December 5, 2018 10:45:20 AM
Beef short ribs are a prime example of how the precise control of time and temperature afforded by sous vide cooking can affect a piece of meat. (Editor's note: Sous vide is a method of cooking in which food is prepared by partial cooking, followed by vacuum-sealing and cooking in a water bath.)
Short ribs are a tougher cut, with a good amount of collagen and intramuscular fat so they are traditionally braised to a fall-apart texture. But with sous vide, you can achieve short ribs that have a texture similar to a medium-rare steak or you can deliver a more traditional flaky, braised texture -- or land almost anywhere in between.
For this recipe, we were looking for a fall-apart tender, pot roast-style texture, so we decided on a higher-temperature water bath (160 F) while keeping the cooking time under 24 hours.
This cooking time and temperature combination allowed us to break down this tough cut's intramuscular collagen, tenderizing the meat while keeping it moist and preserving a rosy interior from edge to edge.
To make things even easier, we frontloaded the work. We quickly seared the short ribs, and then we built a sauce with traditional pot roast ingredients: mirepoix, tomato paste, red wine, beef broth and herbs. We bagged up the beef and sauce together for their sous vide bath.
Afterward, we strained the sauce and briefly reduced it on the stovetop, we poured it over the tender short ribs and finished the dish with a sprinkling of fresh parsley. Easy pot roast, no pot or roasting required. Make sure that the ribs are at least 4 inches long and 1 inch thick. Be sure to double-bag the ribs to protect against seam failure.
SHORT RIB POT ROAST
Sous vide time: 20-24 hours (Active time: 1 hour)
3 1/2 pounds boneless beef short ribs, trimmed
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup dry red wine
1 cup beef broth
8 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
Nutrition information per serving: 464 calories; 211 calories from fat; 23 g fat (10 g saturated; 0 g trans fats);135 mg cholesterol; mg sodium; 6 g carbohydrate; 1 g fiber; 2 g sugar; 44 g protein.