Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Masochism and Braised Meat

Anyone else like to test themselves sometime?  See how good you really are?  Yup, I decided to stack the deck against myself and then throw a party.  A wine tasting party.  Immediately after Trey was gone for a week, I was gone for a week, the baby still isn't sleeping much, oh and the hurricane is bearing down on us like a hungry bear on a barbeque buffet.  So, with only about a day to prepare and nothing to fortify me against the challenge ahead besides baileys in my coffee I set out to plan, prepare, serve, and entertain a total of 8 adults and 8 kids.  Kids are easy, mac and cheese, hot dogs, and cookies.  Of course, I know I could serve simple things like that for the adults.  But it wouldn't be nearly challenging, frustrating, and fraught with "I can't do this in time......aaaarrrrggghhhh.......maybe with another glass of wine I can make it."  Read here, not as much fun.  I know, not many people define "fun" as crying over ruined chicken kebobs......

So its a wine tasting, which means the food needs to go well with wine.  I kind of took the attitude that with enough wine the food will taste fine.  Plus, how do you match food with wine described as "well, it sat around in our cellar for so long that the label fell off and we aren't sure what it tastes like so we'll let our new friends be the guinea pigs."  We actually did open some pretty good bottles from our cellar. And a couple interesting ones.  And I think the food went pretty well.  Here's what the menu evolved into:

Wine Braised Short Ribs
Spicy Chicken Kebobs
Mushroom Truffle Soup
Feta Stuffed Mini Peppers
Cheese Plate
Charcuterie Plate
Assorted Chocolates

Wine Braised Short Ribs
4 lbs. trimmed beef short ribs
1 bottle wine plus a glass
1 onion
3cloves garlic
T olive oil
3T veal Demi glacé

Heat olive oil in a big-ass braising pan (yes, they do come in that size, just ask the prissy lady at Williams Sonoma, and tell her I sent you).  Brown the ribs on each side, about 4 min per side. Remove from pan and set on a plate. Sauté onions and carrots until crisp-tender, add garlic and sauté an additional 2 min. Pour yourself a glass of wine to make sure it will go well with the meat. Add about a cup of wine to the pan to de glaze.  Add another cup and a half plus 2 cups of stock.  Whisk to combine and place ribs back into pot in 1 layer, making sure they aren't completely covered in liquid.  Put the top back on and place into the oven. Bake for 3-4 hours, checking the meat about every time you refill your wine glass.  Remove ribs from braising liquid and st aside. Strain the braising liquid and return to the pot. Reduce for about 20 min, adding the veal Demi glacé and stirring. Return the ribs to the pot and serve.

More to come when I have another break from bottles, babies, and bath time.