Looking north from Fire Island

Looking north from Fire Island
Continuing the cooking articles I write every summer

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Braised Beef Short Ribs with Macaroni

Bone and trim the meat. Flour, salt, pepper, brown in oil, remove from pot. Some oil should remain in the pot.
Have ready: two thick carrots, scraped and cut in two inch lengths, two onions peeled, cut into sixths top to bottom. 7 peeled cloves of garlic. One green apple, cored, cut into eighths, then cut again in half to give sixteen pieces. A small can of Spanish tomato sauce, or two huge TB tomato paste. Four Fire Island Bay leaves, 1/2 Tsp thyme, a branch of rosemary, minced, one Tb beef concentrate, two big TB tamarind paste, 2 TB flour.

With the fire at medium, hopefully with some oil remaining in the pot, add the carrots, onions, garlic which you have crushed and sliced, cook for ten minutes, turning a few times. Then add the tomato product on a cleared off area of the pot. Cook the tomato and then add enough water to just cover everything. Add the beef concentrate, tamarind, bay leaves, rosemary, and thyme. Return the meat to the pot, bring to a covered simmer. No boiling. You don’t want to see more than a very few bubbles. Cook until the meat is almost tender. Add salt, pepper, red pepper flakes. Add the apples, and cook until the meat is done. When the meat is tender delish, boil up a pot of salted water for pasta. Don’t use noodles, but instead use a short hollow kind, like Barilla mezzi rigatoni.

Put two TB flour into a bowl, and add enough water to make a loose paste called a slurry. With the meat is at a low boil, add the slurry, bit by bit, not all at once, to thicken the gravy. It must come to a boil. Not too thick, please. Now lift the cooked al dente pasta from the boiling water, and add it to the braised beef. Stir, correct the seasoning, and add a few spoons of grated parmesan cheese. Finally, drizzle some EVOO on top, generously.

This is serious food that goes straight where you live. A big, fat, red wine from Sicily or South Africa is best.

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