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Lindy’s German Style Beef Short Ribs is a different approach to a family favorite, My Mother’s Rouladen.
I love to cook short ribs or any slow braised meat for dinner parties because it allows me to do two things. The first, I get to mess up and clean my kitchen before the guests arrive and second, they are just so impressive to serve and darn easy to make. And I just love the taste and texture of slow-cooked meat. Fall off the bone tender along with great taste. I came up with this idea for Lindy’s German Style Beef Short Ribs when I boldly asked one of our rather famous, high end, local chefs, Josh Silvers and his wife Regina over for a dinner party. Josh, then owner of Syrah in Santa Rosa, was known for his short ribs. He and fellow chef, Jeff Mall of Zin in Healdsburg, had recently written a cookbook together called down home:downtown; a wonderful collection of recipes that Jeff makes down-home (Jeff is an avid farm to table farmer – most of his food comes from his own farm) and Josh makes downtown, as a high end, “fancy cooking” chef. In this book, they each are given the same “ingredients” and they then give their own special spin. It’s really fun to look at how they view ingredients differently. And deliciously.
So when you are having a published and much beloved local chef to your home for dinner, you want to cook to impress. And, heck, I love short ribs, I make great short ribs, so why not give him some of what he is known for; damn good short ribs?
So I sat, and thought, and pondered. How can I make my ribs different from how he makes his ribs? And then I thought of the flavors of My Mother’s Rouladen. Beef, bacon, pickles, and onions. What’s not to like? So this is how this dish came together. AND he loved it. AND his wife, who told me later she always worries about going to dinner parties with other people (that being other than Josh) cooking and her enjoying the food…well, she loved it too. They both ate every bite.
Saute the bacon in a large pot or Dutch oven until the grease is rendered, do not brown. Remove with a slotted spoon, set-aside.
Pat dry, then generously salt and pepper the short ribs. Brown them in the hot bacon fat (in batches if necessary, do not overcrowd the pan). Remove the ribs as they brown, set-aside. (Please, do not rush this step. Browned meat = really good meat)
Lower the heat and add the onion and carrot to the now empty pan, saute until soft. Add the garlic, pickle and reserved bacon. Saute briefly.Add two tablespoons flour to the pan and sauté for 2 - 3 minutes. Add the red wine and reduce by half.
Return the ribs to the pan along with any accumulated juice; add the bay leaf and beef broth, making sure the ribs are completely covered. If not, add additional water until they are. Bring to a simmer then put into a 325º F oven and cook, covered, until very tender, about 2 1/2 hours (could also be made in a pressure cooker, cook for about 1 hour.)
This dish is best if made ahead. Let cool, then cover and refrigerate. On the day you want to serve, remove any accumulated fat from the pan. Place in a 325°:F oven for about an hour, or until hot (or slowly heat on top of the stove). Remove the meat, keep warm, and thicken the sauce with a "slurry" of 2 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoon wine, beef broth, or water, if needed
Place the ribs on a plate and surround with the sauce. Garnish with a bit of chopped parsley.
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