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Friday, January 7, 2011

Beef Chuck Ribs...fancy style

A forum I often post at (The BBQ Brethre) has a weekly challenge cook in which a theme is chosen and then everyone gets to try cooking the theme.  This weeks was Nouvelle Quisine (sic) in which 'Que and the tenets of Nouvelle Cuisine were to be combined.  This was my entry.

Smoked Beef Chuck Rib braised in a wine and cherry reduction, Fresh sugar snap peas sauteed poached in Sweet Barnea cold pressed extra virgin olive oil with kosher salt, baby shiitake mushrooms sauteed in poaching oil of sugar snap peas, potato galette with eggnog custard and sauteed sweet onions and baby shiitake mushrooms with sweet butter, wine and cherry reduction sauce with herb tea and Sweet Barnea oil drizzle.

Yes, the title is a little over the top.  Here is the plated shot...
The meats, ox tails and chuck rib, which I prefer to get un-sectioned if at all possible.  The chuck would be smoked over pecan, for two hours at least to absorb smoke once the color was set, it was to be braised. The ox-tails were smoked for 1 hour at 350 for both color and smoke flavor. This was all I needed for the stock as what I really wanted was a smoke infused strong herbal tea.
Here are the vegetables and herbs, most you will recognize, rosemary, sage, thyme and marjoram were the players. These were also roasted on the kettle with some pecan smoke along for the ride.
Oh, that little piece of paper, about that, it is a technique for making stocks and melting vegetables as well, it essentially allows for some moisture to escape while also preventing roiling of the stock. It really works great for melting onions for pizza. Anyways...

I also made a wine reduction, it took 3/4 of a bottle of wine to make this...
I know, what will I do with it all. This is great stuff though, intensely flavored, viscous and pungent. Literally, I have half of it left, as the whole dish needed just a tiny amount. It does have beautiful color. It would have been a whole bottle, more on that later.

Here is the chuck rib going into the braise and getting ready to hit the uhven. As you can see, there is a little more wine, some onions, garlic and the herb tea. Oh, back to that, I used the tea method to add some herbal flavor and additional collagen and smoked meat flavor to the braising liqiud, this allowed me a little more control over the amount in the braise.
 After two hours at 270F, I added cherries (not local, but, I had to) to the braise for the final hour. This added both color and flavor and would punch up the wine infusion even more.

As a side item, I prepared scalloped potatoes but, used a filling of sauteed onions and baby shiitake for a filling to add some flavor. These were sauteed then layered into the potatoes. This was then cooked with eggnog added halfway to add some flavor and binder. All I have is this one shot.
Finally, I blended the braise with the wine reduction, mounted a small amount of sweet butter and poured it onto the plate and meat. The sugar snap peas were slowly cooked in olive oil, then cooled and finished with kosher salt. The mushrooms were then sauteed in the oil from the peas. Here is the end result...
Ah, and I burned all sorts of things along the way, I even managed to burn the stock, the wine reduction, some aromatics, a hamburger bun for lunch and the air was acrid for a while. Man, I was a bad multi-tasker today.


  1. Slippery wine bottles, eh?

    It sounds like you pulled out all stops on this one. What did you think of the final product, was it worth all of the extra techniques and work?

  2. Yes, particularly since I cannot afford to go out and "Dine!" like I used to. I really like the concentration of flavors that these techniques can bring to food.