We rarely eat beef—expensive, for one thing—but we’ve hit a beef patch, as it were.
Beef short ribs: When I went to Safeway to pick up some prescriptions, they were not ready, so during the 20-minute wait I wandered around the store with a shopping cart. The first thing I checked was the sale shelf in the meat department, and there I found two packages of beef short ribs at 50% off. Okay, that’s worth thinking about, particularly in winter weather. I do have a good recipe for boneless beef short ribs that I have used several times. But I wanted to use what I had on hand, so:
Salt the bottom of the 4-qt sauté pan, then heat it well over medium-high heat.
Brown the short ribs well on most sides. (I skipped the bone side.)
Deglaze pan with 1/4 c red wine, then add:
2 of the big stubby carrots cut into chunks
1.5 Spanish onions cut into chunks
3-4 stalks celery cut into chunks
1 package thick-sliced crimini mushrooms
a small handful of garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp horseradish
2 Tbsp brown rice vinegar (I would have used lemon juice if I’d had it)
1 Tbsp soy sauce
2-3 tsp dried thyme
good grinding of black pepper
I covered it and left it in a 200F oven overnight. Very nice looking this morning. I’ll use the fat-skimmer to get the fat off the liquid and serve it with black rice and steamed broccoli.
Then for New Year’s, we’re going to splurge on a prime rib roast, following this interesting guide—for example, from the link:
Does it really matter when I salt my meat?
Absolutely. Take a look at the picture above, which shows the same piece of salted meat with photos taken about 13 minutes apart. In the top row, the salt is still in large crystals, just beginning to dissolve. Because of a phenomenon known as osmosis, the salt will initially draw liquid out of the meat and onto the surface. By the 25 minute mark (bottom left corner), those juices form distinct droplets on the meat’s surface. Meat cooked at this stage will lose moisture fast, giving you a leathery crust.
Eventually, as we hit the 40-minute mark, the salty meat juices have begun to react with the muscle fibers themselves, dissolving some of their proteins, and causing the structure of the meat to open up, like a sponge. The extracted meat juices soon get reabsorbed, and the salt goes along for the ride. The result is better, more deeply-seasoned beef.
Given a few days, unlike a marinade, salt can actually slowly work its way deeper into the meat. I like to heavily salt my prime rib at least four days before roasting before covering it with plastic wrap and placing it in the fridge.
And don’t forget to put salt on the table as well—after you slice that beef, there’s a huge expanse of pink meat in the center that needs to be seasoned too!
UPDATE: This looks like an excellent horseradish sauce for the rib roast.