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September 25, 2009

Braised Short Ribs from Bon Appetit

I went to the Silver Spring Farmer's market looking for duck last Saturday. I have never cooked duck and really was anxious to give it a try. Unfortunately, the stand that was suppose to have it did not. The sign said "we were too tired". Ok, I'll let them have that. I don't imagine their job is easy. I had to think quickly and decided on some short ribs. I got a small package of only about 3 or 4.

Not having planned on short ribs, I had no idea what I wanted to do with them. I went home and figured it would come to me while cleaning. While going through my giant stack of magazines, there it was- Bon Appetit with a gorgeous cover shot of braised short ribs. Perfecto!

Here's the thing thing though with me and recipes- I don't follow them. I hate using recipes. I think this goes back to when I was a kid and would get a new game at Christmas. I would never want to read the directions. I prefer figuring it out on my own. This could lead to a culinary catastrophe (which it has many times) or something quite fantastic. When baking, it usually is the former. You can't mess around with baking. It requires precision. That's probably why I enjoy cooking savory dishes- much more wiggle room for inventiveness.

All tangents aside, I pretty much followed this recipe. I opted not to bother with the turnips, celery, cloves and carrots. I just wasn't in the mood. I did use the sun-dried tomatoes, onions, wine and all the rest of the ingredients. Most importantly- I whipped up a batch of garlic mashed potatoes. Let's be honest, I was making the entire meal as an excuse to have them.

The short ribs were pretty good. I could've cooked them longer had I been more patient. They weren't quite as tender as I had hoped, but the flavor in the sundried tomato & wine gravy was excellent. It was rich and savory with a hint of sweet from the dried tomatoes. I also paired it with the swiss chard which was pretty good, too. I have to admit, I could kind of take it or leave it. I'm not that crazy about the texture- it's somewhat like thin paper- but the flavor has a nice bitterness to compliment the rich whipped potatoes and comforting gravy. All in all not a bad meal. Would be great on a cold winter day with a glass of wine and some forgiving pants... like jammies. Bon Appetit!



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