butter

Beef Short Ribs (Slow and Low Version)

In a previous post, about a year ago, I made beef short ribs in a pressure cooker. The cooking time on them was 45 minutes, when I cook short ribs in an oven I go about 10-12 hours at 225°F, the way of the water bath we are about to embark on will take 3 days/72 hours. One benefit in cooking the meat this slow will allow you to have a higher yield by about 30%. From the numerous resources that I have read on sous vide short ribs you want to have your water bath set to 135°F which, where I live, is too low for the government. With this being said I will cook the short ribs at 138°F to see if there is a drastic difference in finished product. When cooked at 135° the meat is very tender and still pink in the middle, and when you cook a steak to an internal temp of 138° you are on the verge of a medium, which would yield a steak to have a little less pink. You will need a vacuum sealer and an immersion circulator of some sort for this recipe, and the actual quantity and size of the ribs are not that important, just know that you will need to have a larger water bath if you have more short ribs than what is in this recipe to allow for proper circulation.

Beef Short Ribs (Slow and Low)

2ea short ribs (approximately 3 inches thick with 3 bones)

6T Butter

6ea Garlic Cloves

6ea Oregano stems (or herbs of your choice)

AN Salt and Pepper

  • To start set your immersion circulator to 138°F in a tub of water.
  • Remove the meat from the bones and season generously with salt and pepper.
  • Heat a saute pan with the butter
  • Once the butter has melted place the meat in the pan, fat side down, along with the herbs and garlic.

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  • Once the butter begins to brown tilt your pan back, works best with gas stoves, and push the meat to the elevated portion of the pan to allow the butter to pool near the handle. Pull the pan towards you to keep the butter off the heat and the meat directly above the flame. This will allow the steak to continue to brown and will prevent the butter from burning.
Butter is beginning to brown.

Butter is beginning to brown.

Tilt the pan and move the butter away from the heat and the meat directly above.

Tilt the pan and move the butter away from the heat and the meat directly above.

  • With a spoon, continuously spoon the butter on top of the meat, checking the other side for color every couple of spoonfuls. This technique is called basting and it is the best way, in my opinion, to cook red meat and pork.

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  • Once the meat has a nice brown color flip it over and baste a few more times and set aside to cool.
  • Once it has cooled, about 10 minutes, lay out a sheet of plastic and place the meat on it, followed by the garlic and herbs, then pour the butter over the top. Quickly lift the sides of the plastic up and wrap the meat without loosing any of the ingredients in side. Place the meat in the fridge for about 4 hours. This will allow the butter to solidify and make it easier to seal in a vacuum sealer. It is also important that is as cold as possible before vacuum sealing.

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  • Prepare your sous vide bath, setting the temperature to 138°F
  • After a few hours the butter should be firm and the meat should be cool to the core. Seal the meat in a vacuum sealer and place in the refrigerator until your water bath is at temp.
  • Once at temp, start the timer and drop the meat into the water bath.
  • Now the painful part, wait 72 hours for the meat to cook, in the meantime start creating your dream short rib dish.
  • 20121214-210650.jpgWhen the 72 hours have expired prepare and ice bath with a little salt, to help lower the temperature, and remove the meat from the water bath and place in the ice bath.  Let these sit in here for 45 minutes to cool completely.
  • Once cooled remove from bag and wipe off excess cooking liquid and herbs.  Trim the edges and square off your short ribs to the size you want to serve, mine were about 3x2x2.

20121214-210657.jpgThe meat is now ready to be seared and served to your liking, I typically brown them on four sides then cover with another pan and hit it with a little bit of water to help warm it to the center.

Brown Butter Vinaigrette

Rich, creamy, nutty, and delicious are a few ways to describe this silky smooth dressing that melts in your mouth.

Brown Butter Vinaigrette

1#  Butter

1/2C  Sherry Vinegar

1/2C  Sliced Almonds

1T  Palm Sugar

2t  Mushroom Powder (acts as an emulsifier)

~2C  Water

TT  S&P

  • Prepare an ice bath.
  • Start by putting the whole butter into a pot and place over medium heat.  Once melted, watch the butter carefully as it browns.  Have a pan ready to pour the butter into.

  • Once the butter has browned, pour into a new pan and place it into the ice bath.  Stir the butter as it cools for a couple of minutes, do not let it solidify.
  • Combine everything except the butter and water, into a blender and puree until smooth.  If you do not have mushroom powder than ginger powder or dry mustard will help keep this dressing emulsified.

  • Stream in half of the butter while the blender is on, followed by half the water.
  • Add the remaining butter while the blender is running, followed by the remaining water.
  • Check seasoning and enjoy!

This dressing will firm up in the fridge, all you should need to do is shake it up and it will be fluid.  This dressing is a great accompaniment to fish, pork, and chicken.  It would go great on a salad with almonds, and fresh fruit like peaches or apples.

Risotto

Risotto

1/2ea    Large Yellow Onion

2oz       Butter

2.25#    Risotto Rice (Arborio, Carnaroli, or Vialone Nano)

1/2C     White Wine

AN       Stock

AN       Your choice of additions such as cream, butter, cheese, vegetables, etc…

When making risotto, make sure that your stock is boiling and all of your ingredients are ready and in front of you before you start cooking.  Always use a rubber spatula or wood spoon, metal spoons will break up the rice as it cooks and make for a sloppy mess.  The act of stirring the risotto constantly as it cooks is very important because this process releases the starch molecules on the outside of the grain, which gives the dish its the creamy texture.  The rice should never be cooked past al dente, which means it should have some “bite” or firmness to it.

  • Place a large pot on the stove with your stock and boil.  The choice of stock is based upon your diet and flavors that you want to achieve.  Chicken stocks, and vegetable stocks are great and easy to find.

Herb Stock

  • In a large pot (rondos work the best) melt your butter, then sweat out the onions.  Cook the onions until they are transparent.

Sweating onions.

  • Next, add your rice and cook for a couple of minutes until the butter is absorbed and the rice is fragrant.
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Toasting the risotto

  • By this time, your stock should be simmering, this is what you want.  De-glaze the pot with white wine and stir until the wine is absorbed.
  • Next, add enough stock to barely come to the top of the rice.  Once this begins to simmer, turn the heat down to keep it at a simmer.
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Rice and the stock simmering

  •  As the stock is absorbed, continue to add more stock until the rice is about 80% cooked.  You never want to add more stock than needed, only add stock until it just barely covers the grains.
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This is what the rice looks like when it has been cooked to about 80%. Creamy, yet the grains are still separated.

  • Once you are 80% cooked there are a lot of things you can do to it.  My favorite thing to do is to add about four more ounces of stock, finish the cooking, turn the heat off and add 2T of cold butter, and a small handful of Parmesan.
  • You can add the same amount of cream in place of the last portion of stock to add richness, as well as some fresh herbs.
  • At the Ranch, we add roasted sunchokes, faro, an aged sheep’s cheese and a lemon coulis which you can see here.

 

Roux

A roux is used as a thickener for gravy, other sauces, soups and stews. It is typically made from equal parts of flour and fat by weight. A traditional roux, used in most European cooking, consists of equal parts butter and flour. In Cajun cuisine, a roux is almost always made with oil instead of butter and cooked until dark brown in color, which lends more richness of flavor but less thickening power. The two different stages of a roux that are most commonly used are:

Blonde Roux: Used for soups and sauces that need to be thickened and kept a light color.

Brown Roux: Used in Cajun cooking or making sauces that need to be kept a dark color.  A brown roux will also add a slight nutty flavor from the cooked flour