Everyone has a signature dish and this is mine. Juicy shortribs rolled on the bone, braised low and slow to mouth watering perfection, finished with a red wine morel mushroom sauce that is reduced with crème fraîche, touch of grain mustard, and a pinch of nutmeg.
I love stroganoff but, I do not love that greyish beef gravy it is often served with. As good as it tastes, the look is not appealing. If you add the crème fraîche or sour cream while reducing the sauce it will not change color but it will have that characteristic tang that makes stroganoff, stroganoff.
I serve homemade thick cut egg pasta with this dish called Pappardelle. Sometimes I toss the noodles in butter and add a twist of cracked blacked pepper. Or, in this case, I poured my favorite parmesan cream sauce with caraway seeds over top. Either way is delicious, it just depends how decadent you want to go.
Creating shortribs rolled on the bone takes a little knife work. However, the extra attention to detail creates a beautiful presentation and a more succulent finished product.
Ask your butcher for a rack of beef shortribs of 3 to 4 bones. I have used racks of 3 bones before but 4 is easier to roll. Ask the butcher to cut the ribs across the rack of bones in 2-inch strips. This cut is similar to what is called “flanken” (often used in Korean BBQ) but larger.
Figure on 3 to 4 servings per shortrib rack. One strip is going to be smaller because ribs tend to be fattier at one end. Even though shortribs are still considered a butcher cut, they are very expensive today even at wholesale prices which makes this dish, rolled on the bone, a special one. Each roll is about 1-pound before braising.
Remove the bones from each strip, clean the best looking one, trim excess fat from the strip and any silver skin, roll strip back around bone and tie with string. Sounds easy, but it will take a little practice to get the hang of it.
When tying the kitchen string around the roll start at the bottom, then tie the top, last secure the middle. And don’t tie too tight or your shortrib roll will have muffin top.
Generously season the shortribs before searing with Kosher salt and black pepper. Add mirepoix and sauté until lightly caramelized. Add dry red wine, herbs, then beef stock bring to a boil and braise, braise, braise…
This is a great dish to entertain with because it can be made the day ahead – and it is much, much better if made the day before. I have yet to serve this dish at a restaurant or at home and not have all the dishes come back squeaky clean!
- 4 pieces center-cut flanken-style beef chuck shortribs, (shortribs cut across the bone) about 1 pound each
- 2 medium carrot, chopped
- 4 ribs of celery, chopped
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2 shallots, diced
- 1⁄4 bunch parsley stalks
- 4 stalks of tarragon
- 2 bay leaves
- 5 thyme sprigs
- 1 bottle dry red wine
- 5 cups low sodium or unsalted beef stock (chicken stock can be
- used in a pinch, the sauce will still be rich brown in color)
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter for finishing sauce
- 2 tablespoons crème fraîche
- 1 tablespoon grain mustard
- 2 pinches nutmeg
- Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 8 medium morel mushrooms, cleaned (dried can be used and rehydrated)
To create shortribs rolled on the bone place one strip on cutting board meat side down. With a filet knife, cut just under the bones to remove. Trim excess fat and sinews on both sides. Clean 4 bones with a small pairing knife by making an incision down the bone on either side and peeling away the sinew with fingertips. Season meat with salt and pepper. Roll rib tightly around the bone and tie with cooking twine, ensuring that the roll is secure in the middle, top, and bottom.
In an oven safe casserole large enough to fit the rolled ribs in one layer and with sides high enough to submerge ribs completely in liquid, heat 2 tablespoons of canola oil on high until it shimmers. Reduce heat to medium-high and add rolled ribs. Brown ribs on all sides using tongs to gently turn. Do not crowd ribs while searing or they will steam instead of brown.
Remove ribs to a plate. In the same casserole add 1 more tablespoon of oil. Add all the vegetables and cook stirring occasionally, until nicely caramelized and softened, about 5 minutes.
Add the bottle of red wine with all the herbs and bring to a boil. Skim greyish looking foam as it rises to the top. Add 5 cups of beef stock and continue to skim impurities while boiling. Gently place rolled ribs with tongs into liquid once it is boiling completely. If necessary add a little more beef stock to fully submerge. Cover with a lid that fits tightly or make a parchment paper circle the size of the casserole and place on top.
Put casserole in oven at 400 ̊F and cook for 21⁄2 to 3 hours until meat is fork tender.
When ribs are cooked, take casserole out from oven and gently remove rolled ribs to another casserole. Strain liquid over ribs and throw out cooked vegetables. Refrigerate over night.
To serve: take ribs from refrigerator and skim off fat that has solidified on top. Reheat ribs in an oven safe casserole uncovered for 20 minutes at 350 ̊F. Remove ribs gently to a plate and keep warm. Reduce braising liquid on stove top on high heat to 2 cups and add 2 tablespoons of butter, mustard, nutmeg, crème fraîche, and morel mushrooms. Place rolled ribs back in sauce and baste.
Serve ribs with extra sauce and pull bone up so that it shows. Don’t forget to cut off cooking twine. Garnish with buttered pappardelle, glazed baby carrots, sautéed swiss chard or vegetables of choice.