Before I get into my dinner from last night, I would like to inform you that my oldest brother and parents have been on this diet called “The Metabolism Miracle”. Long story short it requires 8 weeks of a “5X5” rule (no more than 5 grams of carbohydrates every five hours) and then it gradually builds you back to being on your own with carbs. They are six weeks in and have lost a combined total of over 30 pounds! I am extremely proud of them. The reason for me telling you this is because I did not make a starch last night. Also, there are a few vegetables that have to much sugar in them that they cannot eat, such as carrots, which is why I also did not use them in my short ribs dish.
Beef short ribs are what I consider to be the little pork spareribs’ big daddy. There are only two ways to properly cook these puppies; either low and slow (French), or marinaded and grilled at a super high heat (Korean). If done right, these tender pieces of meat should just melt in your mouth and become an ultimate comfort food.
The recipe I used, Ina Garten’s, reminded me a lot of the technique I was taught working at Napa Valley Grille. It made me miss that place quite a bit, but was also proud of knowing my steps before reading them on the recipe!
The first thing I had to do was roast the short ribs at a super high 400 degree heat for about 15 minutes. I put some oil, salt, and pepper on them too to give them that nice crust on the outside.
Meanwhile, in a dutch oven I roughly chopped three medium vidalia onions, 1 leek, and 7 stalks of celery. Again, she asked for carrot, but I just chopped more of the other veggies to make up for it in flavor. I sauteed them in some oil for a good 20 minutes or so to get them pretty soft. Once the onions became translucent I added 2 heaping tablespoons of tomato paste, about 5 cloves of minced garlic (she asked for 3 cloves…no thanks), and a full 750 mL bottle of Merlot.
Let’s do some simple math:
This lovely concoction gets reduced by half which turns it into this opaque deep purple syrupy mixture. I then put the short ribs back into the pot, added 6 cups of beef stock, a bundle of fresh thyme sprigs, covered it and put it in the oven for 2 hours, which should now be at 300 degrees. Incase you were wondering you are halfway to making your own demi glace!
Now, lets get to the cauliflower! I’m telling you right off the bat, this is not the prettiest picture in the food book, but it turned out to be absolutely amazing! I was a little scared to try this recipe, but I did not miss the potatoes one bit…unless, of course, you’re talking about my moms famous mashed potatoes that we get to indulge in once or twice a year. This was also very simple to do. I used one big and one small head of cauliflower, covered and cooked it in about 3 cups of chicken stock for 10-15 minutes, removed the cover, let the stock reduce in half, added parmesan, extra sharp cheddar, and a few tablespoons of butter, mashed it, and served!
Between both the short ribs and the cauliflower, guess how much salt I put in these dishes? 1 tablespoon. It is extremely important to realize that when reducing any sort of liquid, especially stock, the flavors intensify. My mom even buys low-sodium stock and it turned out to be spot on. So, make sure if you’re tempted to season your sauce, wait until it’s at the consistency you want for service!
My mom put together the snow peas to give us some more vegetables as well as add some color to, let’s face it, not the prettiest of meals. She trimmed off the ends, tossed them in oil, a hint of sesame oil (sesame oil is very strong), toasted sesame seed, and microwaved them! They came out lovely and were a great addition to the meal. 🙂
As soon as the two hours was up, I removed the short ribs from the pot, as well as the bundle of thyme, and reduced the sauce even more until my family was basically on my shoulders dying to eat. The more you reduce that sauce in the end, the thicker and sexier it is. Here is how the whole plate came out!