I made Suzanne Goin's Braised Beef Short Ribs from her cookbook "Sunday Suppers at Lucques" on Saturday night. Having been to a Sunday supper at Lucques myself when I lived in LA, I was excited to get this book and there appear to be lots of winners here and I encourage all of you to take a look at the book.
I made the entire meal from the cookbook, which included a starter of an Alsatian tart with young onions (I used a mixture of onions and some leeks since no young onions were to be found at my Farmers Market here in SF), comte cheese, and applewood smoked bacon. Then we had the short ribs with chard and cipolline onions, mashed potatoes and horseradish cream.
The tart was gulped down by all of us. No improvements needed here although instead of a straight herb salad on the side as Goin suggests, I added watercress to the mix and did not add chervil as I don't care for chervil. It was a nice counterpoint to the rich tart and I would suggest not omitting it as the tart alone would have been too overwhelming in its buttery heaviness.
I used the flanken cut for the ribs and was pleased with the result. I made them Friday night and cooled them to room temperature, then covered them with wax paper and the lid to my pan, and on Saturday morning removed a good portion of solidified fat. The ribs were fall off the bone tender and very beefy, but with very little fat mixed in with the meat itself. The sauce, however, was too thin and should definitely be reduced more, as the consistency was more of an au jus than I wanted. Make sure you don't skip the last browning of the ribs at high temperature as the recipe recommends as that crisped the outside to a dark coffee brown and made for a nice texture difference between the outside and the tender inside, almost like carnitas. I wish I had a picture for you guys but we are "between" digital cameras at the moment (soon to be remedied).
I used my own mashed potato recipe instead of Goin's, and put them through a ricer, and they turned out fine. I don't love mashed potatoes (I know, how can you not love mashed potatoes, but they're not my favorite starch) but they went well with the ribs. Instead of pearl onions I used cipolline onions, but pearl onions would work fine in this recipe. I wouldn't make the horseradish cream again, not because I didn't like it it's wonderful but the ribs didn't really need it. I'll use the cream when roasting a beef tenderloin in the oven however.
We had a 1999 Vieux Telegraphe Chateuneuf du Pape and a 1999 Clos du Caillou Chateneuf du Pape with the ribs, and a bottle of Bellavista Franciacorta Brut with the tart. An Alsatian Riesling or Pinot Blanc would've been my first choice, but one of our guests doesn't drink white wine. The Franciacorta went well with the tart, which needed a fair amount of acid to cut through the richness.
All in all, a definite set of recipes to put in the "repeat" pile, and although I usually only do short ribs once or twice a year, this will be my initial go-to recipe.