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Braising Beef Short Ribs...

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
When Braising beef short ribs, how do I know when the meat is done. should it be a brownish red or a dark red?
post #2 of 16
You mean the inside? It's ready when you feel it and it feels like it's about to fall off the bone. The inside will reach temperature long before it's actually at its best.
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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post #3 of 16
You're cooking it on the bone right? Right?

visually you can see the meat pull away from the bone. You gotta just poke and feel it. You'll know. Trust me.
post #4 of 16
It might be reddish depending on what it's cooked in. But braised short ribs should be "beyond well done, and into tender." The trick is not knowing how long to braise, but when to stop. If cooked too long the meat will become stringy. Most cooks test for doneness with a fork.

BDL
post #5 of 16

Eat one piece

To know the meat is done or not only one thing you do eat one piece if it is proper then meat is done.:roll:It is not necessary to heat the meat till it will brownish red or dark red.Some time it is done early but we wait for brownish red color of meat then the meat is not proper.:D
post #6 of 16
Can we move this to the general cooking forum? I have a few questions as well.

Do you guys prefer to braise in the oven or on the stove top? I read pros and cons of both, and have been doing it on the stove top in my le creuset dutch oven but thinking about it....since you have to get that certain temp to render, wouldn't you want say a 375 oven?

How do I go about properly browning them....I see some guys brown for a long time, I usually just sear on all sides for a minute or two.


How do I get my braising liquid to thicken up just a little bit more for a sauce....(i use pretty much a 2:3 of beef stock and zin or merlot)

should I use beef stock or broth?

my ratio of mirapoix is 3-4:1:1 onions:carrots:celery

and I usually add a can of chopped tomatoes.

Any special prep/butchery I should do to the short ribs before/after cooking?

my last attempt


good flavor but not nearly as tender as I was looking for....didn't render it long enough (but for once my rice came out good!)

post #7 of 16
Oddly, the results are slightly different. Stove top tends to go slightly faster and not have quite as much depth.

No. That high a heat isn't a braise. A braise is cooked "low and slow." Moreover, you don't want "rendering." I presume that by using the term you're trying to say you want "the collagen and connective tissues and fat to melt and flow through the meat." It doesn't actually work like that, and to the extent it does, you want protein denaturing. That process is surest and best at lower temperatures.

You want to braise between 275 and 325. The time differences at either end of this range are large, while the quality difference (nod to the lower temp) is fairly small. 300 is an acceptable compromise.

Searing them, the same way you learned to sear steak is The Way.

Heat the pot. Add oil. Allow the oil to come to temp. Add the seasoned meat. The meat may or not be dredged or dusted in flour as part of its seasoning process. Allow it to stay where it lands without turning or moving or otherwise being a buzz-kill until it's completely browned and ready to turn. Turn and repeat until all sides are browned. Everyone else is heterodox. Death to the heretic! Now, Go Ye Forth and Spread The Way.

Seared brown is what you want. More is not better, it is worse. Less is not better, it is unacceptable. When the ribs are brown, remove them. Pour off any more fat than necessary to brown the aromatics (mirepoix). Brown them quickly. After they've taken a little color -- in other words, browned and not just sweated -- push them to one side, and add a little tomato paste to the empty space on the pan. Let that brown a bit, then stir the paste and vegetables together, then cook the vegetables for a couple more minutes until the paste darkens. Then add a little liquid to deglaze, return the meat to the pan and add the remainder of the liquid.

We've hit the "it depends" barrier, again. Bet you didn't see that coming. There are essentially three ways. First, pass the liquid through a Chinese cap and squeeze the aromatics. Second, use a thickener at the end. Third, use a thickener at the beginning.

Third: Before you brown them, season the ribs, then dredge or preferably dust them in flour. Shake off all the excess. Brown the floured ribs -- most of the flour will come off during the browning -- which is what you want. Meanwhile the meat's juices will penetrate the flour and brown properly.

Second:

Shortly before the braise is done, make a medium brown roux (about the same color as peanut butter) with oil and flour or butter and flour. When the braise is otherwise done, you can remove the meat and vegetables, then thicken the liquid with the roux. Thickening with a roux is always done at the boil.

Or, you can make a slurry with cornstarch and water, and use that to thicken. Cornstarch gives you a little more control, but a roux, because it's cooked, will taste better. It's also the most robust and will serve you well as your cooking advances.

Another alternative is arrowroot. Arrowroot works well with very acid (lots of wine) sauces, and thickens almost instantly -- which makes it easy to judge the proper amount. However, it loses its thickening power pretty quickly and is also a bit on the delicate side. Not good if you're planning on leftovers.

At any rate, the key is taking out the meat and vegetables and sieving the sauce before service. This is one of those techniques and "attention to detail" things that separates the excellent from the good.

