Friday, September 10, 2010

Braised Prime Beef Short Ribs with Root Vegetables and Sauteed Bone Marrow

Well, hello there! Yes, I realize it has been months and months since my last update, and I'm so very sorry for the delay. Hopefully I will be able to update a bit more frequently now!!

Today's post is actually a dish that I made back in February... but it has taken me this long to get it online. Hope you enjoy...


I love short ribs. In a major way. Decadent and rich, they are THE perfect winter meal, especially after walking around in freezing ass NYC all day long. Most of the short ribs I have made in the past have been total comfort food. Richly sauced and served with risotto or polenta - it doesn't get much more satisfying than that. That's why, when looking through the FL cookbook, I decided that this was a dish that I HAD to make. ASAP.

Keller's version is, not surprisingly, a much more complex and refined dish than any other short ribs I have ever eaten. It started with an easy but dangerous marinade... hey, gotta live on the edge right?

First, I chopped up some carrots, leeks, onions and garlic, and put them into a pot with thyme, parsley, a bay leaf, and a BOTTLE of wine (my kind of recipe):

Then, I brought said liquid to a boil and LIT IT ON FIRE:

After almost singeing off my eyebrows, I had a delicious red wine marinade, minus the alcohol. My short ribs went into a bowl to take a marinade bath overnight:

Also the day before... I had to deal with the marrow bones, which I had the butcher cut into pieces for me. I order to remove the marrow from the bones, they required soaking in ice water for 24 hours. The catch is, that the water had to be changed every 6-8 hours to avoid the blood from the bones spoiling the marrow itself! EW. Here's what it looked like:


First, I removed the meat from the marinade, strained the marinade, and reserved the vegetables, and simmered the liquid separately to clarify it.

Then, I heated canola oil in a large skillet over high heat. I seasoned the meat well and dusted it with flour, then browned it in the oil until it looked like this:

I poured off a bit of the excess oil and then sauteed the reserved vegetables until they began to caramelize. Then, I put the meat in a large pot, and covered it with the sauteed vegetables, reserved marinade, veal and chicken stock. The pot went into the oven for 4 hours with a parchment lid at 275 degrees.

While the meat was cooking a cut and blanched my vegetables:

Then, when the meat finished, I removed it from the pot and it looked like this:

MMMM nice and tender.

I strained the braising liquid several times through a chinois until the chinois remained clean, then reserved 1/3 of the liquid to the side, and put the rest in a small saucepan to reduce to sauce consistency.

I cut the meat into even pieces, and placed them in a pan over medium heat until they were golden brown on all sides. Then, I moved them to another pot, where I covered them in the reserved braising liquid, keeping them warm until they were ready to be served.

Then, I added the vegetables to the small saucepan with the reduced sauce, heating them gently to warm.

While they were warming, it was time to work with the bone marrow. First, i drained and dried the pieces and trimmed them to create a flat surface on either side. Then, I salted and floured them, and fried them in canola oil over medium heat. The trick here was.. if the oil is too hot, the flour burns before the marrow crisps... if it is too cold, the marrow melts. TRICKY! But I think I got it. Unfortunately, I had to work too quickly to take a picture of the whole process.

Last step was plating. Vegetables and sauce, followed by short rib, and a piece of bone marrow on top. Sprinkle with gray salt and chopped chives and VOILA:

This was a great recipe, and definitely worth the effort if you are looking for something besides rustic, homestyle short ribs. The bone marrow was an added decadence. YUM.

Oh, and by the way, my pictures still suck. Sheesh.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Book Signing!

I was fortunate enough last weekend to actually meet the man himself! A great bookstore in my neighborhood, Book Court, was somehow able to get Thomas Keller to come and sign copies of his newest cookbook, ad hoc at home. Jordan and I met up with our good friends Jen and Eli about 45 minutes before the signing was to begin, and we were lucky enough to get seats! 15 minutes before start time, there were at least 100 people in the space just trying to get a glimpse.

