Monday, August 27, 2012
My Take On Bittman's Ribs
There are some cooks and chefs who's recipes I trust and some I steer away from. Ina Garten -- too much mayonnaise. Bobby Flay -- his flavors just aren't that interesting to me. I can't even think about looking at recipe form Paula Dean or (shudder) Sandra Lee. But, I never find fault with Mark Bittman.
Bittman is one of America's great cooks. He has been called America's best home cook and his consistently solid ideas and recipes are a great place to start looking when I'm ready to start cooking.
His short ribs simmer for hours in a sauce of chiles, red wine, and coffee -- flavors James loves. I knew this one would be a hit.
I started by browning the well seasoned meat in a hot pan with olive oil. I put the meat into the crock pot. With the pan on low I tossed in a chopped onion, 3 chopped cloves of garlic, a dried chile d'arbol and a pimiente d' espellette (not what Bittman uses but it's what I had and they are both flavorful pods). After about 15 minutes the onion was soft and ready to add in the liquid. I poured in 1 cup of strong coffee and 1 cup of red wine. With the heat on high I reduced the liquid by half and poured everything over the meat in the crock pot along with a pinch of cinnamon and about 2 TB of brown sugar. Eight hours on low and this fairly fuss-free dinner was ready to serve with buttery mashed potatoes and sautéed green beans -- direct from our garden.
"This is really good honey," James said between bites. "Hold onto this one."