Thursday, March 15, 2012

Short Ribs with Pasta

I was watching Everyday Italian on the Cooking Channel over the weekend and Giada was making this dish and it looked so good. I remembered that I had some short ribs in the freezer waiting to be used up. So why not. I looked up the recipe from the Food Network (Cooking Channel's sister station) and I got to cooking.

I've decided to use the crock pot to make this dish because short ribs is best when slow cooked in the crock pot. The meat is always fall-off-the-bone tender. I've also decided to take the advice from some of the reviews on the website and allowed the stew to cool so the oil can separate to skim off the fat easily. Because short ribs is a very fatty cut of meat. And I hate greasy pasta. I topped the dish off with some bittersweet chocolate shavings, as the recipe suggests, because everyone knows how I love sweet and savory. This dish came out really well. It kind of reminds me of the Skyline Chili I made. The flavors were somewhat similar with the addition of chocolate in the chili. I'll be making this again and try it with boneless rib meat to eliminate the cooling and skimming off the fat.

1/2 cup chopped pancetta or bacon
2 1/2 lbs. short ribs
black pepper
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 medium onion, quartered
1 carrot, quartered
1/2 cup fresh parsley
2 cloves garlic
1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 tsp. chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp. dried thyme leaves
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 bay leaf
2 1/2 cups beef broth
3/4 cup red wine
1 lb. fresh or dried long pasta (fettuccine, linguine, etc.)
shaved bittersweet chocolate

1) In a large skillet, cook chopped bacon or pancetta over medium heat until golden and crisp.

2) Meanwhile, season short ribs with salt and pepper and dredge in flour. Once bacon has cooked, remove with a slotted spoon. Add short ribs to the pan and brown on all sides. Place short ribs and bacon pieces in crock pot. Add thyme, oregano, and bay leaf. Set aside.

3) Meanwhile, combine onion, carrot, parsley and garlic in a food processor and blend until finely minced. Add diced tomatoes and tomato paste and pulse until combined. Pour mixture into crock pot. Add broth and red wine. Cook on high for 6 hours. Allow to cool in the refrigerator for 6-8 hours or overnight.

4) Once the fat has separated and solidified, skim off fat. Remove beef pieces from the broth, discarding the bones. Shred beef. Pour broth and shredded beef in a stock pot and re-heat over medium heat until it begins to boil. Season with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 3/4 teaspoon of black pepper.

5) Bring a large pot of salted water to boil over high heat. Cook pasta until al dente. Drain pasta, reserving about 1 cup of the pasta water. Place drained pasta over the sauce and toss to coat. Add reserved pasta water, 1/4 cup at a time if needed to moisten pasta. Transfer to serving bowls and top with  chocolate shavings.

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