Chef Keller spoke for about an hour about his book, his influences and his career - it was a fantastic look into his crazy life as a cook-turned-celebrity chef. Here's a few pics of the event:

Yes, I know my iPhone takes terrible pics. What can I say?

And now the obligatory (per Jordan) photo of me and Chef Keller. Quite possibly the worst picture of me ever taken... no comments please:

Ta-ta for now!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Sweet Potato Agnolotti with Sage Cream, Brown Butter and Proscuitto

Well, hello there!! I know, I lied about when my next post was going to go up.. please forgive me? Pretty, pretty please?

I promise it was worth the wait!

I made the dish for today's post back in the first week of December, when I started my new job at BWE, the greatest wine store on earth. I cooked dinner for 12 people that night and surprisingly remembered to take pictures of pretty much everything. My journey for this dish began the day before the dinner party, when I made the pasta dough.

I'd like to start out by saying that this was, by far, the EASIEST pasta dough that I have ever made and/or worked with. I've tried countless recipes from some of the most famous Italian chefs, and never has it worked this well. Leave it to a French-trained chef to finally whip me into shape.

The recipe begins, like all others, by using the "well method," making a ring of flour and filling the middle with eggs, olive oil and a bit of milk. Here's a pic:

Then, you gradually incorporated the flour into the ingredients in the center, very slowly to avoid clumping, until it looks like this:

Then, the needing begins. And goes. And goes. And goes. Until you pretty much have a sprained wrist (no comments please) and the dough looks like this:

I put my dough in the fridge to rest and made the filling next. First, I roasted some sweet potatoes in the oven until they were tender. While they were roasting, I chopped some pancetta:

And sauteed it until the fat was rendered, draining it after on paper towels. Once the potatoes were done, I scraped out the flesh and put it in a pot, adding the pancetta, butter and a bit of nutmeg. Easiest part of the day! Here's the filling:

Now it was time to roll out the dough on my pasta machine. It's a pretty easy process once you get the hang of it. This is what it looked like after the final roll through the second-thinnest setting:

Then, I piped a line of filling down one side of the dough:

Folded the dough over and formed the pasta, cutting the individual pasta with a crimped cutter:

Don't they look cute??? Like little pillows :)

Those bad boys went into the freezer with a bit of cornmeal so that they would be ready to travel up to Williamsburg the next day!

****THE NEXT DAY! (dun, dun duuuuuun!!!)****

The first step once I finished carrying my entire kitchen to Caroline's house was to deep fry the sage for the final presentation. This was very easy and basically just involved some canola oil and frying the sage until crispy:

Then, I made the sage cream sauce by first blanching some more sage leaves, and then adding them in the blender to a heated mixture of creme fraiche and beurre monte. The resulting sauce, once put back in a pan, looked like this:

While my pasta was cooking:

I sliced up some proscuitto di parma:

And made my brown butter by cooking the butter until it was light brown and smelling deliciously nutty (sorry I forgot a picture!!). Then, I tossed the pasta with the sage cream and plated the dish (pasta, then proscuitto, then fried sage and drizzled with the brown butter). It looked beautiful!

And it tasted soooo good!! It was very rich and delicious with so many different textures and just wow. Totally worth the work - I don't think I ever want to eat boxed pasta again.

Next time, another agnolotti dish - just as delicious, not quite as pretty (you'll see!).

PS - Thanks to Ruth for showing me how to use my camera!! You can definitely see the improvements in my pictures as this post goes along.. how lame am I?

PPS - If you are reading... please let me know!! Don't make me beg.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Well, shoot. It has been WAY too long since my last post, and I swear I haven't given up on this project. I actually started a new job after Thanksgiving, and between that and the holidays I have had zero time to update. I've got a new post from December that I will be putting up on Thursday! YAY! From there, I will try to update more often again.

Shout out to my people over at The Brooklyn Wine Exchange!! If you are around the neighborhood... stop by! ....

Til next time...