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Jan 29, 2012 10:35 AM

Help! Can't figure out how to deglaze bumpy slotted grid in a roasting pan!

I'm cooking Molly Stevens' short-ribs-with-porter recipe and browned some of the ribs under the broiler, using a roasting pan with a raised metal grid that the meat sits on. Looks like all the good drippings are now on the grid, not in the pan underneath, and I'm trying to think of how to get them off effectively.

I'm halfway through cooking the dish and would really appreciate any advice from anyone who knows a good way to get the good stuff off the grid and into the braising dish.


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  1. I should add that the grid has an uneven surface with multiple slanted slots to let the grease through, which means I can't easily add liquid or scrape the surface.

    1. A wire brush, perhaps. Or a stiff-bristle brush of some sort. A (preferably new) toothbrush might work.

      1. I'm assuming you want to get the crusty bits into your sauce and not get your pan clean.

        Is there enough time to invert the grid *into* the liquids called for? A few minutes might soften them up so that you can use a silicone or rubber spatula to swipe them into the sauce or ragu. Particularly if the liquid has some acid like wine or tomato or vinegar.

        Could you skip the grid next time and raise the short ribs on carrots sliced lengthwise or thick slices of onion so that they could just get puréed into the sauce? Did you oil the grid before you began so that more of those liquids could ooze on down into the pan below before they caramelized onto the metal surface of the grid? Hopefully, they'd still caramelize on the flat surface but they'd be more convenient there for working into the gravy, sauce, ragu, whatever. A spray might be handy for reaching more of an intricate surface.

        If it's a matter of effectively cleaning a surface with a lot of tight spaces I find that an overnight with warm water and a few denture cleaning tablets works wonders. And maybe you want to do that even after you've gotten as many as the tasty browned bits into your grateful belly. ;>

        4 Replies
        1. re: rainey

          VERY helpful and thoughtful answer, rainey. I used your idea of the rubber spatula, after the grid had sat long enough for the fat to congeal. Just swiped a little wine vinegar on the surface, then carefully scraped the various surfaces and put all the scrapings (fond and fat) into a little bowl. I wasn't sure how I was going to separate the fondy bits from the fat, but when I looked at what I'd gathered I realized that I had less than a Tbl of fat, so it all went into the braising pot.

          Next time I'll definitely use one of your suggestions: veggies under the meat or a little oil on the grid.

          I have another question about the browning process that you might be able to help me with. I didn't specify the size of the short ribs when I ordered them, and some were long, with long pieces of bone. that's fine, except that I had trouble standing them up to brown them -- they'd topple over. I could have done it if I'd been browning them on the stovetop by holding them up with tongs, but ended up building a little leanto of several ribs to get their ends brown. Is there another way, or is it best solved by asking the butcher to sell me fairly square-shaped ribs?

          1. re: marytw

            How important is it to you to brown the ends? On a long, narrow piece, the ends might not represent much surface area anyways. Otherwise, I have had some success in browning using the oven, rather than broiler, set at 450ºF.

            1. re: marytw

              I agree with KarenDW. By the time you've gotten a nice sear on the 3 meaty sides I think you've done 98% of the deal. If you can hold them with tongs or prop them against one another to get the remaining short sides you're my culinary hero. If you call it a day and go on with your recipe I bet no one -- including you -- will notice no sear on the ends while distracted by deliciousness. ;>

              Personally, I've moved on to the boneless short ribs that Costco sells. They're yummy and you can use them in the long sections they come in or cut them into smaller chunks that can be conveniently browned on (count em!) 6 sides. They can also be minced for something like Cottage Pie and even ground for chili. They're goooo-oooood!

              Have you tried Anne Burrell's method of puréeing the aromatics and browning and re-browning and re-browning them before adding back in the seared meat? OMG!!!

              1. re: rainey


                I actually had to lean things against other things to get a good brown sear on the third, 4th and etc sides of many of my chunks because of their angles and bone ends -- (i had five or six sides on many of mine. I assume that's expected. They were very meaty chunks, but irregularly shaped.

                But it's good to know that Its not vital to get both ends seared. Thanks.