NO JOKE, these are about as good as it gets.
Recently I received a copy of "Slow Fires: Mastering New Ways to Braise, Roast, and Grill " by Justin Smillie, Chef of Upland...
Here's what Amazon has to say about the book...
A diligent crisping, a murmuring simmer, a slow roast, a ripping hot sear: mastery of the subtleties of heat and time is Justin Smillie's hallmark. In this book, the celebrated chef of Upland explores the fundamental techniques of braising, roasting, and grilling--and shows you how to see them in new ways, to learn the rules to break them.
The chapters begin with thorough lessons on these basic methods. From there, the recipes evolve to feature variations on the techniques, altering ratios of moisture, intensities of heat, reversing expected processes. Sometimes the techniques are surprising, like braising chicken leggs in the juices created by overcrowding a pan of peppers. And sometimes the results are unbelievable, like tender peppercorn-crusted short ribs, made by first steaming the ribs before searing them to a spicy crisp.
This is a book about delighting in the details, about cooking by hand, about learning to see and smell and touch like a modern master. It's a book you will keep, read, learn, and cook from for years to come.
I could not agree more. One of the best cook books I have ever read with detailed instructions, restaurant worthy menu pairings with side dish recipes meant to be served along side each main dish. Plus the mind of a chef is explored as he walks us through the delights of each dish.
The book is beautifully laid out with photos of nearly all dishes. The instructions are detailed and the notes and suggestions at the end of each recipe will make these restaurant dishes come alive in your kitchen! This is indeed a "You can do this" book that gives you all the confidence you need.
As to these ribs... Simply WOW... This may be the most complicated recipe I have ever attempted. Brining, Confit, Searing, roasting and more taking at least 3 days (actual hands on working time, much less than an hour or so). But, if you are looking for a meal to impress, something special for a dinner party, These ribs are for you!
And a BTW... I recently made these a second time at a tailgate party for a WORLD CHAMPION Kansas City Royals ball game. I Did all the steps at home until the last. I brought the dutch oven with the ribs inside to the game, set up my trusty Weber Grill and baked them using indirect heat (Coals bunched up on one side while the opposite side was left without direct heat). With the lid on, Ribs were then baked until ready (about 15 minutes)... The HIT of the game (sadly, the Royals were not as successful, but that's just one of 162 games!
As a gift or a new reference book for yourself, this is a keeper.
Peppercorn Crusted Beef
- Olive Oil as Needed, about 3-1/2 Cups, divided
- 1 Red Onion, Halved equatorially
- 1 Gallon Water
- 1 Cup Kosher Salt
- 1/4 Cup Sugar
- 1 Cup plus 2 TBS Black Peppercorns, toasted
- 2 TBS Corriander Seeds, toasted
- 2 TBS Fennel Seeds, toasted
- 3 Fresh Bay Leaves
- 1 Lemon, Halved
- 1 - 8 Pound Bone in Beef Short Rib Rack (Whole Ribs from the Center Cut Preferred)
- 1/2 Cup dry Green Peppercorns, Toasted
- 1/4 Cup Pink Peppercorns, toasted
- 1/4 Cup White Peppercorns, toasted
- Served with Fish Sauce as a condiment, to taste
- Brine the Short Ribs (at least 72 hours (3 days - 2 days to brine, 1 day for the confit rub) before cooking the ribs) - Set a medium heavy saute pan over medium-high heat and slick it with 1 TBS Olive Oil/ Once the oil is hot, lay the onion halves cut side down in the pan. Sear the onion for 8 minutes until blackened.
- Pour the water into a nonreactive container. Stir in the kosher salt, and sugar until desolved. Add the burnt onion, 2 TBS black peppercorns, and the coriander and fennel seeds. Bruise the bay leaves and add them to the brine. Squeeze the lemon halves into the brine, tossing the lemons in as well. Submerge the beef short ribs into the brine. Transfer the container into the refrigerator and chill for 48 hours.
- Confit the Peppercorns (12-24 hours before serving cooked ribs) - Place 1 cup black peppercorns, along with the green, pink and white corns in a medium pot and pour in 3 cups of Olive Oil. Set the pot over low heat and bring the oil to a light simmer. Once simmering gently, cook the peppercorns for 20 minutes or until the pink peppercorns smash easily. when pressed. Remove from the heat and let the confit cool to room temperature.
Cover the pot and refrigerate for 12 hours (Will store in the fridge for up to a month).
- Make and Apply the Rub (12-24 hours before serving cooked ribs) - Remove the confit from the fridge and let stand until room temperature. Drain the peppercorns from the oil and smash in a large mortar and pestle until a wet gravel like paste forms. Add additional oil as needed to achieve the consistency of wet sand. Alternatively you can pulse the peppercorns in a food processor.
Remove the ribs from the brine and thoroughly dry with paper towels. Slather the Beef ribs with the confit paste (the meaty side). Place the ribs on a cooling rack set over a rimmed baking sheet and refrigerate. Let the meat rest for 12 to 24 hours. or until the rub hardens and feels leathery to the touch.
- Steam Roast the Ribs (1 hour before roasting) - One hour before roasting, remove the beef ribs from the fridge and allow the them to come to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 350 degree.
Place the ribs peppercorn side up in a large dutch oven or a deep roasting pan. Seal the pot or pan with a double layer of aluminum foil before securing the lid. Slide the pot onto the center rack and roast for 3 hours or until the meat is plump and bouncy. Each hour check to see if there is any liquid in the bottom of the pot. If dry, add a splash of liquid to steam the beef.
After 3 hours, remove the dutch oven from the stove. Remove the cover but let the aluminum foil stay sealed. Let the meat rest in the steam for another hour.
- Section and Sear the Ribs (When ready to eat (Finally)) - Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Set a heavy Saute pan or Cast Iron skillet over medium high heat. Swirl in enough olive oil to cover 1/2 inch. Once the oil is shimmering hot, place the ribs in the pan with the peppercorn side submerged. Sear at a steady sizzle for 4-5 minutes, or until brown and just starts to crisp. While searing, be sure to roll the meat on it's arch so the meat browns evenly all the way across the rubbed surface.
Once the crust has formed, transfer back to the Dutch Oven, removing the lid and roast for an additional 15 minutes for the crust to set hard without burning.
remove from oven, allow to rest for 10 minutes... Serve HOT and ENJOY!
Love the recipe and love the book!
Here's the legal stuff... "I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review." But the review and opinions are 100% accurate and mine!". Love this book and highly recommend it!
I am so thrilled to add this book to my library. A terrific inspiration and reference that will send my get to gathers to that next level.
As a gift or a new reference book for yourself, this is a keeper.