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Jan 11, 2011 12:20 PM

Short Ribs -- sous vide, but seasoning?

So I am hosting a dinner party this weekend and plan to make some sous vide short ribs, as the last time I made them I loved them. First time was an attempt at 4505's Vadouvan ribs recipe, but I made a poor choice of buying Vadouvan at Williams Sonoma (not really discerning too much difference betwen their product and my storebought curry powder) and not adding any salt.

This time I'm using some Vadouvan I found in bulk at Rainbow (not as good as the fermented stuff, but better than the WS jar) and am thinking of substituting a kaffir lime leaf for the orange peel. But I also want to try a second spice prep. I'm thinking along the lines of a simlpe but classic salt/pepper/garlic combo, but am open to suggestions. Any ideas??

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  1. OK its a bit late for your dinner party, but for what its worth, in various parrellel taste tests I've run (eg pears (or shrimp or fish or veal) in two different bags with two different seasoning sets,) the #1 preference nearly always involves smoked chipotle chiles. (Not always my personal preference, but, hey, if I'm cooking for a crowd then I'll go with the popular choice).

    Definitely stick with the Kaffir lime leaf - the tasts complements and shines through chipotle beautifully.

    Example tests:

    Shrimp: (peeled, from frozen, 60C/140F for 60 minutes)
    Bag 1: preserved lemon, kafir lime leaves, fresh jalapeno, touch of garlic, salt (7/10 guests preferred)
    Bag 2: chipotle chile, kafir lime leaves, touch of garlic, salt (3/10 guests preferred)

    Pears: (175F for 2 hours)
    Bag 1: rosemary, vanilla bean, lavender, honey, marie brizard liquor (preferred by 3/8)
    Bag 2: chipotle, cardamon, cloves, pepper, agave syrup, ginger liquor (preferred by 5/8)

    1. I would go for the simplest preparation: salt and pepper. I've never really understood the need to cover the rich, deep flavor of beef with questionable choices of spices.