New Year’s Resolutions are the topic of conversation these days for obvious reasons. I stumbled upon mine on New Year’s Eve while slicing a stick of hard salami for a cheese tray. I was particularly impressed at how sharp my new Christmas knives were and thought “Why have I been using such dull knives all year-long?” So, I resolved to not fool around with unsharpened knives in 2011. Literally it is pretty simple – figuratively a whole other story!
Michael Pollen’s resolution this year also sparked some attention. Pollen said on Serious Eats, “So often we get in recipe ruts, making the same thing over and over. I have all these new cookbooks lying around that I rarely, if ever, use. This year I want to make a new dish every week. Just go to the shelf, open a book, and make one thing I’ve never had before. ” After posting this on Facebook, my friends and I decided that a new recipe a week would be difficult but learning new recipes is always fun and healthy.
While spending the holiday at my parent’s home in Florida, I stole their copy of Sunday Suppers at Lucques. I gave them this book several years ago and they never used it. So, in punishment I borrowed the book to show them what they are missing. The book is not only beautiful and full of creative recipes – it is outlined by season making it really useful for wanna-be locoavores.
This weekend I made a full menu from the book for friends. With a light dusting of snow falling in Greensboro, there wasnt anywhere I wanted to be but my kitchen. Between the short ribs and the lemon tart, this menu was labor intensive – but totally worth it. I highly recommend it on your next free weekend. It recieved rave reviews.
New Year, New Recipes Menu
- Braised Beef Short Ribs with Swiss Chard and Horseradish Cream
- Pureed Potatoes
- Lemon Tart with Dark Chocolate
Braised Beef Short Ribs with Swiss Chard and Horseradish Cream from Sunday Suppers at Lucques
- 6 beef short ribs, 14 to 16 ounces each (ask for 3 bone centercut)
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon thyme leaves, and 4 whole sprigs thyme
- 1 tablespoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 3 dozen small pearl onions
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup diced onion
- 1/3 cup diced carrot
- 1/3 cup diced celery
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1½ cups port
- 2½ cups hearty red wine
- 6 cups beef or veal stock
- 4 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
- 2 bunches Swiss chard, cleaned, center ribs removed
- Potato purée (recipe follows)
- Horseradish cream (recipe follows)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ¾ cup creme fraiche (I used sour cream)
- 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Season the short ribs with 1 tablespoon thyme and the cracked black pepper. Use your hands to coat the meat well. Cover, and refrigerate overnight.
Take the short ribs out of the refrigerator an hour before cooking, to come to room temperature. After 30 minutes, season them generously on all sides with salt.
When you take the ribs out of the refrigerator, preheat the oven to 425°F.
Toss the pearl onions with 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon thyme, ¾ teaspoon salt, and a pinch of pepper. Spread them on a baking sheet and roast them about 15 minutes, until tender. When they have cooled, slip off the skins with your fingers and set aside. Turn the oven down to 325°F.
When it’s time to cook the short ribs, heat a large sauté pan over high heat for 3 minutes. Pour in 3 tablespoons olive oil, and wait a minute or two, until the pan is very hot and almost smoking. Place the short ribs in the pan, and sear until they are nicely browned on all three meaty sides. Depending on the size of your pan, you might have to sear the meat in batches. Do not crowd the meat or get lazy or rushed at this step; it will take at least 15 minutes. When the ribs are nicely browned, transfer them to a braising pan. They should lie flat, bones standing up, in one layer.
Turn the heat down to medium, and add the onion, carrot, celery, thyme sprigs, and bay leaves. Stir with a wooden spoon, scraping up all the crusty bits in the pan. Cook 6 to 8 minutes, until the vegetables just begin to caramelize. Add the balsamic vinegar, port, and red wine. Turn the heat up to high, and reduce the liquid by half.
Add the stock and bring to a boil. Pour the liquid over the short ribs, scraping any vegetables that have fallen on the ribs back into the liquid. The stock mixture should almost cover the ribs. Tuck the parsley sprigs in and around the meat. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and a tight-fitting lid if you have one. Braise in the oven for about 3 hours.
To check the meat for doneness, remove the lid and foil, being careful of the escaping steam, and pierce a short rib with a paring knife. When the meat is done, it will yield easily to a knife. Taste a piece if you are not sure.
Let the ribs rest 10 minutes in their juices, and then transfer them to a baking sheet.
Turn the oven up to 400°F.
Place the short ribs in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes, to brown.
Strain the broth into a saucepan, pressing down on the vegetables with a ladle to extract all the juices. Skim the fat from the sauce and, if the broth seems thin, reduce it over medium-high heat to thicken slightly. Taste for seasoning.
Heat a large sauté pan over high heat for 2 minutes. Tear the Swiss chard into large pieces. Add 3 tablespoons olive oil to the pan, and stir in the cooked pearl onions. Add half the Swiss chard, and cook a minute or two, stirring the greens in the oil to help them wilt. Add a splash of water and the second half of the greens. Season with a heaping a teaspoon salt and a pinch of ground black pepper. Cook for a few more minutes, stirring frequently, until the greens are tender.
Place the Swiss chard on a large warm platter, and arrange the short ribs on top. Spoon lots of braising juices over the ribs. Serve the hot potato purée and horseradish cream on the side.