Sailors love a good home cooked meal after a long journey...
These exotic shortribs are familiar and exotic enough to make a sailor think fondly of his two favourite mistresses: his mother and the sea.
Savoury short ribs spiced with middle eastern spices, fragrant scurvy-fighting orange juice served on creamy goat cheese soft polenta. Carrots cooked in carrot juice add a shock of life-preserver orange and an extraordinary familiarity. Top the excursion with a leafy bushel of aromatics herbs like the warm exotic winds of a new found land.
Comforting and invigorating like the sea herself... but much more forgiving.
2 pounds of short ribs (cut short by butcher)
1 cup white wine
3 cups orange juice
1 oz of brandy, rum or sherry
1 onion, peeled and cut in half
2 ribs of celery, cut into 3 inch lengths
1 beef bouillon cube
6 cloves of garlic, whole
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground tumeric
pinch of cinnamon
soy sauce as needed, instead of salt
2 large carrots of excellent breeding
1 cup carrot juice
pinch of sugar or a glug of honey
pinch of salt
nob of butter
1 cup fine corn meal (white or yellow)
4 cups water
1 cup cream
good pinch of salt
100 g goat cheese
10 tender mint leaves
10 tender coriander leaves
10 tender parsley or chervil leaves
10 little sprigs of dill
5 chives, finely sliced
juice of 1 lemon lemon juice
crack of pepper
Get a large pot with a tight fitting lid. Get it on the stove over medium heat at let it heat up for 5 minutes. Your pot might begin to smoke a little which is good.
Preheat the oven to a relatively low 250˚F.
While the pan heats up get your ingredients ready. Drizzle the beef with oil and toss to coat them evenly.
Place the meat in the pan to brown. Two tips for really good browning 1) don’t crowd the pan and 2) place them once and don’t keep moving them. When the one side is beautifully golden brown (approx 3 minutes) you can turn them to the other side and brown (approx 3 minutes).
Now you can just pile in all the other ingredients in whichever way suits you best, just making sure the beef is at least half submerged in the juice. Plop the lid on tight and blap the whole thing into your oven for 5 hours.
When the ribs are done slow-cooking, remove the ribs from the sauce and set aside in a dish. Strain out the herbs and aromatics from the cooking liquid by passing it through a sieve.
Reduce the strained liquid over high heat until it is saucy, but not too thick. Taste the sauce and add some soy sauce as needed instead of salt.
Drizzle the sticky sauce over the ribs and keep warm until ready to serve.
You can also freeze the ribs and have them another day.
To make the carrotted carrots, simply cut the carrots to your preference (big chunks, small dice, diagonally, sticks, it doesn’t matter much). Place the carrots in a pot, pour in the carrot juice, sugar (or honey) and salt. Save the butter for the end.
Place the pot over medium heat and bring to a fast boil. Cook until the carrots are tender, but still have just a little bite in the middle. The cooking time will depend entirely on the size of the carrot cuts. At the last minute add the butter and whirl it around the pot to the carrots are nice and glossy.
For the soft polenta with goat cheese you need a good sturdy whisk. Nothing to flimsy.
Bring the water, cream and salt to a boil. Use the whisk to get a slow whirlpool going by stirring in a circular motion. Whisk constantly and pour the cornmeal in a steady stream directly into the center of the whirlpool. When it’s all poured in whisk it hard to make sure there are no lumps. Reduce the heat to medium low and cover to cook for 20-25 minutes, stirring frequently to avoid lumps. To finish add the goat cheese and stir to dissolve.
For the herby salad. Use the most tender little leaves for this salad. Gently combine all the ingredients at the last minute so the tender herbs don’t get a chance to wilt and get soggy. Use your fingertips to toss the salad carefully.
To serve, put a nice scoop of the polenta on the plate and let it cover the bottom of the plate. Top with nice sticky ribs, scatter on some carrots for colour and top with a nice cluster of bright herb salad.
Main Course served on March 13th at the Ellerslie showhome: 223 – 54 street, Edmonton, Alberta