to split whole chicken breasts ourselves because store-bought split chicken breasts are often sloppily butchered. However, if you prefer to purchase split chicken breasts, try to choose 10- to 12-ounce pieces with skin intact. If split breasts are of different sizes, check the smaller ones a few minutes early to see if they are cooking more quickly, and remove them from the skillet if they are done ahead.

1 cup kosher salt (or 1/2 cup table salt)
2 whole bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts, about 1 1/2 pounds each
Ground black pepper
1 teaspoon vegetable oil

Sage-Vermouth Sauce
1 large shallot, minced (about 4 tablespoons)
3/4 cup canned low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup dry vermouth
4 medium fresh sage leaves, each leaf torn in half
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 3 pieces
Salt and ground black pepper

1. Dissolve salt in 2 quarts cold tap water in large container or bowl; submerge chicken in brine and refrigerate until fully seasoned, about 30 minutes. Rinse chicken pieces under running water and pat dry with paper towels. Season chicken with pepper.

2. Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 450 degrees.

3. Heat oil in heavy-bottomed 12-inch ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat until beginning to smoke; swirl skillet to coat with oil. Brown chicken skin-side down until deep golden, about 5 minutes; turn chicken pieces and brown until golden on second side, about 3 minutes longer. Turn chicken skin-side down and place skillet in oven. Roast until juices run clear when chicken is cut with paring knife, or thickest part of breast registers 160 degrees on instant-read thermometer, 15 to 18 minutes. Transfer chicken to platter, and let rest while making sauce. (If not making sauce, let chicken rest 5 minutes before serving.)

4. Using potholder to protect hands from hot skillet handle, pour off most of fat from skillet; add shallot, then set skillet over medium-high heat and cook, stirring frequently, until shallot is softened, about 1 1/2 minutes. Add chicken broth, vermouth, and sage; increase heat to high and simmer rapidly, scraping skillet bottom with wooden spoon to loosen browned bits, until slightly thickened and reduced to about 3/4 cup, about 5 minutes. Pour accumulated chicken juices into skillet, reduce heat to medium, and whisk in butter 1 piece at a time; season to taste with salt and pepper and discard sage. Spoon sauce around chicken breasts and serve immediately.

Pan-Roasted Chicken Breasts with Garlic-Sherry Sauce

Peel 7 medium garlic cloves and cut crosswise into very thin slices (you should have about 3 tablespoons). Follow recipe for Pan-Roasted Chicken Breasts with Sage-Vermouth Sauce, substituting sliced garlic for shallots and cooking garlic until light brown, about 1 1/2 minutes; also substitute dry sherry for vermouth and 2 sprigs fresh thyme for sage. Add 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice along with salt and pepper.