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When I was growing up, my mom was only able to make a handful of dishes and this was one of them, so I thought it would be fun to use that as a jumping off point to reinvent an upgrade. Obviously omitting the ground beef and cream of mushroom soup for short ribs and wild mushrooms takes it to a new level. But if you were blindfolded and tasted it, you would know what you were eating.
Short Rib Stroganoff with Spaetzle, Wild Mushrooms, and Peppered Sour Cream
Prep Time: About 45 minutes; Cooking Time: About 4 1/2 hours
Short Ribs Ingredients:
1 tbsp canola oil
5 pounds beef short ribs
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
1 cup diced onions
1/2 cup diced carrots
1 (750-ml) bottle Cabernet Sauvignon or similar red wine
8 cups beef stock, preferably homemade
2 garlic cloves
2 fresh bay leaves, or 1 dried
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 tsp crushed star anise (1 to 2 stars)
1 tsp fennel seeds
6 to 8 shallots, cut into rings about 1/8 inch thick (about 1 cup)
1 fresh bay leaf
1 allspice berry
1 whole clove
1 tbsp sugar
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
>1 tbsp sherry vinegar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp plus 1 1/2 tsp canola oil
1 large shallot, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 bay leaf
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 star anise
1 Thai peppercorn
1 cup Cabernet Sauvignon or similar red wine
Peppered Sour Cream Ingredients:
1 tsp whole pink peppercorns 1 tsp whole green peppercorns
2 tsp whole black peppercorns
2 cups sour cream
1 cup fresh dill sprigs, for garnish
Spaetzle (recipe follows)
Black Trumpet Mushrooms (recipe follows)
Directions: For the short ribs, preheat the oven to 250°F. In a heavy, oven safe pot or Dutch oven, heat about half the oil over medium-high heat. Liberally season the ribs with salt and pepper. Sear on all sides until browned. As the ribs are browned, set aside, covered, until needed. Add the rest of the oil to the pot and cook the onions, carrots, and celery for 3 to 4 minutes, or until lightly caramelized. Add the wine and stir gently to deglaze the pan, scraping the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
Return the ribs to the pot and add the stock and 2 cups of water. Put the garlic, bay leaves, thyme, star anise, and fennel seeds in a piece of cheesecloth. Gather the cheesecloth into a bundle and tie closed with a piece of kitchen twine to make a sachet. Add to the pot. Cover the pot with its lid or tightly with aluminum foil and braise for about 4 hours, or until the meat is fork-tender. Add more stock or water, if necessary.
Lift the ribs from the pot and set aside to cool. Set the ribs on a rack sitting in a shallow pan to catch the drippings. Set aside the pot with the pan liquids.
Meanwhile, for the marmalade, put the shallots, bay leaf, allspice berry, clove, and sugar in a saucepan. Add the vinegars and 1 tablespoon of water. Bring to a simmer over medium-heat. Cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the liquid nearly evaporates and the shallots are translucent and sticky. Season with salt. Remove the allspice berry, clove, and bay leaf before serving.
For the jus, degrease the pan juices from cooking the ribs and strain them through a fine-mesh sieve. Discard the solids. Measure 2 cups of the pan juices. In a saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Cook the shallot and garlic, stirring, until caramelized. Add the bay leaf, thyme, star anise, peppercorn, and wine. Bring the wine to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the 2 cups strained pan juices. Bring the sauce to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer a little more gently for about 2 hours, skimming any foam that rises to the surface. Adjust the heat up or down to maintain a simmer. Strain the jus through a fine-mesh sieve three times until it is as clear as possible.
Carefully cut any fat from the cooled ribs and cut the meat into large cubes for serving.
For the peppered sour cream, in a large, dry skillet, toast the peppercorns over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes, or until aromatic. Transfer the peppercorns to a spice grinder and grind finely. Fold the peppercorns into the sour cream and season with salt. Garnish with the dill.
To serve the short ribs, toss the cubed meat with the jus and serve it spooned over the spaetzle.
Garnish the plate with the mushrooms, marmalade, and peppered sour cream.
Spaetzle (Makes About 4 Cups)
Prep Time: About 25 minutes; Cook Time: About 35 minutes
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cups sour cream
1/2 cup milk
3 large eggs
1 tbsp stone-ground mustard
Salt and freshly ground black peppercorn
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tbsp chopped fresh chives
Directions: In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sour cream, and milk until smooth. Add the eggs and mustard and stir until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside to rest for 20 minutes.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Reduce the heat so the water simmers.
Using a spaetzle machine or perforated pan, drop the batter in small amounts into the simmering water. When the spaetzle rise to the surface of the water, simmer for 1 minute and then remove from the water with a slotted spoon.
In a sauté pan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. When hot, cook the spaetzle for about 5 minutes, or until the edges turn golden. Season with the chives and salt and serve hot.
Black Trumpet Mushrooms (Makes About 4 Cups)
Prep Time: About 10 minutes; Cooking Time: About 10 minutes
12 oz. (3 sticks) unsalted butter
6 shallots, minced (about 1 cup)
2 pounds black trumpet mushrooms or other mushrooms (foraged are full flavoured), left whole
1/2 cup mushroom stock or water
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
2 tbsp grapeseed oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Directions: In a large sauté pan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and mushrooms and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the mushrooms soften. Transfer one-third of the mushrooms and shallots to blender. Add the stock, vinegar, and oil and blend until smooth. Strain the sauce through a fine-mesh sieve. Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot. Use the rest of the mushrooms to garnish the Stroganoff.
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