Thursday, February 24, 2011

The best short ribs I've ever made...

*Find this and many other paleo recipes on Chowstalker!*

Well, it was only my second time.  They were really great though- last time I accidentally bought boneless short ribs (bones make everything so much flavorful), and I braised them in the oven.  This time I used a couple packs I ordered from, supplemented with an extra pack from my local BJ's, and braised them in the crockpot.  The next time I order these, I will be getting a LOT!  Grassfed meat is naturally leaner than the grain-fed stuff you find in the store, but these grassfed short ribs had plenty of fat on them, and the fat of healthy animals is a good thing.  I personally like to eat a higher fat diet these days, because it keeps me full, and it is damn tasty!  I just try to be mindful of the types of fats I'm eating, but not in the same way I used to (i.e., favoring polyunsaturated over saturated fats).  Here's some info on healthy fats; granted these are links to other paleo-type sites, but it's easier to read and make sense of these than something from an academic journal:

-The Definitive Guide to Saturated Fat
-Grass-fed Meats: Health Benefits
-Fats: Which to Eat and Which to Ditch

Oh, and here's that short rib recipe I was talking about!

-5 lbs short ribs
-2 cups red wine (something drinkable)
-1 cup stock or broth
-1 medium onion, roughly chopped
-2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
-1 pack roasting herb blend (rosemary, sage, thyme) wrapped in cheesecloth
-1 big handful whole garlic cloves
-Clarified butter or lard, etc. for browning the ribs
-Salt and pepper

Start by patting the ribs dry, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Add fat to large pan (I used two for expediency) and heat it up pretty high.  When the pan starts smoking a little, add ribs to the pan; leave space between them, or they'll steam!  Brown them well on all sides, and add them to a slow cooker, add wine, stock, veggies, herbs, and garlic.  You could just cook them on low for about 7 hours, but I started mine late, so I cooked them on high for about 3 hours, then stuck the insert in the fridge overnight (let it cool off for an hour or two first, so it doesn't heat up the fridge).  The next day, I scooped the fat off the top (these give off a LOTof fat, so I like to remove the excess so it's not too greasy- save the fat, render any residual water out of it, and use it for cooking some taters, mmmm), and put it back in the crock pot on low for about 4 hours.  Then I strained the liquid through cheesecloth (discarding veggies), and reduced it on the stove for about an hour, and poured it back over the ribs at serving time (kept them in the crock pot on warm while the liquid was cooking).

For sides, I roughly chopped up some sweet potatoes, tossed them in melted clarified butter, sprinkled with salt, pepper, and chinese five spice, then roasted at 425 for about 40 minutes (turn the pieces halfway through).  I also roasted some broccoli florets for about ten minutes (sprinkled them with some olive oil, salt & pepper, and italian seasoning).

So worth the effort!

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