Total Satisfaction

Posted: November 23, 2010 | Author: Alyssa | Filed under: Alyssa | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

If you’re anything like me (god help you) you sometimes get things stuck in your head and become a little fixated, ok obsessed, with them. For me this happens a decent amount. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t get fixated on people and hide in bushes and stuff. That kind of stalking is just too damned exhausting for me to keep up with. For me its more things like songs, ideas, and recipes. The song thing I’ve learned to deal with by playing it repeatedly in my car until it loses some of its appeal. not so much that I can’t stand it, but just enough so that I don’t have it stuck in my head all day every day. Ideas I usually try to follow through on, or I quickly realize that I’m setting myself up for impressive amounts of failure and thus abort mission. Recipes, well the only way to get those out of my head is pretty obvious, make the dish!

My recent obsession in the kitchen has been a two part situation. I discovered a recipe for ravioli in a balsamic brown butter sauce that sounded amazing, and perfect for me because I LOVE ravioli, but ravioli in red sauce sometimes makes me a little gaggy. Not because of the flavors, but I think something about the combined textures some times makes me a little queasy. So this new sauce seemed like a perfect fit for me: butter, no tomato, and less sauce overall since the oil from the butter would allow the ravioli to be coated in flavor without running the risk of over saucing. Then, being one who needs to complicate all things, I discovered a recipe for balsamic braised short ribs (thank you culinary cell phone apps). It immediately clicked in my head that with the common denominator of balsamic, these two things would go together perfectly, and not to brag, but I was damn right.

Now some of you are probably thinking, why waste time becoming fixated, why not just cook it dumbass? And while you have a valid point, I have a better one :) . This is a recipe that requires some love and attention, as well as a decent amount of time which is a pretty rare thing in my life these days. So I waited until I knew I would have time and then i got to it. I went to my local butcher (luckily he’s about 500 yards down the road so its pretty sweet) and got my short ribs and I was ready to go. So here it is: Ravioli in a Balsamic Brown Butter Sauce with Braised Short Ribs.

For the ribs:

You will need about 4 pounds of short ribs. Pat the ribs dry and sprinkle them with salt and pepper. In a greased dutch oven over medium-high heat, brown the ribs on all sides. This takes some finageling (yeah thats a word) because it requires some weird balancing of ribs, but trust me its worth it because the more you brown the meat, the more flavor you are going to get. Once the ribs are browned, pull them out and set them aside for a few minutes (you may have to brown in batches). Add 2 cups of diced red onion to the pan and brown. Once brown add in 12 cloves of garlic, diced, and cook for about a minute until you can really smell the garlic. Put the ribs back in the pan and add 2 cups beef broth, 3/4 cup of balsamic vinegar, 1 cup red wine, 2 cups diced tomato and 1/3 cup of packed brown sugar.

                                                                      Cover the pan and put it in a 275 oven for about 2 hours, or until the meat is tender. Once its done in the over, let it cool a little and then put it in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours. I let mine sit over night, but that was more a time issue rather than a recipe issue. About an hour before you are ready to serve it, pull it out of the fridge and skim the fat off the top. Heat it on the stove over medium heat until everything is hot.

While the meat is heating up, prepare the ravioli. For this one, I used a prepared mushroom ravioli because I haven’t yet mastered the art of pasta and if I can’t do it better than I can buy it, why bother? You can also prepare the balsamic brown butter sauce while everything else is cooking.

Over medium heat, cook 6 Tbsp of unsalted butter. It will melt, then foam, and then begin to turn brown. Once it begins to turn brown, turn off the heat and let it sit for one minute. Then add 2Tbsp of balsamic vinegar and a pinch of salt and pepper. Add about a half a cup of the braising liquid, and cook the liquid until it reduces enough to coat the spatula. While the sauce is reducing, slice up the short ribs and toss them in with the cooked ravioli. Once the sauce is ready, pour it over the ravioli and toss to coat. Top with some shavings of parmesan and enjoy!

There is something truly satisfying about eating a meal after you have put in so much time and effort, to me its the ultimate in comfort food.  Rich delicious food that I have had to work for and prepare.  When a recipe comes together and tastes so homey and good, its a sense of satisfaction that can’t be duplicated. 


Johanna: The Improviser

Never quite follows the recipe. Doesn't really measure. Tastes with her fingers. Somehow, it always works.

Alyssa: The Triple Threat

Can do it all. And modest to boot.

Bakezilla: We Use Mixers Too

She likes to bake. Actually, baking is the only thing she does. It's a passion.

Rita: The Kosher Chick

Restrictions have nothing on her.