Just Short(rib) of Excellence

First hint of failure...the meat should have been falling off the bone, not carved.

I’m just going to put it out there right now – this blog is not all success stories.  I am far from a top chef, and as you can tell, much of this is just musings on my culinary experimentation.  And while I have no qualms messing around with cans of tomato sauce or $7 Perdue chicken roasters, I get a little disappointed in myself when I screw up a $30 piece of meat.  I mean, short ribs SOUND easy, especially when you’re using Tom Colicchio’s recipe, promising something tender, succulent, falling off the bone yet somehow maintaining a deliciously charred crust, to emerge from the oven.  Unfortunately for me, after narrowly avoiding third degree burns and coming even closer to ruining my broiler, all I got was a a decently flavorful, overly tough, and to be honest, quite fatty, hunk of beef.  Sliced up and served atop a bed of mashed potatoes, it was almost good.  Not bad.  Just…meh.  The biggest takeaways from this experiment were some awesome pictures (seen below), and two very important lessons:

1.  Impatience ruins tasty proteins. At several points in the cooking and braising process I felt the meat needed more time, that it wasn’t quite at the place it should be before moving on.  Yet, I was following Tommy C’s directions, and was really hungry, so I moved on to the next step.  I’m guessing another 30 minutes in the oven would have yielded an entirely different meal.

2.  Don’t braise on a work night.  Especially a Monday. You get started late, don’t want to stay up or eat too late, it’s all just a recipe for undercooked, tough short ribs.   No one wants to come home anticipating a three hour wait for dinner.  And what if your ribs need more time, as mine did?  Well, i think that can be summed up in three familiar words: tough short ribs.

Failures aside, it was decently tasty, and looked pretty.  So I’ll leave you with some photos and the anticipation of future short rib success now that I’ve learned my lessons.

Arsenal

I never said it wasn't well-seasoned

The Julia Child copper sauce pan makes a cameo to brown some butter. Goes great with mashed taters.

It LOOKS good, right?

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