Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Smoked short ribs

Short Ribs- you see this trendy item fairly often at higher end restaurants lately. i think that rib cooking and all proteins for that matter really comes down to an attempt to do the animal (a choice graded steer in this case)some justice. apply smoke, apply heat, eat. mine were cherry wood smoked for about 4 hours, then slow roasted in the oven for another 5 hours, followed by a quick ride in a scorching hot oven to develop some sort of sear on the outside of the meat, then served. i always rub BBQ style meats at least one day ahead of time with a blend of spices that i make from all sorts of different things depending on the final taste profile desired. would've like to get these rubbed earlier but only got 1 night on them. beef ribs require more time then pork ribs as they can contain more fat and are larger, so the trick is to get the fat rendered out but still have them attached to the bone. i always make enough rub to cut into some catsup with some molasses, lemon, and liquid smoke for a bbq sauce, that while isn't really necessary is a nice touch for some people.

polenta- a corn based starch that you may be more familiar with as grits. don't let a southerner hear you call grits polenta and don't let an italian hear you call polenta grits. jury still out on cooking methods, as every one has an opinion, i like a good three hour polenta. be careful, they get hotter than they look and are like culinary napalm, as they boil and spit at you while you work them. i flavored them with some herbs and some cheese. they take any meltable cheese really well, and sweetened they are even great for breakfast. these were from Bobs Red Mill, a local mill that does some very amazing things with different non gluten flours, and has just about every starch one could imagine. they are available at most supermarkets, and of course online. the cool thing about starches like this is they are really inexpensive and have an almost infinite shelf life. most guests at my home have rarely had things like cous-cous, polenta, quinoa, etc. all very easy to cook, and its something new that didn't take much more effort than roasting potatoes.

brussel sprouts- not a real popular vegetable choice, but has so much overlooked potential. i shaved them and then just quickly sauteed them with some salt, white wine, and some butter. they are often hated upon as most people had them frozen then microwaved as a kid. they can be so much more.

grapefruit soda- i make soda fairly often with a isp soda siphon that i have. it is very similar to a whipped cream charger, it is a wonderful way for me to make a dinner that is totally homemade, and also allows me to control the amount of sugar involved, and what types of sugar i am using. fresh squeezed grapefruit juice, brown sugar, agave nectar, water, and a pinch of salt. i am the only guy i have ever heard of doing this, so i am still trying to get a feel for some of the basic ratios, but it still is a riot for me to be able to play with and incorporate things that you normally wouldn't think of.

bread- i made a roasted garlic and whole wheat bread that i was worried wasn't enough to feed the group of people that were coming, a quick fix was a batch of popovers that i lean to whenever i need some sort of bread in a pinch. they are fast and delicious. i actually used the beef fat drippings from the ribs to make them which in turn makes them Yorkshire puddings (classically made with dripping from a prime rib roast)

grilled romaine- romaine hearts oiled and salted then quickly grilled, shaved cheese, and frozen red wine vinegar and your ready to go. hot, cold, crisp, wilted, all the great textures are there, took a total of maybe 10 minutes.

didn't get as many pictures as i would've liked as the final assembly was a bit frantic. this one is a rib over the polenta. don't expect a ton from me today as this was a ton of work and i have a few other obligations toaday.

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