Monday, January 26, 2009

Beef Short Ribs Youvetsi

Greeks tend to be food purists there are something you don't mess with, youvetsi (aromatic braised lamb with orzo) is one of those dishes. While there is certainly nothing wrong with the tried and tested original, I thought beef short ribs sans the aromatics would be an interesting twist. Now my mother thinks I am insane as in her opinion, I mean gospel, youvetsi must have aromatics such as cinnamon and allspice and certainly can not have carrots and celery and she almost lost it when I mentioned wine, port and balsamic vinegar. She insisted I call this something else but the apple doesn't fall far from the tree and I am just as stubborn as she she, as the basic definition of youvetsi refers more to the pot and cooking in an oven more than the actually ingredients.

Rarely can one really claim a recipe as there own. I scoured many sources to put together ingredients I thought would hold true to the spirit of youvetsi. My mom would call bull shit but luckily she is not computer savvy. My previous attempts at short ribs used just red wine and the flavor fell a little flat. There is a lot of fat in short ribs and something needs to cut through that strong flavor, enter port wine and balsamic vinegar.

I was especially excited to use Port wine as Chris and I visited Portugal in 2005 and acquired a few bottles in the town of Sintra. Each time I use this in a recipe it bring me back to an amazing place. The final product with thyme and wine and long cooking time was so flavorful and satisfying. This dish was certainly worth the argument over authentic youvetsi and I promise I will make the original real soon and you can be the judge.

2 servings
2 lbs. beef short ribs cross cut
1/4 olive oil
2 tablespoons black pepper
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 small onion chopped
2 carrots chopped
2 ribs of celery chopped
1 tablespoon chopped thyme
4 springs of thyme
2 bay leaves
1 cup dry red wine
1/2 port wine
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 cups low sodium beef broth
1/2 cold water
1/4 cup tomato puree or paste (optional)
2 cups orzo

-Rinse ribs and remove from the fridge at least and hour before cooking. Season with pepper and chopped thyme, add salt prior to searing.
-Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.
-Heat olive in heavy bottomed vessel that holds at least 6 qt. In small batches sear the ribs on each side and remove from pot.
-Add carrots, onions, celery, thyme springs, bay leaf cook over medium heat for 10 minutes until softened.
-Deglaze veggeis with red wine, port wine and balsamic vinegar, scrap up bits and reduce this by half.
-Add beef broth, tomato puree and water, bring to a rolling boil, add short ribs cover with tight fitting lid and place in oven for 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
-Ribs at this point should fall off the bone, remove beef and bones, strain liquid mixture and make sure to press down on veggies.
-Add orzo to strained liquid and cook in oven for an additional half hour.

1 comment:

Laurie Constantino said...

this looks wonderful and is a legitimate take on youvetsi. food and recipes are constantly changing, even in greece. it's what makes cooking exciting. great job!!

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