For the last couple of weeks, there's been a bit of
As the time grew closer for my son to leave, I asked him what he wanted for his "Last Supper". His quick response was "Osso Bucco". He says it's one of the most memorable recipes I've ever made. Unfortunately, my beloved "off brand" cast iron Dutch oven had finally given up the ghost . That is, chunks of enamel started to come off the bottom, and didn't seem like a good idea to continue using it.
this 2011 recipe, on my blog (photos taken before I upgrade to a better camera.) I had purchased boneless short ribs that I found at Costco. (I've used these before to make my easy "Asian Style Short Ribs"). I turned to one of my most trusted recipe sources, Cook's Illustrated, to find a recipe for boneless short ribs. Bingo! I had all the ingredients.
Once I seared the short ribs on both sides, I set them aside on a plate. So, now it's time to cook 2 large onions...
To that I added beef broth, carrots, fresh thyme and a bay leaf. Last, but not least, I returned the short ribs, with any accumulated juice, to the pot.
The pot is covered, and placed into a 300F oven for 2 to 2-1/2 hours; until a fork slips easily in and out of the meat (turning the meat, twice, during cooking).
The aroma of the red wine braising sauce was intoxicating, to say the least. I was able to clean up the kitchen, and to relax while the oven did the rest of the work. To finish making this recipe, I removed the braised short ribs and carrots and strained the braising liquid into a fat separator. I pressed the aromatics and onions, to get every last bit of sauce.
The final step was to add a little bit of unflavored gelatin to the sauce. Why? Here's how Cook's Illustrated explains why:
To develop a short ribs recipe with fork-tender meat and a silky, grease-free sauce in just a few hours, we chose boneless ribs, which are significantly less fatty than ribs with bones. We missed the body that the bones’ connective tissue added, so we sprinkled some gelatin into the sauce for suppleness.
Polenta is our favorite choice as a vehicle for eating short ribs. This time, I opted to serve this dish with pappardelle pasta. I wish I had some freshly parsley to add some color to this dish-- but either way, I think you will be very pleased with this recipe. We sure were!
A week later, and the night before my son left, I did make the Osso Bucco recipe with creamy polenta recipe for my son.
For dessert, I made my son's favorite dessert:
New York Cheesecake with a fresh strawberry sauce (recipe coming soon).
My son was very happy, indeed. A good mother's strategy is to send off her one and only child with memories of his favorite homemade meals. That should assure me that he'll be back-- if only for just a visit.
I'm sure going to miss not having him around. He really was one of my most honest food critics. Now, it's just the two of us-- so I'm going to focus on making scaling down some recipes. Stay tuned!
Oh! Yes, I'm definitely going to visiting Texas in the next few months. My son is bragging how he's eating the best brisket he's ever had. I'm in!
TASTING NOTES: As far as prep time is concerned, this recipe is a lot less work/effort that other short rib recipes that I've made. I didn't have a lot of chopping to do, as I do with Osso Bucco. The flavor of the sauce was very similar to Osso Bucco, and I wouldn't change a thing. I liked that the boneless short ribs didn't yield a lot of fat that I had to skim off-- and that they were super tender. Delicious!
My Le Creuset Dutch oven impressed me. I'll be using this new kitchen tool for many more years to come. I seriously doubt that I would have to worry about enamel chipping off. If it should, I have a lifetime warranty on this pot. That makes me justify the investment that I paid. PS: I'm not being paid to endorse their products, either! I wish!
Here's the recipe: