There is nothing quite like the smell of braise permeating the walls of your kitchen. The quiet bubbling of a stew in your oven. It is such a romantic and wonderful process.
A few weekends ago while there was still a chill in the air I decided to make a beautiful short rib and some olive oil mash. Uncomplicated, unkempt, just delicious.
The method is very simple.
Braised Short ribs:
6# of shortribs
1# of Mirepoix, cut into large dice
4 cups of red wine
1 Qt of beef stock
4 Sprigs each of: Rosemary & Thyme
4 leaves each of: Sage & Bay Leaf
3 T of fat (I used rendered pork fat)
Salt & Pepper
Dry the ribs very well and season liberally & in the pot heat up fat. Heat the oven to 325˚.
I used rendered pork fat because I like total utilization & had some reserved. It worked great searing the meat as well. Sear the ribs on a high heat. Work in batches, dont crowd the pot or else the ribs wont sear properly.Once all of the meat is seared, reserve to side. Remove all but 2 T of fat from the pot.
Cook in the same pot all of the mirepoix. I like to start with the carrots and then add the onions; celery last. Make sure to season. Once caramelized, add herbs and the wine, I used a sturdy Cabernet. Add in the ribs. I let the wine cook out with the ribs, uncovered for a bit to let the flavors of the wine develop with the meat. Add stock to fill the pot just to the level of the ribs, not compleatly covered.
Cover the pot and place into the oven for as long as you like. I let mine go 3 hours. I also removes the beef and vegetables and reduced the sauce to make a slightly thicker nappé; this is optional.
Pair with your red wine of choice. I find it went well with the Cabernet Sauvignon I ended up cooking with. The Dreaming Tree Cabernet held up well to it also.
Whipped Olive Oil Pommes Puree:
Very Simple, always delicious. I always roast my potatoes; it keeps all of the nutrients in the potatoes instead of them being leeched into the water.
Olive oil to taste
Salt & Pepper
Wash all potatoes & wrap in foil. I recommend wrapping parchment around them as well to prevent the aluminum from leeching into the food. Place onto a sheet pan.
Slow roast the potatoes in the oven while your stew cooks. Since the oven is at a low temp it may take some time, be patient and check intermittently to see if they are soft.
Once cooked take out of oven and quickly scoop out & rice all of the potato insides. By doing this while the potatoes are hot prevents them from being gluey.
Reserve the skins for potato skins with cheddar! Total utilization has never tasted so good.
Whip olive oil into the potatoes and season. This part is all about mouth feel and taste. I love using a rich Extra Virgin olive oil for this part. I added chunks of sharp vermont cheddar and shredded some on top of the potatoes. Bake again in the oven until the top is browned and crispy. Oh, so good.