Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Short Ribs and Panna Cotta

We had such an amazing meal at Craft a few weeks ago that I was eager to try a few new recipes to see if I could replicate some of our new found favorites. I decided to look for a recipe using short ribs and found myself using another Giada recipe. This recipe is from her Everyday Pasta Cookbook. This was another delicious recipe. The ribs take some time to cook but other than that the recipe is not complicated. The sauce that accompanied the ribs was really good and the ribs were falling off the bone. The dish overall reminded me of Braciole. This would be a great meal for a really cold winter night. I think the recipe would adapt well to a slow cooker. I didn't end up making the pasta to go with it, we just ate the ribs with sauce. Next time, I think I'm going to serve it over polenta. For dessert, I decided to try my hand at Panna Cotta. I found a recipe I really liked on William Sonoma's website. Surprisingly, the beginning preparation was very similar to the creme brulee recipe I usually make. The end result was a delicious dessert that tasted a lot like creme brulee. Instead of serving it with the strawberries and plums as suggested in the recipe, I made Ina' Garten's balsamic strawberries. The strawberries added a really decadent touch and were the perfect match for the Panna Cotta. I wasn't sure how I would like the combination but after trying it I wouldn't change a thing. I'm still looking for a Panna Cotta recipe like what we had a Craft. Their Panna Cotta had more of a cheesecake like flavor to it, but I would definitely make this recipe again. I forgot to take a picture of the short ribs but I'm not sure it would have come out well anyway since they were covered in sauce.

Short Ribs with Tagliatelle
Recipe Source: Everyday Pasta by Giada de Laurentis
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 ounces chopped pancetta (about 1/2 cup)
2 1/2 pounds short ribs
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 medium onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves
2 cloves garlic
1 (14-ounce) can tomatoes (whole or diced)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 bay leaf
2 1/2 cups beef broth
3/4 cup red wine
1 pound fresh or dried tagliatelle
4 to 6 teaspoons shaved bittersweet chocolate
Place the olive oil in a large heavy soup pot over medium heat. Cook the pancetta until golden and crisp, about 4 minutes. Meanwhile, season the short ribs with salt and pepper, and dredge in the flour. Using a slotted spoon, remove the pancetta from the pan and set aside. Add the short ribs to the pan and brown on all sides, about 7 minutes total.

Meanwhile, combine the onion, carrot, parsley and garlic in a food processor and blend until finely minced. Then add the tomatoes and tomato paste and pulse.

Once the short ribs are browned, carefully add the mixture from the food processor to the pot. Return the pancetta to the pot and stir. Add the rosemary, thyme, oregano, bay leaf, beef broth, and wine. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Remove the lid and simmer for another hour and a half, stirring occasionally. Remove the meat and bones from the pot. Discard the bones. Shred the meat and return it to the pot. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 3/4 teaspoon pepper, or to taste.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes for dried pasta and 2 to 3 minutes for fresh. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Add the pasta to the pot and stir to combine. Add the reserved pasta liquid 1/4 cup at a time, if
needed, to moisten the pasta. Transfer to serving bowls, top each bowl with 1 teaspoon of chocolate shavings. Serve immediately.

Panna Cotta with Strawberries and Plums

Panna cotta ("cooked cream" in Italian) is like a baked custard without the eggs. Here, plums and strawberries dress up the dessert. You can substitute currants for the strawberries and green plums for the red ones.


2 cups heavy cream
1 cup milk
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
5 lemon zest strips, each 3 inches long
1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise, or 3/4
tsp. vanilla extract
3 3/4 tsp. unflavored gelatin
8 plums, about 1 1/2 lb. total, pitted and thinly
1 pint strawberries, halved


In a saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the cream, 2/3 cup of the milk, the confectioners' sugar, lemon zest and vanilla bean, if using. Bring to a simmer, stirring often. Remove from the heat, cover and set aside for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the remaining 1/3 cup milk and the gelatin. Set aside to soften for about 10 minutes.

Bring the cream mixture back to a simmer. Remove from the heat and whisk in the gelatin mixture until smooth. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve set over a large measuring pitcher. Stir in the vanilla extract, if using.

Pour into six 6-oz. custard cups or ramekins. Cover and refrigerate until set, about 3 hours.

To serve, run a small knife around the edge of each cup and unmold onto individual serving plates. Arrange the plum slices and strawberry halves around the molds. Serve immediately. Serves 6.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Outdoors Series, Beach House Cooking, by Charles Pierce (Time-Life Books, 1999).

Balsamic Strawberries
Recipe: Courtesy of Ina Garten

2 pints (4 cups) sliced fresh strawberries
2 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Freshly grated lemon zest, for serving

Combine the strawberries, balsamic vinegar, 1 tablespoon sugar, and pepper 30 minutes to 1 hour before serving. Set aside at room temperature.


DeborahSW said...

Wow, what a swanky sounding meal! Great job! :)

Anonymous said...

I make this often. One of my favorites.