Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Braised Short Ribs served over Cauliflower Puree

This amazingly decadent entree was what I served, and ate, for my romantic Valentine's Dinner for two this year. After North Carolina tried to trap my boyfriend across the country, alone, in the snow, with a crappy rental car, and no access to good food, he was determined to make it back on Valentine's day. When he got the last seat on the plane headed back to Phoenix, I knew that I had to make him the most delicious meal I could think of upon his return. These perfectly marbled short ribs are slow cooked in wine, and served with a creamy puree of cauliflower and grated cheese. And if you don't gobble them all up, you can use the leftovers to make a short rib mac and cheese sandwich. Trust me. It's worth it.

Braised Short Ribs served over Cauliflower Puree

Short Ribs
  • 2.5 lbs. short ribs, bone-in
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp. canola oil
  • 1/2 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 large carrot, coarsely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 cups vegetable or beef broth
  • 2 cups Cabernet Sauvignon
Cauliflower Puree
  • 1 1/2 cups 2% milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 large head cauliflower
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 2 tbsp. freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated white cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Season the short ribs with salt and pepper all over. Then cover the short ribs in flour. Be sure to shake off any excess flour.

Heat oil in a large oven-proof pot over medium-high heat and sear the short ribs on all sides, 4 at a time as not to over-crowd the pot. Once they have browned all over, about 6-8 minutes, set aside, and do the same with the other batch. Set aside.

In the same pot, lower heat to medium and add more oil if needed, and add in the carrot, onion, and garlic clove. Saute until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Pour in the broth and wine, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. Add in the thyme sprigs.

Bring to a slight simmer, about 2 minutes, then add the seared short ribs back into the pot. They should be almost completely submerged. Place the lid on the pot and place into the oven.

Cook at 350 degrees F for 1 hour. Then lower the heat to 325 degrees F, and cook for another hour. Take out one short rib and test to see if the meat falls easily off the bone with a fork. If not place back in the oven for another 30 minutes to an hour.

Once the short ribs are fork tender, remove them from the oven and let rest in the pot for 20 minutes.

Use a ladle to fish out a few ladlefuls of the braising liquid into a small pot. Heat over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Let cook until reduced, about 20 minutes. 

Meanwhile, prepare the cauliflower puree. Heat the milk and water over medium high heat in a medium pot. Once, simmering, add in the cauliflower, garlic, salt, and pepper. Watch the pot to make sure it does not boil over. Let the cauliflower cook and soften, about 12 minutes. Once it's fork tender, use an immersion blender to blend until completely smooth and thickened. Add in the butter and grated cheeses. Stir until combined.

To plate, spoon a heaping serving of the cauliflower puree into a shallow bowl. Place 2 or 3 short ribs in the middle, and drizzle some of the reduced braising liquid/gravy over the top. Serve hot.

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