Thursday, August 4, 2011

#57 - Indian-Spiced Short Ribs

We're kinda big Top Chef fans, and when we found this recipe online from Top Chef Season 6 winner and all-around kitchen ninja Michael Voltaggio, we knew we had to give it a try. Now, if only we had a fully stocked kitchen and a suite of GE appliances...

Indian-Spiced Short Ribs

From Top Chef Michael Voltaggio
This is an Indian-inspired dish, so there are a lot of spices. It's also a Top Chef recipe, so there are like a thousand steps.
The first step is to toast some seeds before grinding them, but we couldn't find the cumin seeds that the recipe called for, so we just used already ground cumin.
Then after browning the meat in a big pot (we used a Dutch oven), you cook some vegetables.
Then you make a braising liquid and add in some of the spice blend - called a garam masala - and you add the meat back in and plop it in the oven.
Oh wow. Now we know why this dude won.

A) This was delicious.
B) It was impossible to make.

You really feel like you're competing for Padma and the judges when you use this many ingredients and techniques for one meal.

And then you really feel like you are Padma and the judges when you get to eat it. Because it was crazy good.
If you've got the time and energy, pack your knives and go make this:
  • 1/4 cup coriander seeds
  • 2 Tbs cumin seeds
  • 1 Tbs black peppercorns
  • 1 Tbs ground ginger
  • 1 Tbs ground cardamom
  • 1 Tbs cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 bay leaves, crumbled
  • 2 Tbs canola oil
  • 4 boneless short ribs, trimmed of fat
  • Salt
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 celery rib, chopped
  • 3 plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 2 heads garlic, halved crosswise
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • 1 qt chicken stock
  1. Preheat oven to 325.
  2. In a small skillet, toast coriander and cumin seeds over medium-high heat, shaking pan constantly, about 2 minutes.
  3. After seeds are cooled, grind with peppercorns, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, crushed red pepper, and bay leaves in a spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle. Pulse this garam masala to a powder.
  4. Heat oil in a large cast-iron casserole over high heat.
  5. Season short ribs with salt, and sear until browned and crusty all over, about 15 minutes. Transfer meat to a plate.
  6. Add the onion, carrots, and celery to the casserole and cook over medium heat until lightly browned, about 7 minutes.
  7. Add the garlic, tomatoes, and 3 tablespoons of the spice mixture and cook until fragrant and the tomatoes are starting to break down, about 3 minutes.
  8. Add the wine, and boil until reduced by half, scraping up any browned bits of meat, about 5 minutes.
  9. Add the stock and bring to a simmer.
  10. Return meat to the casserole and season with salt.
  11. Cover and braise in the over for about 2 hours, until just tender.
  12. Transfer the meat to a baking sheet.
  13. Strain the liquid into a saucepan. Skim off and discard the fat that rises to the surface.
  14. Boil liquid over high heat until reduced to 1 cup, about 15 minutes.
  15. Preheat the broiler and position rack 8 inches from the heat.
  16. Brush the meat with some of the sauce and broil for 3 minutes per side, until browned and sizzling.
  17. Sprinkle meat lightly with the garam masala powder, then slice it 1/2 inch thick.
  18. Serve with remaining sauce.

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