Sunday, April 5, 2009

Cabernet Sauvignon Braised Short Ribs with Blue Cheese and Toasted Pine Nut Risotto

Our sister in law and her husband came over for dinner on Friday night with our cutest (and only!) nephew, Calvin III. I wanted to make something special since they have been so busy with the baby lately. How lucky was I to find short ribs at the local grocery store!!! I have been wanting to make short ribs after having a fantastic meal at Aerie restaurant at Grand Traverse Resort in Traverse City. I found this recipe on epicurious.com and adapted it for a smaller group. I also conserved some wine. I couldn't justify using two whole bottles of wine. And using Mary Ellen's perfected risotto technique, I put together a few of my favorite things... cheese, nuts and 'shrooms.

Cabernet Sauvignon Braised Short Ribs
3 to 4 pounds meaty beef short ribs
1 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
1 Tbps chopped fresh thyme
1/2 Tbsp kosher salt
1/2 Tbps freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 bottle Cabernet Sauvignon
4 C beef stock
2 Tbsp corn starch

Arrange ribs in single layer in 15x10x2-inch glass baking dish. Mix rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper in small bowl; sprinkle all over ribs. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour before continuing.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy wide ovenproof pot over medium-high heat. Add ribs to pot and cook until browned on all sides, about 8 minutes. Transfer ribs to large bowl. Pour off drippings from pot; discard. Add wine and stock to pot and bring to simmer, scraping up any browned bits. Return ribs and any accumulated juices to pot; bring to boil. Cover; transfer to oven and braise until meat is very tender and almost falling off bones, about 2 hours.

Bring to simmer before continuing. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the ribs to large bowl; cover tightly to keep warm. Skim any fat from top of braising liquid. Boil liquid until reduced to 2 generous cups, about 20 minutes. Mix 2 tablespoons corn starch with 4 tablespoons COLD water with fork in small bowl until well blended. Whisk corn starch mixture into reduced braising liquid. Whisk over medium-high heat until sauce thickens very slightly, about 2 minutes.

Blue Cheese and Toasted Pine Nut Risotto
1 Tbsp butter 1 Tbsp olive oil
1 shallot, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 C arborio rice
1/4 c dry white wine
5 cups chicken broth, heated
1/4 C pine nuts, toasted
1/4 C Reduced Fat Blue Cheese Crumbles (I like Treasure Cove)
6-8 button mushrooms, roughly chopped
Heat olive oil and butter in a large saute pan. Add shallots and garlic; stir until tender, about 2 minutes.

Add arborio rice and stir until coated. Add the white wine and stir until absorbed.

Add the chicken broth, one ladle at a time, stirring constantly. Add more broth only when all of the broth in the pan has been absorbed by the rice. This process of adding broth takes anywhere from 17 to 25 minutes. Taste as you go along so you don't over or under cook the rice.

When you add your final ladle of broth, add the blue cheese, mushrooms and pine nuts, and stir until broth is completely absorbed.

Serve immediately.


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