Epic Short Ribs and the Best Salad for Spring

29 Mar

How often do I spend more than one day in preparation leading up to a regular family dinner?  Not often.  But yah know what?  Spring break means time.  Time to think, a valuable kind of time I don’t get much of in my busy life.  That’s why, when I broke out the Sous Vide Supreme, I had David Chang’s 48-hour short ribs in mind.  Cooked sous vide at 140 degrees F for two days, these ribs are the epitome of delicious. But it’s not just the time they spend soaking at their kind of spa–it’s the deep fry that crisps them and darkens their meaty exterior after they have achieved tender goodness.

It was a relaxing break for me and the short ribs, in a way.  After dropping them in their therapeutic bath, I spent two days hanging out, getting a massage, shopping, and, finally, getting ingredients for the dinner in which I would feature the ribs.  Both the ribs and I thoroughly benefited from our two days of relaxation, rest assured.

At Whole Foods, the day I would prepare the ribs, I bought a pretzel baguette on a whim–could I make it into a cool side dish?  Maybe.  I also picked up some mustard greens, a vegetable I often pass up for no good reason.  That day, it looked vibrant and crisp, and I was pumped about buying it.

When I started getting dinner ready, I decided to make a bread pudding with the pretzel baguette.  As I cut the bread, I thought of a great idea for the custard–what goes with pretzels better than mustard?  Not many things.  So I shamelessly went for the brown mustard over Dijon in search of a classic taste.  A little pinch of (gasp!) dry rosemary gave a subtle herbal touch to the bread puddings, and I baked them in muffin tins to facilitate individual service.

Now, I would be serving deep fried, meaty goodness with a rich, dense bread pudding…so  I figured I should probably offset the heaviness with something lighter and punchier.  Salad!  Normally, few people get very excited about salads.  But the salad I put together was nothing short of fantastic and interesting, culinarily analogous to falling in love with a surprisingly exciting suitor.  Or rather, to having an affair–after all the time I spent on the short ribs, I was shocked to fall so hard for a last minute salad.  But here’s how it went down: remember those mustard greens?

Although they are too tough to enjoy raw in a salad, the mustard greens are delightful after a super-quick blanch in well salted water.  After a few seconds in boiling water and then a dunk in a bowl of ice water, the mustard greens were perfect.  I dried them off and then got to work on the salad condiments.  First, I rendered some lardons of homemade bacon.  Next, I poached some carrots in maple syrup and butter.  Yep, you heard me.  It was sexy.  After that, I blanched and peeled those fava beans everyone loves to prep out so dearly.  But shelling them was not so bad, and it was worth it!

In the end, I had a beautiful melange of colors–the bright greens of the favas and mustard greens and orange of the carrots, made heartier with crisp, brown pieces of my bacon.  I dressed the salad with a thick vinaigrette my mom had in the fridge, made with vinegar, lemon, dijon, oil, and a touch of brown sugar.  Perhaps more vibrant than the colors were the flavors–sweet, spicy, tangy, and meaty.  All in one sexy salad.  Boom!

The ribs also came out beautifully, as did the bread puddings.  What a meal!  Be jealous, as you salivate to the pictures below.  Or recreate the dishes and get some yumminess!

short ribs, salad, bread pudding. up close and personal...we had already started eating...

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One Response to “Epic Short Ribs and the Best Salad for Spring”

  1. Mitch Bogdanffy March 30, 2011 at 9:48 pm #

    Now you in my backyard!! Lastly, what drink would you serve wit gat?? IPA?? Perhaps Under the Bed IPA?? Ribs for 2 days..,.wow cotical and trabecular integration,,translates into perfect blend. Delicious and therapuetic! Wheels r turning. Next time on BI,,we collaberate! Collard Greens Rule!

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