Short rib meat/liquid proportion question
I am planning to make a raised short ribs with Dijon mustard recipe from epicurious on Christmas Day. It calls for 1 cup of a wine reduction liquid for 4 lbs. of meat. I will be cooking 6 lbs. of ribs. Should I use 1-1/2 times the amount of liquid, or maybe double? 1-1/2 cups of liquid doesn't seem like much for 6 lbs. of short ribs. Anyone ever make this recipe? Any opinions?
This is a widely adapted version of the original recipe from Daniel Bouloud. The original recipe calls for 4 bottles of wine, reduced to one bottle and flambed (dangerous to do at home without proper ventilation) to burn off the alcohol. It is an amazingly delicious recipe and worth all the effort. The resulst are tender, very dark brown, incredibly rich ribs.
There are conflicting opinions of just how much liquid one needs to braise tough cuts of meat. Some feel the results are best when there is much liquid to cook with which then gets reduced after the meat has cooked, then the entire stew is reunited in the thickened broth. The other approach, which is what Bouloud takes, is to make a concentrated braising liquid before hand and braise the meat in as little liquid as possible. I should think your concentration should be on a flavorful broth to cook the ribs in, if you want more broth, increase your inital amount of wine prior to reducing it. The Chicago Tribune's Good Eating section did a home version of this same recipe last year - there search engine is down this morning, otherwise I'd have posted the link. Worth looking for to do a comparison.
I have made this recipe and it is excellent. It is so easy, so few ingredients and tastes like it was much harder to do. I plan on making it for new years. One suggestion on the recipe, I made it with fresh tomatoes the first time and with canned whole tomatoes the second and preferred the canned. If you do it with fresh tomatoes, I would remove the skins.
I would love to hear the response to this also because I have actually done the recipe with just 2 lbs of short ribs and there was obviously more than enough sauce but I'm not sure there would be enough for 6 lbs. I think I would double the call for wine and reduuce to two cups. But I haven't tried it.
One of the many good things about braising is that it doesn't matter a great deal how much liquid you use. I braise short ribs in red wine a lot (similar but different recipe), and I simply add liquid until the ribs are about half to two-thirds covered, then after cooking I reduce the liquid to get the taste and consistency I'm looking for. If I were making that recipe, I'd start by reducing 6 cups of wine to a cup and a half, then add some water (or more likely, some beef stock) back if necessary to get the liquid level where I wanted it, and then reduce as necessary after cooking and taking the ribs out.
Thanks for the advice. They came out great. We ended up making 8 lbs of meat so I just doubled the liquid. And there was more than enough sauce. Wonderful recipe. I wouldn't change a thing next time (except possibly use canned tomatoes, especially in winter).