Beer Braised Short Ribs

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Serves: 4

Prep time: 1 hour

Oven Temperature: 350˚F/175˚C

Braising time: 1 to 2-1/2 hours / Crock pot time: 4 to 5 hours

Meaty beef short ribs are braised with vegetables in an amber beer. This is one of our favorite winter recipes. Serve alongside noodles garnished with the dish’s demi-glaze and crispy bacon bits.

We prefer to cook the meat until tender with just a little bite--not falling off the bone, which we find dries the meat and ruins the texture.

Several step-by-step photos are shown at the bottom.

Prep Ahead It works best to brown the ribs and sauté the vegetables 1 day before completing the dish. The overnight refrigeration will solidify the fat for easy removal.

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DAY BEFORE

Set Up for Equipment and Ingredients (Mis en Place)
 * Dutch oven (or large skillet, if you opt for the crock pot method, see Notes)
* Small metal or glass bowl
* A paper towel lined plate
* A large strainer set over a medium bowl
* In a gallon reclosable bag, place the Wondra flour, salt, and pepper, and combine.
* Dice the onion into 1/2 inch size pieces. Place them in a large bowl.
* Slice the carrots into 1 inch long pieces and celery into 3/4 inch long pieces.
    Add them to the onions.
* Peel the garlic, leaving them whole
* Slice the jalapeno pepper (ribs and seeds removed) into 1/4 inch slices. Place them in a small bowl.
* Dice the red bell pepper into 1/2 inch size pieces. Place them in a small bowl.

Brown the Ribs                                                                                               
1) Individually, dredge the short ribs in the flour mixture.
2) In the Dutch oven, fry the bacon over medium heat until almost crisp. Remove the bacon onto paper towels set on a cutting board. Drain off all but 2 to 3 tablespoons of the bacon fat into the small bowl.
3) When cool dice the bacon into 1/2 inch long pieces, cutting away fatty pieces to be reserved for another dish. Place the diced pieces into a small container, cover, and refrigerate. 
4) Brown the ribs on each of their sides except for the bone sides, for about 5 to 6 minutes total.
5) Remove the ribs to a paper-towel lined plate. Then place the ribs into a medium bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap.

Sauté the Vegetables  
6) In the same pan with the drippings, add in the onion, carrots, and celery. Stir to coat the vegetables with the drippings. Cook over medium-high heat stirring occasionally until they start to brown, about 5 minutes.
7) Add the beer, 1-1/2 tablespoons of the tomato paste, cumin, chili powder, and pepper flakes.
8) Bring the mixture to a simmer. Stir to combine, scraping the bottom of the pot.
9) Add the garlic cloves, jalapeño slices, and bay leaf. Simmer the mixture for 1 minute.
10) Empty the vegetables and juices into the large strainer over the medium bowl. After a few minutes, turn over the vegetables and press lightly. Then return them to the  Dutch oven.
11) Stir in the diced red bell pepper.
12) Transfer the juices to a small bowl or 1 cup glass measure with a spout and tightly cover it with plastic wrap.

Refrigerate
 13) Nestle the short ribs with their bone sides down into the vegetables and cover. 
 14) Refrigerate the ribs and vegetables, and the juices until the fat solidifies on top of the juices,  several hours or overnight.

DAY FOR ENJOYING  
You can braise the dish in an oven or transfer the vegetable and ribs to a crockpot (see Notes).

* Have ready a large strainer over a medium bowl.

Oven Method

Preheat the Oven                                                                                         
*Twenty minutes or more before braising, set an oven rack in the lower third of the oven.   
* Preheat the oven to 350˚F/175˚C.

Braise the Ribs
15) Skim off and discard the fat from the juices and any on top of the ribs and vegetables.
 Add the juices to the Dutch oven. Add enough water to cover the ribs halfway up.
16) Braise for 1 to 2 hours, or until the ribs are tender, but still on the bone.
When almost done, lower the oven temperature to 200˚F/93˚C.

Make the Sauce                                                                                                                             
17) Transfer the ribs to a medium bowl.
18) Empty the vegetables and juices into the strainer. Remove the bay leaf.
19) Transfer the vegetables and ribs to the Dutch oven. Sprinkle the cilantro leaves and half of the diced bacon over the ribs and vegetables and cover. Place the Dutch oven into the oven and turn it off.
20) Transfer the juices to a small frying pan and skim off as much of any fat as possible. Reduce the juices by half, or until they form a medium-thick glaze on a silicone spatula. Pour the juices into a gravy boat or pitcher.

Make the Noodles
21) Cook the noodles as per the instructions on the box.
22) Drain and return them to the pot. Add the remaining tablespoon of tomato paste and a little of the glaze and stir to coat the noodles. Add black pepper to taste.

Serve  
Place the noodles on a plate. Spoon the vegetable mixture and ribs alongside the noodles. Drizzle the ribs and noodles with some of the sauce. Garnish the noodles with the remaining diced bacon.

Notes
*Beers I recommend: brown ales, Scottish ales, lagers.
*The refrigeration step can be skipped if making the dish in a shorter period of time. The sauce, however, will be oily from the fat that you may not be able to skim off.  

