Attempt Two: Short Ribs with Horseradish Cream

You may remember that a few weeks ago I threw a pity party for myself over some braised short-ribs. They had come out too tough, but the sauce I had made to go with it was too good to go to waste, so I ate the mediocre dinner and then cried to you about it. Being the seasoned chef that I am (that’s supposed to be a joke) I for some (god knows what) reason decided to give my own advice on how to make good short-ribs—even though I had never successfully made short-ribs.

“In the end, I learned that short ribs are probably best cooked over a long period of time, marinated the night beforehand, and then refrigerated once cooked, reheated and served the next day.”

OK, so that’s bullcrap and I’m here today to bite my tongue. And to give you a succulent recipe for tender short ribs, that only takes 2½ hours, and that has a tangy, creamy sauce that will make you forgive me for all the silly culinary things I say!

It’s been a loooong week that included a looong train ride and excruciating business trip… so instead of writing anymore text that will undoubtedly come out sounding crabby, here’s the recipe:

Braised Beef Short Ribs with Horseradish Cream

from The Gourmet Cookbook

Serves 4

  • 1 T black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp dried thyme, crumbled
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 pounds short ribs
  • 1/2 tsp plus 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 2 T vegetable oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 3 celery ribs, chopped, plus 1 T chopped celery leaves*
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 (750 ml) bottle dry red wine, such as Burgundy
  • 4 cups veal stock**
  • 1/4 cup creme fraiche
  • 1 T drained bottled horseradish

Wrap peppercorns, thyme, and bay leaf in a square of cheesecloth and tie into a bundle with kitchen string to make a bouquet garni.***

Pat ribs dry and sprinkle 1/2 tsp salt and pepper. Heat oil in a 12-inch skillet over moderately high heat until just smoking. Add ribs and sear, turning with tongs, until well browned on all sides, about 8 minutes total. Transfer ribs bone sides up to a roasting pan large enough to hold them in one layer. Set aside.

Put a rack in middle of oven and preheat oven to 375ºF.

Add onions, carrots, celery ribs, garlic, bouquet garni, and wine to skillet, bring to a boil, and boil until liquid is reduced to about 1/3 cup, 15 to 20 minutes.

Stir stock into vegetables and bring to a boil. Pour stock mixture over ribs and cover pan tightly with foil. Transfer to oven and braise until meat is tender and falling off the bone, about 2½ hours. Let cool slightly.

When ribs are cool enough to handle, remove any excess fat and discard bones.**** (Set pan aside.) Transfer beef to a bowl and cover to keep warm.

Pour cooking liquid through a fine mesh sieve into a small saucepan, pressing on solids; discard solids and skim fat. Bring to a boil and boil sauce until reduced to about 1 cup, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, stir together creme fraiche, horseradish, celery leaves, and remaining 1/8 tsp salt in a small saucepan and heat over moderate heat, stirring, just until hot.

Serve beef topped with sauce and horseradish cream.

*Try to use organic celery. Otherwise, the leaves have a chemical-like taste to them.

** I used a good beef stock (not homemade).

*** If you can’t find cheesecloth, you can make a bouquet garni using kitchen string and a coffee filter. Add all ingredients into the filter, then close top and tie off with string. Works perfectly.

**** I left the meat on the bones, because I like that feeling of eating everything off the bone at the table. Carnivorous and such. And also, only discard the bones if you are crazy and don’t want to make stock from them. Even if you don’t want to make stock soon, just wrap them in a freezer bag and pop in the freezer until you are ready. Then, next time you make this recipe, you won’t have to use the store bought stuff!! 🙂