Tuesday, August 15, 2006

In praise of short ribs

Tonight's Menu
  • crockpot short ribs
  • mashed potatoes
  • salad
I tried this recipe for the short ribs and they were soooo good, y'all. I followed it exactly except that (a) I cooked them for more like 10 hours and (b) my slow cooker is really old and doesn't do "high" very well so the gravy didn't get thick. Next time I'll pour it into a pan and thicken it on the stovetop.

In every book of his that I've read, Anthony Bourdain sings the lament of the unpopular meat -- you know, those cuts that tend to be cheap and fatty and have to be cooked just right to be rendered palatable. But when they ARE cooked just right, yowza! Beef short ribs definitely qualify. They're ugly when raw -- big hunks of bone, the small amount of meat thickly marbled with fat -- and if you don't cook them properly, they are tough as old shoes. But when cooked slowly over low heat (whether in a crockpot, braised on the stovetop, or roasted in the oven) until the fat renders and the meat is so tender it falls off the bone, they are a thing of beauty, y'all. The fat just melts through the meat and gives it an amazing flavor that you'll NEVER get from a leaner cut. And short ribs are so cheap!

In addition to the recipe I tried tonight, I love them with sauerkraut. Just salt and pepper the ribs and brown them in a skillet (to boost the flavor and make 'em pretty), dump a jar of sauerkraut into the crockpot, maybe stir in a little brown sugar or some grated apple or onion, dump the ribs on top, cover and cook all day.

The meat is so rich that they're probably better suited to cool weather than the 100+ degree temperatures we've been having here lately (and will continue to have until Thanksgiving, probably), but what can I say? I had a craving. And the crockpot doesn't heat up the house TOO much.


Anonymous said...

perhaps you could rename this blog Badger MEATS World

Badger said...

A blog about nothing but meat! That's genius! Hmmm. I'll consider it.