First and foremost this recipe is lifted from the latest issue of Bon Apetit Magazine, or is it Bon Ape Tit? I changed it up to suit my needs and tastes, but the framework is theirs.
Secondly, these short-ribs are goddamn delicious. They are tender, robust, and flavorful. They are also an aphrodisiac. If you are not bloated and full from eating short-ribs and brussel sprouts, prepare to be up all night. If you’re alone, prepare to be up all night farting.
If there are any left the next day, use them to make tacos, or pasta. They last about 4-5 days if sealed properly and refrigerated. In fact they get better the longer they sit. But they probably won’t last that long.
- 3-5# of bone-in short-ribs. I prefer bone-in because the bone marrow leaches in to the braising liquid lending a discernible richness and umami. I would substitute ox-tails, beef shanks, or pork shanks if short-ribs were unavailable or too expensive.
- 1 Large Onion – Rough Chopped
- 2 Stalks of Celery – Rough Chopped
- 2 Fresh Jalapenos – Halved vertically
- 2-3 Medium Peeled Carrots – Rough Chopped
- 1 Head of Garlic – Halved. (I left this out.)
- 2-3 Tbs of Tomato Paste or 1 small can of V8 (I used V8.)
- 4-5 Sprigs of Thyme or Mexican or Greek Oregano. (I used Thyme.)
- 2 Tbs Whole Coriander Seeds – Toasted Lightly (Coriander Seeds are the seeds of the Cilantro Plant. The seeds look like lighter colored peppercorns, and when ground up have an earthy-lemony quality. They are awesome ground up in dry-rubs or used lightly cracked in brines or marinades.)
- 2 Tbs Whole Cumin Seeds – Toasted Lightly
- 1 Orange – Zested in to long Strips (Avoid the bitter white pith. You can use a vegetable peeler or an orange zester)
- 2-3 Cascabel Dried Chilis and 2-3 Chili De Arbol Dried Chilies. Check them out here. The Cascabels add a touch of fruitiness, while the Arbol adds some mild heat.
- 1 Bunch of Cilantro – Finely mince the stems and put aside, separate the leaves for garnish.
- 1 Quart Chicken Stock
- 1 Cup of Fresh Orange Juice
- 2 Limes – Juiced, about a Quarter Cup
- 2 Dashes of Fish Sauce (This fermented fish fart sauce lends a really unique umami quality to the braise.)
- Olive Oil as need for browning and sauteing
- Flour for Dusting of the Short-ribs
- Salt & Pepper, of course
- Get a large dutch oven hot, but not ‘smoking hot burn your tits off’ hot. Add the olive oil. Don’t use an expensive olive oil for this.
- While it’s heating up season your flour and toss your short ribs in to it, covering them completely in a thin layer of flour. This is optional, but I think the flour adds a little thickness to the sauce down the line, and helps develop a fond in the beginning.
- In batches, sear off the short-ribs until they are brown on all sides.
- Once that’s done, remove any burnt bits of flour that might be floating in the oil. Be sure to leave all the yummy brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pot. Toss in your onions, carrots, celery, dried chilies, jalapenos, coriander, cumin, cilantro stems, garlic, and tomato paste or V8. Season with salt and pepper. Sweat these ingredients out over medium heat, scraping the brown bits off the bottom of the pot as you go. Cook until the vegetables are soft.
- Add the orange peel and herbs. Add the short-ribs back in to the pot along with any drippings. Add the orange juice and lime juice and a few dashes of Thai fish sauce. Add the chicken stock until the short-ribs are completely covered.
- Cover and bake @ 350 for 3-4 hours. Times may vary on the size of the individual short-ribs, your oven, environmental pressure, sea-level, how many times you open the oven to inhale meat fumes, etc. Bottom line after around 3 hours check them, see how the meat looks, how tender it is, how melt-y it is. Let your eyes be your guide.
- Once the short-ribs are done, remove the pot from the oven(obviously), take the meat out and hold it in a dish, covered and away from vultures and large dogs. You can admire it, how shiny and tender it looks. Strain out the broth into a small sauce pot and discard the beautiful aromatics that withered away for you.
- Heat up the reserved broth until it reduces by at least half and gets noticeably thicker. Use a ladle to skim off any foam or other gross looking sewer film that floats to the top.
- After 20 minutes of cooking and constant tasting you will be full and hate yourself. Adjust the seasoning as needed. It should have a beautiful sheen, the thickness of gravy, and a dynamic flavor of beef, citrus, and heat.
I made polenta(my computer wants to auto-correct ‘polenta’ to ‘tadpole’), but any starchy absorbent side would go great with these ribs.
Optional side: Sauteed Brussel Sprouts with Bacon, Rosemary, & Orange
- 1# Brussel Sprouts – Quartered
- 3 Strips of Bacon – Cut into Lardons or rectangles
- 1 Strip of Orange Zest
- 1 Quarter Cup minced onion or shallot
- 2 Sprigs of Rosemary
- Olive Oil
- Salt & Pepper
- 2 Tbs Butter
- 2 Tbs Orange Juice
- Heat up a saute pan over medium-high heat. Add enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Add the bacon as well. Slowly render out the fat from the bacon. About 5-7 minutes.
- Add the onion and cook until translucent. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add the orange peel and rosemary sprig.
- Add the brussel sprouts, stirring occasionally. We are trying to get them brown and caramelized. Season again with salt and pepper. The sprouts are dense and need a fair bit of seasoning.
- Once the sprouts are fork tender, crank the heat to high, add the orange juice and butter. Stir aggressively to coat the sprouts and combine everything.
I see bacon cooked brussel sprouts everywhere, and I think they are delicious. With this I wanted to do something a little different, and tie them in to the braised short-ribs with some similar elements. Usually a shot of something acidic goes really well with the sprouts, like apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar. I opted for orange juice to bridge the dishes, it is mildly acidic and sweet, and the sugars would help caramelize the sprouts. This combined with the butter and bacon fat glazed them really nicely. The zest amped up the flavor of the orange and helped cut through the richness of the bacon fat, while the rosemary slightly perfumed the dish with an herbal note.
As a final note, the short-rib recipe was taken from Bon Apetit Magazine. I simply changed it around, recipe and ingredient wise to better suit my needs and tastes.