Friday, September 14, 2012

sixteen thousand calories

that's how many are present in the two dishes i just completed for tomorrow night's dinner ( told me so).

i've already shared one of them with you here, but there's more. so much more. like 9000 calories worth.

and those delicious calories are housed in the following recipe for braised short ribs:

(first of all, i was so excited to finally be making this dish after months of anticipation, that i had to pour myself a glass of wine (okay, port) just to calm my nerves. seriously, it felt like christmas eve.)
back to the recipe...
first you take some bone-in short ribs and rub them with black pepper and thyme (2 t. fresh cracked and 2 T fresh, respectively)
here are the ribs smothered in black pepper and thyme
after the ribs sit like this for 30 minutes, you sprinkle them generously with salt and move on to the next step where you put some pancetta in a pan over medium heat to render the fat.

once the pancetta is cooked, remove it from the pan and add enough olive oil to make 3 T.

then you sear (and i mean, practically blacken) the four meaty sides of the ribs. in batches if needed. do not crowd your pan or rush this step. this is where the flavor is really developed.
this can take 30 - 45 minutes
seared ribs
while the ribs are searing you should chop (or put in the food processor) 1 shallot, 3 carrots, and one large onion. then add them to the pot along with a couple of bay leaves and 2 or 3 sprigs of fresh thyme.
remove the ribs and add your veggies and herbs

saute for a few minutes until soft and "sweated". then add in the dark stuff: 2 T balsamic, 2 1/2 cups of deep bodied red wine and 1 1/2 cups port. cook this over high heat until it's been reduced by half.

deglazing with balsamic, syrah and port
then you place your ribs back in the pan with the reduced liquid, cover tightly (i used aluminum foil and the pot's lid) and place them in a 325 degree oven for 3 hours.
add the ribs (and some leftover mushrooms)
unfortunately, i do not have a photo of the completed dish. but if you make this yourself, you'll understand why.

you see, after smelling this cooking in the oven for hours - practically fainting every time i came back into the house from outside - i could think of nothing else but "where's my fork?!" when it finally came out of the oven, and failed to pause long enough to grab even a single shot.

go ahead - check the internets. you'll find very few photos of this dish in its completed state for the same reason, i'm sure.

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