*Crockpot Method                                                                                                                    
14) Skim off the fat from the juices.
15) Place the juices and vegetables in the crock pot. Nestle the short ribs into the vegetables. If needed, add enough water to cover half way up the ribs.
16) Cook for 3 hours on HIGH. Then cook for 1 to 2 hours on LOW until the ribs are tender but still firmly on the bone. When almost done, turn the crock pot to WARM.

 

 

Gâteau Très Orange

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When I was growing up, I was spoiled by my grandmother who squeezed fresh orange juice for breakfast every single day. Pasteurized orange juice from a container or bottle paled by comparison.

I have always loved the flavor of orange, almost as much as lemon which is my top favorite, but never more so than when I started making recipes from Jamie Schler’s new book Orange Appeal. Her book, focusing on many ways both sweet and savory, inspired me to create this cake that is the most orangey cake in my repertoire.

Arriving at the precise amount of orange zest to orange oil was a delicate balance. Too much orange oil and it becomes almost petrol in flavor. For us, these amounts work perfectly. You can vary them according to your own tastebuds.

Serves: 12 to 14

Oven Temperature: 350˚F/175˚C

Baking Time: 50 to 60 minutes

Equipment One 10 cup metal fluted tube pan, coated with baking spray with flour

 Batter

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Preheat the Oven

* Twenty minutes or longer before baking, set an oven rack in the lower third of the oven.

* Set the oven at 350˚F/175˚C.

 Set Up for Ingredients (Mise en Place)

* 30 minutes to 1 hour ahead set the butter and eggs on the counter at room temperature (65˚ to 75˚F/19˚ to 23˚C).

* With dish washing liquid, wash, rinse, and dry the oranges and zest them (see Notes).

Make the Batter 

1) Into a 2 cup/500 ml glass measure with a spout, weigh or measure the egg yolks. Add 60 grams/1/4 cup of the sour cream, and vanilla, and whisk lightly until combined.

2) In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the flat beater, add the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and orange zest and mix on low speed for 30 seconds.

3) Add the butter and the remaining 122 grams of sour cream. Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Raise the speed to medium and beat for 1-1/2 minutes to aerate and develop the cake's structure. The mixture will lighten in color and texture. Scrape down the sides.

4) Starting on low speed, gradually add the egg mixture in 2 parts, beating on medium speed for 30 seconds after each addition to incorporate the ingredients smoothly.

5) Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, and smooth the surface evenly.

 Bake the Cake
6) Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted near the center comes out clean and the cake springs back when pressed. The cake should start to shrink from the sides of the pan only after removal from the oven. Rotate the cake halfway around after the first 40 minutes of baking.

 Shortly before the cake is finished baking, make the orange syrup.

Orange Syrup

Makes: 102 grams/6-1/2 tablespoons/96 ml

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1) Reduce the orange juice by about 1/3 and stir in sugar until dissolved. Add the orange oil. Cover it and set it aside.

Apply the Syrup and Cool the Cake

2) As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, place the pan on a rack, poke the cake all over with a wire cake tester, and brush it with about one-third (34 grams/2 tablespoons/30 ml) of the syrup. Cool the cake in the pan for 15 minutes. Invert the cake onto a serving plate.

3) Brush the top and sides of the cake with the remaining syrup. Cover with plastic wrap and cool completely.

 Store Airtight: room temperature, 3 days; refrigerated, 5 days; frozen, 2 months.

 Notes

* The zest incorporates most evenly into the batter if set on a piece of parchment and allowed to dry for several hours. It then can be frozen for several months.

* When Seville oranges are in season the juice gives a more intense orange flavor to the syrup so the orange oil can be omitted. Do not use the Seville orange zest as it is very bitter unless candied in marmalade. Blood orange zest, however is a great alternative.

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* The best way to reduce the orange juice is to pour it into a 4 cup/1 liter glass measure with a spout that has been lightly coated with nonstick cooking spray. Microwave it on high power, stirring every 30 seconds to prevent air bubbles, which would cause the juice to burst out of the container. This will take about 15 minutes. Alternatively you can reduce the orange juice on the cooktop, stirring constantly.

*You can replace the reduced orange juice with an equal amount of frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed.

To see the posting on Orange Appeal Click on this link.

Orange Appeal

This Month's Recipe: Rose's Favorite Flaky & Tender Pie Crust

Flaky with its laminations from the blending of butter, cream cheese, and heavy cream throughout the flour, this pie crust is most quickly made in a food processor.  A smidgen of baking powder makes the crust more tender and flavorful. 

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This recipe will be enough for a single crust for the standard pie plate, Rose's Perfect Pie Plate, a deep dish pie plate, or a 9-1/2 to 10 inch tart. It can easily be doubled for 2 crust pie or strips across the top. 

Food Processor Method

1) Process flour, salt, and baking powder to blend. 
2) Add cream cheese and process until coarse.
3) Add butter cubes and pulse until peanut size. 
4) Add cream and vinegar and pulse until butter is the size of small peas.
5) Scrape dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Use latex gloves or cover hands with plastic bags and press dough until it holds together in one smooth flat disc.
6) Wrap, and refrigerate 45 minutes before rolling.

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