June 29, 2011
Bundy and Coke Braised Beef Ribs
I'm not much of a drinker really.
I enjoy a couple of glasses of wine and the occaisional grown up G&T, but only the odd sip of spirits. I have a whole cupboard full of alcohol, but mainly bought for their novelty or cooking value. Let's see..... Musk liquor, Cherry wine, Rose Liquor, Bubbly Lychee, Mandarin, delicious Chambois, Lavender, and even Black Sapote liquor. I also have a wine rack with various inhabitants, BigJ took them all down to dust the other week and I was astonished to find some very nice sounding reds from the early 90's up there, and a bottle of champagne from goodness knows when- how long does champagne last anyway? I also have a stash of cooking wine that I buy on sale and let age gracefully before turning them into sauces magnifique.
It sounds like we really DO have a lot on hand doesn't it?
Beef short ribs are the perfect match for this recipe, they're great simmering away with the meat just falling apart at the end of cooking. Perfect for this cold weather of ours.
Now, you may not have noticed (due to my lack of skill) dear reader, that when I've planned out a recipe especially for blogging, I do try and make a bit of an effort with my photos. Unfortunatley, this is not one of those times. I was just about to start cooking when I thought 'This could be interesting' and started snapping away. Many of these 'interesting' ideas never make it to the blog, but we loved this meal so it made the cut. Just imagine perfect photographic images, with a perfect chef-one who is clean, not covered in splatters, and a perfect family sitting around a perfectly laid dinner table with shiny faces and perfect manners. This is obviously the norm for my home every evening. I hope you all aspire to my level of perfection. :)
Brown the ribs nicely in a thick bottomed pan that holds them in a single layer. They will cook more evenly and faster too this way. You also want all those nice little bits that stick on the base to go back into the liquid in the dish for enriching the sauce at the end.
Pull the ribs out and sweat down some onions and carrots. I left these pretty large as they'll just turn to mush otherwise as they braise away. You just want to get them started and coated with some of the oil that comes out of the meat. Spread them in a nice thick layer on the base of the pan.
Put the meat back in the pan on top of the veggies and pour over a can of the Bundy and Coke. Reserve one for deglazing later. Pop the lid on the dish and let it simmer away. I cooked mine on the stove top with a simmer ring underneath it, but it's just as easy to pop it in the oven at about 180*.
Just forget about it for an hour or so,
That should be just enough time to do the dishes, set the table, change your frock, brush your hair and freshen your lipstick, the way I do every evening before sitting down to dinner. :)
Pull out the meat and veggies and plate them up.
If there's a bit too much oil in the pan, spoon it off the top of the juices. Then deglaze the pan back on the heat on the stove top and scrape up all the yumminess that might have stuck to the bottom. Simmer it down quickly to boil out the alcohol and reduce it, then thicken just a little if you need to with a little bit of arrowroot slurry.
Pour the sauce over the meat and veggies, and serve with a some sweet potatoes baked in the oven at the same time as the dish, some greens or maybe a nice creamy mash.
The coke adds a lovly sweetness and the rum adds that little something to notch it up from easy family dinner to something a little more special. Top the lot with a basic gremolata - grated garlic, lemon zest and fresh parsley, just to give it a lift and freshen the flavours after the long, slow cooking.
I'm ashamed to admit, that at this point, my perfectly perfect family used their fingers to wipe the pates clean and get every las bit of that sweet,sticky sauce- no napkins in sight.
Sigh..... well, nearly perfect anyway.
So my Dearest Readers, are you much of a drinker, and do YOU have the perfect family?