It seems crazy to fix a meal that require two days preparation for the Wednesday dinner just before Thanksgiving, but that’s exactly what I did. In my own defense, I’m going to a friends house for Thanksgiving so there’s no other culinary pressure this week. I salted the ribs 48 hours before dinner, which makes braised meat more succulent. I did the bulk of the preparation Tuesday; about 4 hours. Finally, on Wednesday evening I reheated the ribs and prepared the sauce. It was similar to this 4-star Carbonnade a la Flamande, which used a chuck roast instead of beef ribs. Today’s results were moist and flavorful, 4-stars. Overall, on par with the Carbonnade. I think beef roast is easier to work with, but the more expensive ribs taste better.
Incidentally, I think that these ribs could be made in just one day. The 24-hour refrigerating of the salted beef could be considered optional. You could also de-fat the sauce using a fat separator, instead of Chris Kimball’s cool and scrape method.
- I didn’t use the minute tapioca and didn’t have any prunes.
- Three tablespoons of Dijon mustard seemed like way too much, so I cut it back to 1 tablespoon and like the result.
How much work? Medium.
How big of a mess? Medium.
Start time 3:00 PM. Dinner time 7:00 PM.
Chris Kimball’s original recipe is here. The descriptions of how I prepared the recipe today are given below:
3-1/2 pounds beef short ribs (about 8 ribs)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1-1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1-1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 pounds yellow onions
1-1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 12-oz bottles of dark beer
1 bay leaves
2 sprigs of thyme
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
- Two days before dinner: Trim any excess fat from the ribs. Sprinkle evenly with two teaspoons of kosher salt. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24 hours.
- The day before dinner: Pat ribs dry with paper towels and season with pepper. Preheat oven to 300-degrees.
- Heat 1-1/2 tablespoons oil in dutch oven over medium-high heat until just smoking. Cook ribs in small batches until well browned. Cook with meaty side down for 5 minutes. Turn each rib on each side and down for about 1 minute. If the ribs won’t stand on their own, then lean them against each other. Repeat browning with remaining sides. Put cooked ribs on a plate and continue cooking the remaining batches of ribs.
- While the ribs are cooking cut the onions in half, peel and slice them thin from pole to pole.
- Tip the pan and discard all but 1 tablespoon of fat. Add 1-1/2 tablespoons butter and reduce heat to medium. After the butter has melted, saute the onions until well browned for between 25 to 30 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Add tomato paste, stir to coat the onions, and cook for 5 minutes. They will be ready when the paste begins to brown.
- Add beer, and use it to deglaze the pan using a wooden spoon. Bring to a simmer, and cook for 5 minutes until foaming subsides.
- Remove from heat and add bay leaves, 1 teaspoon thyme, and soy sauce. Place the browned short ribs back into the dutch oven; meat-side down, which will ensure they remain submerged.
- Place in oven Cook the meat for 2 hour to 2-1/2 hours until the meat it is very tender.
- Let cool for 30 minutes, then use tongs to put ribs into a clean baking dish. Strain liquid into bowl. Press to remove any extra liquids. Cover and refrigerate for 1 day.
- When finally ready to serve, use a spoon to skim off the hard fat from the liquid. Put ribs meat-side down, add liquid. If you have less than 1 cup of liquid, then supplement with beef stock. Re-heat on stovetop over medium heat for 20 minutes. Place ribs on a serving platter. Tent with aluminum foil while finishing sauce. Whisk in 1 tablespoon of Dijon, 1 teaspoon thyme. Taste sauce and adjust with salt and pepper.
- Pour 1 cup sauce over ribs. Sprinkle with parsley and serve, passing remaining sauce separately.