Cooking With Local Chefs

Cooking with Chef Rov Avila | Braised beef short ribs are worth waiting for

We may be in the middle of summer here in Florida, but from time to time I crave a nice piece of perfectly and patiently braised beef. The only downfall of making beef short ribs is that they take some time to prepare. The dish is perfect for a weekend or for special occasions.

The last time I prepared them, I did it the traditional way seared and braised on really low flame for several hours. The side item that I chose was a savory and sweet butternut squash polenta and the sauce to top the short ribs was a port wine and orange-infused demi-glace, which made for a pefect sweet and savory dish combination. I hope you like this recipe as much as I did.

Braised beef short ribs

2 ounces olive oil

3 pounds trimmed and boneless beef short ribs

Salt to taste

Black pepper to taste

Season the short ribs with salt and pepper and let rest for about 10-15 minutes at room temperature heat the oil in a skillet then once very hot place the short ribs in skillet and sear the meat on all sides should not be on the heat for longer than 5 minutes (you only need a nice sear on the meat)

Brown Sauce (simmering liquid)

8 ounces yellow onion, medium diced

5 ounces carrots, medium diced

5 ounces celery, medium diced

5 ounces butter

6 ounces flour

3.5 quarts beef stock (reserve 1/2 quart on side; store brought beef broth will work perfect as well)

3 ounces tomato paste

2 bay leaves

1/2 teaspoons thyme

6 sprigs parsley

1- 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

Saute vegetables until browned, moving

constantly then add the flour to form a roux. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. Add the tomato puree, bay leaves, thyme and celery until well mixed, then add just a small portion of the beef stock to help break any lumps of flour.

Add the remaining stock. Let simmer at low heat for about 20-25 minutes. Mix liquid sporadically to ensure it is not scorching the bottom of the pot; once it's done it should have the consistency of a light gravy, not to thin or runny.

Strain liquid through a fine mesh strainer, reserving all the liquid and discarding all the solids. Reserve 1/2 quart of the brown sauce and set aside. Then return the rest of the sauce to the pot and bring back to a low simmer; place the seared short ribs in simmering liquid then bring to a very low simmer and cover.

Let cook for 2-3 hours occasionally, stirring to ensure meat is not sticking to the bottom of the pot. When they are finished they should be fork tender.

Orange and Port wine infused Demi-Glace

1/2 quart of brown sauce

1/2 quart beef stock/broth

2 cups port wine

1- 1/2 cups orange juice (pulp free)

Place the beef stock and the brown sauce in a soup pot and simmer at very low heat for at least 1 hour until liquid is reduced by half. In a separate pot you will place the port wine and let reduce at medium heat (it might flame briefly), then add the orange juice and simmer for 5 minutes, then incorporate this mixture into the demi-glace that has come close to finish; simmer the mixture for 5 more minutes and it should be done

For plating, place the braised short ribs on a nice helping of yellow rice or garlic mashed potatoes and drizzle the demi-glace on top of the short rib.

Rov Avila, a native of Honduras, is executive chef at YachtSea Grille and a culinary arts instructor at MTI Culinary Arts.