Need braising advice for grass fed beef
I tried my first braise the other day. Got some 100% grass fed short ribs from the farmers market. Turned out very well but a bit dry and a bit tough, though the meat was falling off the bone.
I browned them, deglazed the pot with some Vermouth, added onions and carrots, put in the short ribs (bone in ) and added chicken broth so they were about 1/2 covered
I know the 100% grass fed is leaner and the farmer advised lowering the recipe temp by 50 degrees so I ended up cooking them for 2 1/2 hrs at 300 degrees. Should I be cooking lower and longer? Shorter? I'm not sure. Any advice to get them moister and more tender?
To hear Harold McGee talk about braising, go to http://splendidtable.publicradio.org, a radio show on many NPR stations, and listen to last Saturday's segment on braising. He shares the science of braising. Notably: start in a cold oven, let the oven temp rise gradually, never let the liquid boil, and leave the lid ajar slighlty so steam pressure does not build up (evaporating liquid will help keep the liquid just below boiling point). Do not over braise ... you want that collagen coating on the fibers, so cooking long will allow the fibers to pull apart easily, but they will be dryish and not silky.
But it's best to hear it from an expert. Listen to him using the link.
I cook with grass-fed short ribs. In fact, I have some ribs that I made using the Balthazar recipe in my freezer right now. Mine were tender and very juicy. I'm thinking that you probably didn't have enough liquid in the pot. In addition to lowering the temp, I would add more liquid. After the short ribs are done (the Balthazar recipes calls for 3 hours), I would take the ribs out and reduce the liquid over the stove until you have a nice thick sauce.