carmenere « blogging for burgers

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A (burger) lady in the kitchen.

Burgergal is an avid food blog reader.  She logs a lot of hours on Smitten Kitchen, Pioneer Woman, Eater, Serious Eats, so on and so forth.  It works out really well for me because then I can lay back and let the links come through to me.  It’s like an all-encompassing food edition of The Week magazine.  It’s a huge time saver for me 🙂

Anyway, BG stumbled upon this post which put her in the mood for short ribs.  After she sent me the link, I was in the mood for them, too.  However, being a Thursday during Lent, I knew that I was going to have to wait until Saturday to dive into a plate of beefy goodness.  Uncle G invited us over to hang out for the evening with my six-month old cousin, so we figured that it would be a perfect opportunity for burgergal to show off some of her skills in the kitchen.

And short ribs are tender enough for a six-month old, right?

Burgergal wanted to take care of the meal herself, so I was playing the role of assistant.  It’s tough for me to not jump into food preparation, but I had to force myself to be a (somewhat) passive bystander.

The menu:

– Short Ribs Braised in Carménère

– Parmesan Polenta

BG picked up a couple of pounds of short ribs, and I seasoned them up while she got her mise en place going.

A little onion…

And some shallots…

And a carrot (forgot to take a picture).  That was pretty much it.  The rest was all about the meat and the wine.  A very simple braising recipe by braising’s standards.

First, she rendered the fat from some pancetta and removed it from the dutch oven.  A little glug of olive oil added to the fat from the pancetta and it was time to brown the meat.  Easy stuff.  Burgergal handled this like a champ, with me only providing a watchful eye as she stole the show.

After removing the meat, she added the onions, shallots, and carrot and softened them up.  A nice amount of Carmenere and an equal amount of beef stock later, we were off to the races!  She added the short ribs back in and popped the whole thing into the oven for about three hours.  They emerged from the oven looking deep brown and succulent, with the meat falling off of the bone (as it should have).  Being Friday, I was gonna have to wait until Saturday to dig in.  I did, however, get to sing the McDonald’s “Give me back that filet-o-fish” song a few times.

For serving, we whipped up some polenta with parmesan, to use as the base for the braised goodness.  The recipe was very low fat, so it did not get as creamy as polenta is in restaurants, but the flavor was great and it made for a very photogenic presentation.

Burgergal’s short ribs: a million out of 7 cows!