I admit, this is certainly not a photo worthy of my 1 year blog anniversary. For that, I apologize. It was the main dish in a Halloween party I threw, so I really didn’t have a lot of time. On the other hand, it’s MUCH tastier than it looks. Slow cooked short ribs over parmesan polenta with a bbq and red wine reduction sauce. It’s easily one of the best things I’ve cooked for the blog, though it definitely requires specialized equipment. If you’re looking to get an immersion circulator for sous vide, I’d suggest checking out Sansaire. They just finished a Kickstarter for an extremely reasonably priced immersion circulator, so all you’d need is that and a FoodSaver vacuum sealer (or even just use ziplock bags). I can not speak highly enough of cooking sous vide, though I know it’s a serious investment for a relatively unknown cooking technique. Trust me, though, when you try 48 hour pulled pork or even just a simple marinated chicken breast, cooked perfectly and amazingly tender, you’ll agree that it’s worth the investment.
Start by rubbing your favorite bbq rub on the short ribs and vacuum sealing them.
Next, put them to cook sous vide at 135°F for 72 hours. This is a little hotter than I cook most other beef at, but I find that with the toughness of the short ribs, 130°F didn’t leave them as tender as I liked, so I increased it to this and was much happier.
The evening you’re going to serve this dish, start the sauce. Roughly chop carrots, onion, celery, and garlic. Saute the carrots, onion, and celery in a little olive oil until they start to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, and cook 1 more minute. Add the red wine, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for an hour, until reduced by 3/4 volume.
Strain out the vegetables, return liquid to pot, and stir in bbq sauce. Keep warm until ribs are finished, or reheat at that point.
Now you need to make your polenta. I felt it was beyond the scope of this blog, since you can also use mashed potatoes, egg noodles, or just leave them plain, but my favorite recipe is this one, with Parmesan substituted for the Gruyere.
When the short ribs are finished cooking, just before serving, remove them from the sous vide bath. Discard liquid in the bags (it’s mostly fat at this point), and brown the meat. My favorite way is a cast iron skillet made very hot on high heat with a little butter, but a creme brulee torch, bbq, or broiler are also good options. For large parties, I use a blowtorch. That, I admit, is getting carried away, but also so much fun.
Put the short ribs on top of the polenta/potatoes/noodles, top with sauce, and dig in!
- 8 short ribs
- 3 tablespoons bbq rub
- 4 carrots (240g)
- 3 ribs celery (120g)
- 1 medium onion (200g)
- 4 cloves garlic (18g)
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste (35g)
- 3 cups red wine (660g)
- ⅔ cup bbq sauce (45g)
- Rub the short ribs with the bbq rub and vacuum seal in pouches. Sous vide at 135°F for 72 hours.
- An hour and a half before the ribs are to be served, roughly chop all of the vegetables. Saute all but garlic in a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat until soft, add garlic and cook 1 more minute. Stir in the tomato paste and cook 5 more minutes.
- Add red wine to the vegetables, bring to a boil, and reduce heat to low. Maintain at a simmer until liquid is reduced by ¾ths, about an hour. Strain out solids and return liquid to the pot. Stir in bbq sauce, and keep warm while you finish the ribs.
- Remove short ribs from the sous vide water bath, discard liquid, and brown the short ribs. You can use a broiler, bbq, skillet with butter, or kitchen torch.
- Once browned, plate ribs on top of a starch such as polenta or mashed potatoes, then finish with bbq red wine sauce.