Braised short ribs and spaetzle – warmth in the kitchen

rick williams, braised short ribs and spaetzel

I admit it.  I’m not really a fan of the traditional Thanksgiving meal.  I’m not a fan of turkey. Another meal of a 20 pound bird when I cook enough chicken over the course of the calendar feels like a bit much.  Plus, the way I cook these days, it’s just SO MUCH FOOD.  I promise, I’m not being a holiday buzz kill!

So, I give you  a look into a slow cooked braised short rib gig.  I adapted my dish from a recipe from Anne Burrell of the Food Network, so thanks for the inspiration Anne.  I love that my dinner came from these ingredients.  Looks like a pretty simple task, no?

This meal came from these ingredients
This meal came from these ingredients

Music of the day, since I had no one in the house:  Fugazi’s “First Demo”.  I love energy in the kitchen, and when I’m by myself, loud-fast rules.  

Fugazi "First Demo" album cover
Fugazi “First Demo” album cover

Easy for the short ribs:  Salt/pepper on each side and into a pan to brown up (3 minutes or so, get it nice and brown).  Take the ribs out , drain off the fat and put the ribs in the slow cooker.  I used 2 cups of beef stock to cover the meat.

Next up was the vegetable mix – carrots, onions, shallots, garlic, celery.  Make a “mush” in the food processor and then saute away until they brown up.  This would be a great time to add your wine and deglaze.  I used 2 cups of Cabernet and Pinot Noir.  I love the sound and smells caused by the wine going into the hot pan.  Scrape all the good sticky bits up!

Wine and vegetable sauce
Wine and vegetable sauce

I cooked the veggie mash down for probably 15 minutes (try to reduce liquid by half).  After that, the sauce went into the slow cooker, as well.

I even made a first time spätzle (herbed, and pretty good).  Chives and thyme, flour, egg, milk.

IMG_1479 (1)
Easy dough – egg, milk, flour, herbs

 

Made the dough and pushed it through a slotted spoon with a spatula.  Dropped into boiling water and cooked for 90 seconds.  Then into the ice bath.  Saved those for later to serve as the “bed” for the short ribs.

IMG_1480
90 seconds in boiling water, then into an ice bath

I bundled some thyme and tarragon together, threw in 2 small bay leaves on top of the “stew” in the slow cooker now containing the short ribs and veggies, and set it on “high” for 4 hours, then turned it down to low and let it simmer.  The result was a falling off the bone short rib (but still able to handle it) and a truly wonderful rich, dark sauce that smelled SO good.

The finished braised short rib with spatzel
The finished braised short rib with spatzle

Drop me a message, leave a comment or tell me what kind of music you love to have playing when you cook up a meal.  This dinner was fun, flavorful, a bit challenging at times, but ultimately very simple.  Curiosity and energy in the kitchen is what I strive for.  What about you?

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