"I had these recipes that say do this, do that. Who MAKES these rules?"
First off, I must confess that I LOVE to try new recipes or search for something "better than" the recipe I have. This tends to drive Honey absolutely CRAZY!!! "Why can't you fix it like last time" or "What's wrong with following the recipe" or "I like this one, did you write it down?" About the only thing I do follow the recipe on is when I make bread.
The recipe for today, Braised Beef Short Ribs and Root Veggies over Egg Noodles by Emeril Lagasse, was given to me by a friend, Les, who loves to cook and he's really an awesome griller. He's fun to cook with, always makes life interesting, and has a great heart for others. He prepared the following recipe and brought some for me to try. Of course, since I didn't want to "poison" my family, I ate the bowl of delicious stew at lunch that day. I just had to try it on my family. Youngest and I had fun shopping for the ingredients for this at our local Walmart until it came time to find the wine. He told everyone that looked at him that we were "only getting it for cooking!" I'm hoping that, by Youngest helping me shop for the ingredients, he will not be so hesitant about eating something he's not eaten before. The smell of stew is drifting through the house and soon I'll stir up the cornbread as well. Don't be afraid to put a little "BAM!" in your cooking!
- 2 racks beef short ribs (4 to 5 pounds), cut into individual ribs
- 2 tablespoons Essence, recipe follows
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions
- 1 stalk celery, trimmed and chopped
- 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
- 1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 cup ruby port (I used Christian Brothers Ruby Port)
- 2 cups dry red wine (I used Post Red Table Wine, from a local winery)
- 4 cups veal or beef stock *
- 1 pound butternut or acorn squash, peeled, fibers removed, and cubed
- 2 parsnips, peeled, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 2 carrots, peeled, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 12 ounces egg noodles, cooked al dente, accompaniment
- 1/4 cup chopped green onions, garnish
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley, garnish
Season the ribs with the Essence on both sides. In a Dutch oven or large, heavy covered pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat.
Add the ribs in batches to prevent crowding and sear on all sides. Remove with tongs to a plate. Add the onions, celery and carrots to the fat remaining in the pan, and cook, stirring, until soft and starting to caramelize, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic, salt, red pepper, and black pepper, and cook for 30 seconds. Add the tomato paste, bay leaves, rosemary, and thyme, and cook for 2 minutes. Add the Port and red wine, bring to a boil, stirring to deglaze the pan and cook until reduced by 1/2.
Add the ribs and stock and return to a boil. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, cover, and simmer until the meat is tender, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. (During cooking, make sure that there is at least 1-inch of liquid in the pot; add more stock or water as necessary to cover.) **
Add the root vegetables and cook until they are tender and the meat easily falls from the bones, another 40 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from the heat.
Transfer the ribs and meat to a large bowl and cover to keep warm. Skim any fat from the surface. Bring the sauce to
a boil and cook until thickened, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and discard the bay leaves.
To serve, arrange the egg noodles in the middle of a large platter. Place the ribs on top and spoon the sauce over the meat. Garnish with green onions and parsley and serve immediately.
* Instead of purchasing beef stock, I have used L.B. Jamison's Soup Base or Superior Touch Better Than Bouillon Beef Base at my local grocery store. 1 tsp of base to one cup of water makes an excellent beef stock.
** What I did (okay here is the I didn't follow the recipe part): The meat was not as tender as I wanted, so I ended up putting all of this in a extra large crock-pot that I have. I cooked the veggies in a separate pot with beef broth so I could just add it without draining the seasoned broth. Normally I would handmake the egg noodles, but time has not been my friend this week, so I purchased some at the store. I also added the noodles to the stew - to make it more acceptable to my family.
Essence (Emeril's Creole Seasoning):
2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried leaf oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme
Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container.
Yield: about 2/3 cup