Braised Beef Ribs, Buttered Rigatoni, Asparagus with Toasted Bread Crumbs
Braised meat or vegetables are cooked by browning in fat and then simmered in a closed container with liquid. This is one of my most recent recipes for braised beef ribs, utilizing Cabernet Sauvignon as the braising liquid. Upon reflection, I would season the meat with less salt as the juices are condensed during cooking and the salt flavors intensifies. The flavor from the wine is rich and dark and the toasted bread crumbs offer a nice crunch to the buttered rigatoni. Asparagus brings bright tones of green, balancing the richness of the dish. Next time, I may add some ripe tomatoes to lend a bit more acidity to the dish.
The joy of this dish is trying different flavor combinations of braising liquid such as veal stock, beef stock or adding some honey or plum jam for sweetness; a vast variety of flavors await, as well as choice of vegetable.
2 ½ pounds beef short ribs or other rib cut meat
1 750 mil bottle red wine
¼ cup veal of beef stock
4 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
salt and pepper
1 bay leaf
1 medium white onion
optional: 4 ripe tomatoes
4-6 cups hot water
1 16 ounce package dry rigatoni noodles, any large noodle will do
1 cup butter
1 cup plain or seasoned bread crumbs
1 bunch fresh steamed asparagus,
If using beef rib meat off the bone, cut into chunks and season with salt and pepper. Beef short ribs can remain whole during the browning process, the bones bring additional flavor to the dish.
Cook beef in 2 batches making sure not to over-crowd the pan. Heat a heavy bottom stock pot on stove, on medium high. Add 2 tablespoons oil and heat until pan is smoking hot, add seasoned beef and brown on all sides. Repeat until all meat is browned and remove from pan.
Chop onion and carrot to medium to large dice, add to same pot and cook until onions are translucent. Remove vegetables to plate and set aside.
De-glaze the pan with 1 750 ml. bottle red wine, reduce by ¾. This will take about 20-30 minutes. Be sure to scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen brown bits, stir frequently.
Add browned beef, vegetables, bay leaf and stock to pan, pour just enough hot water over the meat to cover. Place lid on pan. Cook covered in a 350 degree oven for 2-4 hours or until meat is tender.
Toasted Bread Crumbs
Melt ½ cup butter in a small pan, add bread crumbs and stir until combined. Continue stirring until bread crumbs are browned, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
Cook pasta as recommend by manufacturers instructions, drain and return to pan, pour remaining ½ cup melted butter over pasta and toss
Serve braised beef over pasta, sprinkle with 1 tablespoon bread crumbs