When Fabulous People Are Coming to Dinner: Ina's Beef Short Ribs
I’m about to be butchered by Ina Garten lovers everywhere. So I’ll just start by saying, I love to cook her recipes and I even watch her show(s).
She makes her own chicken stock and never fails to mention it when including it in any recipe: “2 cups of home made chicken stock. It’s really the best.”
She grinds her own spices.
She uses only “really good olive oil”.
She grows her own herbs. “This is rosemary right from my garden.”
She’s a master of the kitchen and all things kitchen related.
That said….She’s a bit of a name dropper.
Each time I tune in she’s about to host a luncheon/dinner/beach party for every fabulous gay person east of Nassau County. I honestly think I recently I heard her say: ”Truman Capote and Liberace are coming for lunch, so I’m making cornish game hens and apple turnovers.”
Or maybe it was more like: “Andy Warhol agreed to paint my hallway so I’m making him salmon with lentils!”
And, then there’s Jeffrey. Jeffrey (for the non-Ina aficionado) is Ina’s husband. They’ve been married for like a gazillion years. Jeffrey works and lives in Manhattan Mon – Fri – venturing out to Ina’s Hampton’s home only on weekends. And, when he arrives, Ina kills the fatted calf – or in her case – chicken.
Ina gives the impression that Jeffrey is unable to do anything by himself – except live in NYC. So, Ina gets busy in the kitchen making all of Jeffrey’s favorite meals whenever she has to leave town. And, seriously, sometimes she’s planning to be gone for a just a few hours. “I’ve been invited to go skating with Brian Boitano tonight, so I’m making Jeffrey’s favorite cappuccino ice cream for him while I’m away.”
OK. I feel better. So, back to the fact that I love her recipes (‘How Easy Is that?”), I’ve made her Scott’s Short Ribs a half dozen times and they are easy and delicious.
Ina Garten’s Scott’s Short Ribs (Serves 8 – hers serves 6, but I was having 8 to dinner)
Important to note:
- The entire process of making this meal, including chopping…takes about 4 hours
- In a small apartment like mine…If you can close your bedroom and bathroom doors while the meat is in the oven…do it. The beefy winey aroma is lovely on the evening it’s made…Not so much the next day on your linens or towels
- There’s a bit of chopping…so, make Anne Burrell proud and mise en place if you can
This is Fennel I’m sure of it
8 Beef Short Ribs, trimmed as best you can of the fat. Ina’s butcher does it for her…but that might not be what happens to you….or, me.
- 1/4 Cup Good Olive Oil – whatever you do, do NOT use shitty olive oil! That would really piss Ina off!
- 2 Medium Sized Onions Chopped
- 4 Cups Large-Diced Celery – Ina says that’s 6 stalks, but only if the stalks are from her magical giant celery growing garden….It’s more like 10 stalks of celery
- 2 Carrots peeled and large diced
- 1 Small Fennel – fronds, stems and core removed and large diced
1 Leek, cleaned large diced, white part only - (to clean it best…chop and submerge pieces in ice water then fish out with a spider…the dirt/grit will fall to the bottom of the bowl)
- 3 Garlic Cloves, finely chopped
- 1 750ml bottle of Burgundy or Pinot Noir or other dry red wine – plus 14 bottles for your thirsty friends who are coming to dinner
- Fresh Rosemary – from your garden…Or, Whole Foods or other
- Fresh Thyme Sprigs
- 6 Cups of Beef Stock or Broth – I use the 365 Brand at Whole Foods and 6 Cups is a box and a half
- 1 TBSP Brown Sugar
- Salt and Pepper – Ina prefers Kosher Salt, of course
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
1. Place the short ribs on a sheet pan and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper
Try to get the same size short ribs…
2. Put the ribs in the oven and roast undisturbed for :15 minutes (go to step 4) – remove from oven and set aside
3. Reduce heat to 300 degrees
4. While the ribs are roasting, heat the olive oil in a large dutch oven (I use my pretty blue Le Creuset, of course) over medium low heat
5. Add the onion, celery, carrots, fennel and leek and cook for about :20 minutes stirring occasionally
6. After :20, add the garlic and cook for another :02 minutes – or until you can smell the garlic goodness
7. Pour the wine over the veggies and bring to a boil
8. Continue to cook over high heat until the liquid is reduced by about 1/2
9. Add a TBSP of salt and 1 TSP of pepper
10. Make a bundle of several sprigs of rosemary and several sprigs of thyme and throw them in the pot
11. Nestle the ribs into the winey vegetables and pour the beef broth over them – the ribs should be totally submerged
12. Throw in the brown sugar
13. Bring to a simmer over high heat….Once simmering, put the lid on the dutch oven and carefully put it into the oven for 2 hours. The meat will be very tender.
14. After 2 hours, remove the pot from the oven and the ribs from the pot. Set ribs aside keeping them warm if possible
15. Discard the herbs and skim off the excess fat
16. Over medium, cook the vegetables and sauce for :20 minutes until reduced slightly
17. Plate the ribs and pour some of the sauce and veggies over them
18. Plate the veggies separately
20. Ask yourself: How easy is that?
This is a great meal for groups because it’s delicious and impressive. And also because all of the work will be done hours before your guests arrive.
But don’t even think of making the short ribs for Jeffrey and Ina on a friday. They’re having chicken with Jodie Foster and Neil Patrick Harris.
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