Save my nearly-burned "braised" short ribs
February 12, 2015 7:12 AM   Subscribe

I know my oven cooks hot, but I didn't realize it cooked THAT hot, plus we recently had the door repaired and it must be holding heat better than before, because after three hours at around 160-170 C, I have some very well done braised short ribs and a charred pan! Nothing was left of the lovely wine and broth mix. The vegetables were tiny burned crisps of charcoal. I had to throw the pan away! Can this dinner be saved by tomorrow night?

I've never had braised short ribs before, but I wanted to cook a special meal and lots of places (including Ask Mefi!) seemed to think this was the ticket. I mostly followed the Smitten Kitchen recipe. Except not included in her recipe is "burn everything literally to a crisp save for the ribs themselves."

The meat is indeed tender if a tad dry for having presumably done as much roasting as braising, but it's not awful. I don't know what they are ideally supposed to taste like though. If I want to serve this tomorrow night, how can I save this? Can I save it? It was meant to be for two. Should I make another wine and broth reduction sauce? (I'm not really experienced at that sort of thing, so you'll need to talk me through that as if I were five.) As I said, they are a bit on the dry side, so something that would help combat that would help as well. Help!
posted by tiger tiger to Food & Drink (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You probably just need to check the liquid level every so often and top it off if it gets too low. (You might want to get an oven thermometer and keep an eye on that too!)
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 7:19 AM on February 12, 2015

Response by poster: Sorry, don't mean to threadsit, but in case I wasn't clear: next time I cook something in my newly-repaired oven, I'll definitely keep a closer eye on it and probably use a thermometer, but at the moment, I have some already-cooked, dry-ish beef short ribs I was hoping to serve tomorrow night with the lovely sauce they were cooked in. Now they are sitting bare in my fridge as the sauce all burned away and I'm wondering if and how they can be salvaged. Okay, going away now!
posted by tiger tiger at 7:32 AM on February 12, 2015

Take them off the bone and make a kickass stew? Not as fancy, but could be really tasty and you can add red wine, sort of like a coq au vin.
posted by youcancallmeal at 7:41 AM on February 12, 2015 [2 favorites]

Something like this is what I have in mind.
posted by youcancallmeal at 7:43 AM on February 12, 2015

Stew is a good idea. The meat might make tasty short-rib tacos, too, depending on how much you have. Get some corn tortillas and Mexican crema and make/buy a nice salsa to compensate for the dryness. Maybe heat up the meat in a pan with the salsa to give it some extra flavor? It won't be as nice as if you marinated the meat before you originally cooked it, but it might still be OK.
posted by Mothlight at 7:48 AM on February 12, 2015

I had some really tasty short rib fried rice in vegas last fall - if you decide to reinvent your short ribs. Made with something called waterfall sauce i think. It was the bomb.
posted by domino at 7:51 AM on February 12, 2015

I was thinking tacos, or barbeque, or in a nice gravy over mashed potatoes.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 7:53 AM on February 12, 2015

Best answer: I'd shred the meat and serve over polenta or mashed potatoes with something like a brandy cream sauce. You're going to want some kind of sauce to help cancel out the dryness of the meat; a brandy cream sauce will be flavor full and still part of the classic French flavours your original recipe called for, so it should match up well with the beef.
posted by maggiepolitt at 8:23 AM on February 12, 2015 [2 favorites]

I would toss them into some mac and cheese. Fancy proteins in mac and cheese is why lobster m&c feels so decadent to me.
posted by xingcat at 8:44 AM on February 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I would shred the meat and make a red wine reduction. (Simply - just put red wine and beef broth in a sauce pan and heat it until it thickens up a little. You could cheat and put a little flour in if you're careful and impatient.) Put a little thyme, celery salt, and black pepper in it.

Then, take a lardon, or a slice of bacon, cook it in a pan to get the fat, and lightly sautee some pearl onions and thin-sliced baby portobella mushrooms in the bacon fat. Do the thing the recipe you linked has with the chard, and put the onions and the mushrooms on it.

Make mashed potatoes. (Perhaps with roasted garlic!) Plate it all and spoon some of the red wine reduction on the meat and "salad". Bam! Gourmet dinner.
posted by mrgoat at 9:02 AM on February 12, 2015

Best answer: For future reference, braising is better done at lower temperatures--think closer to 110C, for a couple hours longer.

As long as they don't taste burnt, you're probably fine--just braise again, and be sure to serve with a sauce to combat any dryness. That burnt-to-the-pan flavour tends to linger, though.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:15 AM on February 12, 2015

I don't have any suggestions for saving the ribs, but I can't help wondering why, unless it was a disposable aluminum one, you'd have to throw the pan away. Soak it in some hot water and baking soda for a couple of hours and then scrub away.
posted by bricoleur at 10:01 AM on February 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

If you're not Sous Vide-ing short ribs, you're doing them wrong.
posted by Sphinx at 10:32 PM on February 12, 2015

Response by poster: Thanks to everyone who answered! Here's what I ended up doing: I did think of tacos or something similar, but I was hoping to somewhat preserve the idea of the meal I'd intended. (If I were making it only for myself, they'd have made pretty tasty tacos I think.) Maggiepolitt got me started on some good ideas as far as shredding/saucing as did mrgoat. By this time I'd been wondering if I could braise it again, and then fffm answered that.

I ended up braising it again in broth and red wine, then skimming the fat off that and reducing it to serve as sauce. I didn't have to shred the meat, although it might have been better if I had. As it was, we had an okay if not spectacular meat component to the dinner.

And to answer bricoleur's query: yeah, it wasn't a disposable aluminum pan, but it did cost a whopping €1.50. I do know how to clean a pan, but soaking and scrubbing the heavily burnt-on remains was really not worth it to me at that price.

Thanks again, all!
posted by tiger tiger at 5:20 AM on February 15, 2015

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