First: When the braise is almost but not quite done, remove the meat with tongs and set the ribs aside. Empty the cooking pot by passing the liquid through a coarse sieve or Chinese cap. Depending on whether you're using a sieve or a spoon, use the back of a spoon or a "pusher" to force the juices and "structure" out of the veg and into the liquid. This results in a light gravy, at best. However, you have a chance to evaluate how much more thickening you need before adding any additional thickeners.

Which brings us to another key: Discarding the cooking vegetables -- which have become flavorless, discolored and ugly. If you want vegetables as part of almost braised or long-simmered dish, replace them with fresh and, if appropriate different. Cut the service veg neatly, and size them so they will all finish at the same time along with the meat. Better, cut them in attractive shapes and sizes and blanch them off so you can put them in as part of the plating process.

Stock if possible, but it won't make a huge difference. Watch out for salt.

First rule: Whatever works. But a standard, classic, real, French, Escoffier, Julia Child's, etc., mirepoix is 2:1:1. Don't let that influence you though. I'm just sayin' know the rules before you break them. Use what tastes best.

Use tomato paste at the beginning for some structure. Using canned tomatoes and cooking them as part of the braise, then pressing them through a sieve will give you lot of thickening. See above. If you use a flour dust or dredge on the meat, you may not need any additional thickening.

Scrape as much fat off the back as possible. It's not suet, but it's actually pretty good beef fat -- useful for all beef fat purposes.

Probably didn't cook long enough. Keep a plate by the stove, take a rib out a little before you think it should be ready, put it on the plate, and use your fingers to see if it's tender. Or, you could wimp out and use a fork. If it's not tender, it's not done. If it's just tender, it's done. Cook it too long and they get stringy. Not good. Once it's done, get it out of the oven or off the heat (or whatever), and it will hold indefinitely. In fact, it gets better the longer it coasts. This means allow extra time to cook and if you don't need all of it .... fine.

Hope this helps,
BDL
post #8 of 16
I'll give it a try tonight.

oven on 300. check.

paste. check.
post #9 of 16
1 last question (well surely not the LAST)

but...

covered or uncovered in the oven?
post #10 of 16
Covered. Covered is part of braising.

BDL
post #11 of 16
great they are in the oven now...been there for about an hour now......(or half a bottle of wine drunk slowly) :roll:
post #12 of 16
To make a "gravy" you can also puree the mirepoix in the braising liquid after defatting.
post #13 of 16
FULL update (with multiple pictures) in the morning :smoking:


**** I love short ribs....
post #14 of 16
So the night started off leaving work early....just a little, to get to the supermarket before everyone bought all of the short ribs....

well, arrival at Stop and Shop on the way home, led me to 2 packages left of some "eh" looking short ribs....I picked them up and proceeded to the second place on the way home.....A&P. No Short ribs...well they did, but the boneless ones...

Thinking to myself I should have just gone to the "GOOD" supermarket (albeit crowded, crappy parking lot, etc.) in the FIRST place I was going to punish myself, not go and work with what I had......that will show me.

The Ingredients



boneless (bone-in are browning)





hey...it was going to be a LONG night.


so I started at 5:45 with my prep and browning...




first the miripoix - I threw a left over shallot I had in there too..


a little garlic.


and some tomato paste...


some wine to deglaze..


with some beef stock

to a boil and in the oven it went.at 300. went it at 6pm.



what to do next?
movie. (Martian Child if you must know...it was good)

we are not alcoholics


but after the movie we opened another bottle....and started the rice.


we checked the ribs and agreed another 20 minutes more after eating one ;)







MMmmmmmm rice came out pretty good :)



I wish I could bottle this smell..



got rid of the mush..


reduced it by half...
added a little salt.










how did it taste?

amazing.






So to answer the OPs question...about a bottle and a half of wine is how long (in my case about 2 hours)

it was borderline stringy, caught it just in time (went from "needs a few minutes more" to "almost lost it" in 20 minutes)..next time I'll do 275 for the same amount of time.

The boneless were "ok" but I'd never cook the boneless without a 2-1 ratio of bone-in in the pot.....my girlfriend loves the boneless though so it worked out well.

Dinner, not including the non-cooking wine was about 20$....
post #15 of 16
Sweet!

Just got a case of short ribs that were supposed to be .25 inch (for galbi), but they were 1.25 inch instead :suprise:
Now I get to braise beef ribs!
Nice info BDL and cool pix RPMc.

Hmmmm... What about doing a dry rub instead? I'm thinking star anise, cinnamon, fennel, cloves, cardamom (5 spice, right?).
Or just make a chili powder I guess...

Thoughts?
post #16 of 16
We have braised short ribs as a reoccuring item on the menu. Our chef cooks them fall-off-the bone tender. When they come out of the oven they are very dark brown.
Preparing a fine meal with quality ingredients is the most practical way we show our love. How we plate shows the depth of our caring.
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Preparing a fine meal with quality ingredients is the most practical way we show our love. How we plate shows the depth of our caring.
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