After nearly a year of living in our new location we have finally discovered a nearby butcher. All we can ask ourselves is what took us so long?! We were so excited that we visited twice in two days. On our latest trip we purchased some short ribs. Short ribs are the sort of decadent meat that can be fancy or comfy. They are perfect for the mid-winter dinners that often leave us craving something warm and cozy. They do need some planning as you need to cook them for a long time (or, like us, use a pressure cooker to speed things up). One of us was on vacation this past week so this version was a little on the fancy side. The other one of us didn’t mind as it was sort of like eating out…only better.
Our short ribs were seasoned with salt and pepper and then browned in our electric pressure cooker (you can do this without a pressure cooker and just use a regular pot). We did a few at a time as to not overcrowd the pot. Overcrowding causes the meat to steam rather than brown so it is better to take your time. Once browned and removed, we browned off half an onion and some celery. The meat was placed back in the pot with a bay leaf, rosemary, thyme, garlic, water and a splash of red wine. We cooked this in our electric pressure cooker on high pressure for one hour. Once cooked, allow the pressure to release naturally. Allow the meat to cool in the liquid. This will prevent it from drying out. Once cooled, take the meat out, strain and reduce the left over sauce.
Meanwhile, remove the meat from the bones and roughly chop. This chopping bit can be done in a food processor. In a bowl add some of the reduced liquid and chopped ribs. Shape as you wish. We used a square cutter to mold ours. This is a good time to check the seasoning and adjust as needed.
Recently we had seen a demonstration by a three star Michelin Chef who was making soubise at a Relais & Chateaux press event in New York City. We decided the creamy texture of the soubise would be perfect for this meal. Very thinly slice onions on a mandolin. Salt them – cover with a lid or cartouche and then cook on the lowest heat possible for several hours (or at the very least one hour) taking care not to allow the onions to color at all. After one hour add a couple chunks of unsalted butter. Cook for another twenty minutes. Once fully softened you can then blend into a sauce. Let’s stop here. We had not made soubise before this demonstration. It is so easy. It is so amazingly delicious. You will want to lick the pan. It is that good. It is a great sauce to accompany meat and fish and we hope that you will give it a try.
The end result of all this cooking was a dinner that our family loved. I know it looks a little fancy but it was really about the flavors. They were warm and savory. The textures were creamy and smooth. On these last few (hopefully, if the ground hog was right) winter nights using root vegetables and comfort food favorites is a great way to make dinner special.