Monday, November 7, 2011

Secret Recipe Club: Short Ribs and Truffle Parmesan Fries

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It's time for another Secret Recipe Club!  My last two Secret Recipe blogs have really been pretty easy for me to choose what to make, but this month I was really overwhelmed!  First off, Barbara from Barbara Bakes  is yet another long lost soul mate, and stalking, er, reading dozens of posts on her blog, was really quite fun.   She is a  Mass Comm major, (me too) obviously a cook, baker, blogger and her photo shows her in a Tuscano apron.  I may own one very similar to that!

She had some great things to choose from, but when I read her post on Short Ribs, I knew I found my recipe.  Her husband raved about them, and after our amazing dinner at Bottega I knew Scott would appreciate my attempt at short ribs.  She used a recipe from Simply Recipes and served hers with caramelized onion mashed potatoes, but I decided to make Parmiagiano Truffle Fries like we had at Bottega.

The first big change I made in this recipe was that I brined the ribs first for about 4 hours.  If you have never brined your meat, you are missing out!  I am no chemist, but I look at it like this, after you drink too many margaritas and eat too many chips and salsa, you retain water...sort of the same idea.  Brined meat is amazingly juicy and tender.  If you choose to brine just one thing, brine your Thanksgiving turkey.  You will thank me later!  I used a half cup of the Williams Sonoma brine dissolved in enough water to cover the short ribs.   I only cooked 6 ribs instead of 12, and my other change was that I first served them right from the oven instead of chilling the cooked ribs overnight and skimming the fat off.  My hubby works at home, and if I had these braising all day and he came down from the think tank for dinner, and I gave him a turkey burger, well, he'd be a little unhappy.  To compensate, I upped the baking time and lowered my oven temp.  We took a walk after dinner to keep the cholesterol moving!  To be fair, we ate the leftovers the next day after taking off the hardened fat, and warmed them stovetop.  Scott decided they were even better. Here is the recipe.

Short Ribs
from Barbara Bakes, that she got from Simply Recipes!

6 bone in beef short ribs
salt and pepper
¼ cup olive oil
1 yellow onion, peeled and chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
4 carrots, peeled and chopped ( I love carrots and added more than her recipe)
1 bottle good, dry red wine (I went Spanish Grenache)
3 cups beef stock (does anyone actually sell veal stock?)

Preheat oven to 300°.  Over moderate heat, heat the olive oil and brown the short ribs (patted dry) on all sides.  Work in batches so the pan is never crowded.  Remove from pan, and saute the onion, celery and carrot in pan until browned.  Remove, and deglaze pan with the wine and reduce liquid by three quarters until thick and syrupy.  Return short ribs and veggies back to pan.  Add the stock to cover the ribs.  Bring to a boil, cover and bake for about 3½ hours.  They should be fork tender.

Truffle Parmesan Fries
From Napa Style, Michael Chiarello

Russet Potatoes
Ice Water
Peanut Oil
Truffle Salt
Fresh Grated Parmesan

So this is new for me, I don't fry often.  I followed the Napa Style recipe pretty close.  I sliced the potatoes thin, like match sticks, a perfect job for a mandoline. Then  I soaked them in ice water because this apparently makes them crispy.  I am not a frying expert, so I took his word for it.  I fried them first in 325° oil and drained them.  Then before serving I fried them crispy in 375° oil.  I do not keep truffle oil on hand, which is what they drizzle on the hot fries at Bottega. So I used Truffle & Salt which worked beautifully.
 Top with the cheese and serve with the short ribs and a nice glass of red wine from Chiarello Vineyards.  Ahh, reliving my vacation!

Thank you Barbara Bakes, I am coming back to make Mardi Gras King Cake which looks delicious and is a great Mardis Gras staple in this part of the country, but I have never made my own!  Also check out the other reveals in the Secret Recipe Club below.So, what are you waiting for?  Get in there and cook!


  1. Tudo delĂ­cia, bela receita. vou conferir.

  2. Short ribs are a favorite and this recipe looks delicious. Great SRC choice.

    If you haven't already, I'd love for you to check out my SRC recipe this month: Pork Belly Soup with Collard Greens.

    Cook Lisa Cook

  3. So fun to learn more about you. I'd love to see a pic of your Tuscano apron. I saw a nearly identical dish towel at Sur La Tab, but I actually bought mine in Tuscany.

    So glad you and Scott enjoyed the ribs. Thanks for all the sweet comments! Feel free to stalk me any time.

  4. Susie. I am salivating looking at those short ribs and parmesan truffle fries. Perfect Winter confort, stick to the ribs, food! Fantastic choice!

    Also, to enter the Pink food procesor giveaway, just leave a comment on that post. I'm using random integer to choose the winner :)

  5. Nothing better for cold weather than slow-cooked short ribs. Love the idea of brining them beforehand, too... I usually brine stuff that's going to slow-cook in dry heat like roast chickens or BBQ ribs, but it's never occurred to me to do it with a braise.
    Thanks for sharing a recipe for the truffle parmesan fries, BTW. I had those at a restaurant in Vancouver last year, and I've been dying to try them at home. We nicknamed them "crack fries" because they're just THAT addictive. :)

  6. I love love love short ribs! They are one of my favorite cuts of beef. In fact, I'm even serving them at my wedding :)

    Pairing these with truffle Parmesan fries is perfect too!

  7. I agree fully on the brining. In fact, I said pretty much the same thing in my SRC post today about chicken breasts! Great work.

  8. Ooooh, these short ribs look so tasty---so perfect for cold weather! So true about marinating. :)

  9. Your comparison of brining to eating too many chips and salsa cracks me up. Perfect example! What a delicious meal!

  10. Short Ribs! I see them all the time in the store, but never think to actually buy and cook them. Now I have my motivation!! And the fries... Wonderful.

    You mite also try starting your fries in cold oil and frying them up. That way the oil doesn't cool and you get crispy fries with soft insides!!

  11. I am a fry fanatic. I'm sure I'd go crazy for your fries.

  12. Wow your ribs looks sooo good! You stumped me, I didn't know you could buy a brine mixture? I have a great recipe too if you ever want to make your own- super easy of course and I brine my turkey every year.

    The fries look divine, my husband would die for this meal...he's just going to have to wait until next winter....still no baby over 11 days late!!

  13. I haven't made short ribs, but I think I am going to give it a shot with this recipe.

  14. oh my short ribs and trubble fries - i am drooling.