Thursday, November 22, 2007

Going Over the Budget with Port-Braised Short Ribs

The second meal Superwife cooks, and she's already cutting it close to the $5/meal budget. *sigh* Does she succeed? (Haunting music plays in the background...)

Some coworkers and I were talking about DB Bistro Moderne's famous hamburger stuffed with short ribs and foie gras the other day, when Doug suggested I try his recipe for port-braised short ribs and then stuff the leftovers in hamburgers the day after. So I did.

Serves 6 (or more)
(I cut the recipe in half)

- 12 Beef Short Ribs (I was told to buy the best quality available)
- 1/4 Cup Vegetable Oil
- 1 Carrot – roughly chopped
- 1 Celery Stalk – roughly chopped
- 1 Yellow Onion – roughly chopped
- 1 Bottle Ruby Port Wine (I was told to buy the cheapest one)
- 1/2 Qt. Veal Stock
- 1/2 Qt. Beef Broth (I subbed this with more veal stock since I already had tubs of it in the freezer)
- Kosher Salt
- Fresh Ground Black Pepper
- Fresh Chervil – chopped (This is just garnish, so I left it out. Every dollar counts!)

- Preheat oven to 350
- Salt and pepper short ribs heavily
- In a large oven-safe pan, heat oil and brown short ribs on all sides for 10-15 minutes – don’t overcrowd pan
- Remove ribs from pan and throw in vegetables and cook until lightly brown
- Drain fat from pan
- Pour in port wine and reduce by 60% (I'm not sure what 60% meant so I just winged it)
- Put ribs back in
- Cover with veal stock and broth until meat is covered
- Cover pan with foil (or lid) and bake in 350 degree oven for 2 ½ hours (or simmer on stove top at low heat, same thing said Jason, who needed the oven for his own purposes that day)
- Let cool and refrigerate overnight to let fat set
- 1 hour prior to serving, scoop up fat and reheat on stove top at low heat for another hour

Place short ribs (2 per person) on plate, cover with sauce and garnish with chervil.

I served mine with arugula-bleu-cheese-mashed-potatoes (leftover in the freezer) and green salad (leftover from the chicken recipe I made two days before)
* Low heat is the key to this recipe. You will dry the meat out if you turn it up any higher.
* Though I did pour some of the sauce on top of the meat, I also poured extra sauce into a little bowl. Jason and I would cut off a small piece of meat and dunk it in the bowl as we ate. DELICIOUS!

Budget rundown:
6 Short Ribs (Whole Foods)-$22 (I know--yikes! But I don't like the meat at our local Safeway or Asian supermarket)
Carrot (Whole Foods)-20 cents/stick
(Whole Foods)-$1.99/package
Yellow Onion
(Whole Foods)-40 cents/each
Port Ruby Wine (Trader Joe's)-$6.99/bottle

Jason likes making homemade stock, and we had plenty of leftover veal stock in the freezer, so that's what I used.

Total cost: $31.58
Cost of each meal:
$5.26. Since I cut the recipe in half, it should technically be three meals. But since one rib was good enough for each of us (it's pretty heavy), especially with the potatoes and salad, it made six meals. I suppose if you're a big meat eater, that wouldn't be the case.

I know what you're thinking. I failed by going over the $5 limit (though honestly this meal would be much more expensive in a restaurant!). But you haven't read about my hamburgers yet! Stay tuned...

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