Beef is tasty in all it various shapes, sizes and cuts, and frequently the cheapest/toughest cuts can be the most interesting.  That is certainly the case here.  In this video recipe, I show you how to make a braised short rib with celery root puree.  Short ribs are a tough cut of meat, that I never quickly sear and serve like I would other cuts of steak.    Instead, I braise them slowly at low temperature, in wine and chicken stock, flavored with aromatic vegetables.  At the end of a few hours, you end up with an extremely tender, flavorful piece of meat, that is well worth the wait.  The meat pairs beautifully with the celery root puree, which is similar to mashed potatoes, but has its own unique flavor, and makes this a truly elegant recipe.  It's a dish of cheaper ingredients that I'm now seeing all the time in the finest restaurants.  Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Recipe overview and Keys to Success

To make the best Braised Short Rib you need to know just a few things:

  • Make sure you sear the meat well prior to starting the braise.  Seared, the meat will provide a lot more flavor to the braising liquid, and give the overall dish a deeper, more complex taste and texture
  • Cook long, over low heat.  A braise is not a boil.  The braising liquid should just be simmering, and it will take a few hours to get the meat fork tender – you can’t really rush it
  • After cooking, but before serving, I really like to remove the bone, and tendons.  While they don’t affect the flavor, they crowd the plate, and the tendon especially is not something you’ll want to try to take a bite of
  • Finally, I like to finish the short rib in the broiler with some of the braising liquid basted on – that gets the edges crispy, and creates a great texture and flavor. 

RECIPE FOR BRAISED SHORT RIB WITH CELERY ROOT PUREE

Ingredients (for 2)

  • 1 Celery root
  • 1 large russet potato
  • 1 pint of heavy cream (use milk for a lighter version)
  • 4 – 5 tablespoons butter
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 short ribs
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 onion
  • 1 celery rib
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoons herb de provence
  • 2 bay leaves

Making the Braised Rib with Celery Root Puree

  • The celery root puree can be made hours ahead of time.   Get the celery root puree video here, recipe listed below
  • Season the short ribs with salt and pepper
  • Sear the short ribs in a bit of olive oil in a stew pot, until well browned on all sides
  • Add the carrot, celery, onion, and garlic all coarsely chopped to the pot, and allow the vegetables to sauté with the meat for about 10 minutes, or until the onions start to become translucent and slightly browned
  • Add the red wine, bring to a simmer and let it simmer for about 15 minutes
  • Add the chicken stock – note you want the ribs about 4/5 covered with liquid; if you don’t need all the stock, don’t use it
  • Add the herb de provence and the bay leaves
  • Cover and set the temperature so it’s just barely simmering
  • Cook for about 2 hours, and then check on the meat, gently pulling on it with a fork
  • You’re looking for the meat to pull away easily; check every 20 minutes or so, it may take up to 3 hours to get there
  • Turn your oven’s broiler on high
  • Remove the short ribs from the braising liquid, and strain out the vegetables reserving the liquid
  • Return the liquid to a pan, add a tablespoon of brown sugar, and reduce by 50%
  • While the stock reduces, cut away the short rib meat, from the bone and the tendon
  • Once reduced, use a bit of corn starch, mixed with water to thicken the sauce
  • Coat the short ribs with the reduced, thicken braising liquid and put them in the oven under the broiler
  • The glaze will start to caramelize in just a few minutes, so don’t walk away, and check the meat often
  • Remove the meat once the edges have crisped up a bit, and serve on top of the celery root puree; drizzle a bit more of the sauce over the rib

Serve and enjoy!!  The recipe does take some time, but it’s not a ton of work and it is a ton of flavor, definitely one of my favorites.

Wine Recommendation:  I love California cabs with my beef; but I think a nice big jammy zinfandel would also go really well.  Enjoy

Celery Root Puree

  • Clean the celery root, and chop it into pieces that are ~2 inches square; put them into a pot of room temperature water
  • Peel the potato, and chop it into pieces the same size; put them into the same pot
  • Put the pot on the heat, and bring to a simmer
  • Cook the celery root and potato until tender
  • Drain them from the water and put them into a food processor with a few tablespoons of cream and half the butter
  • Season with a salt and pepper, and pulse a few times to start the puree
  • Scrape down the sides, and blend until smooth
  • At any time you can add more cream/butter to add more flavor, and to create a smoother texture; taste the puree a couple times to determine if you should add more
  • Once smooth you’re good to go; you can easily make this ahead of time, and hold it for a hour or so; or several hours in the fridge.  When ready you can re-heat, maybe with a bit more cream to help loosen the puree
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