Short Ribs: Act 3

Okay, as long as we’re talking beef during this supposed week off, I have to share the conclusion to my the short rib saga that began last week. The idea was, the night before the night before Christmas (aka Christmas Eve Eve), we’d eat a short rib feast. While I didn’t have legions of gastromoms and dads assisting with smart tips, I did have superchef Tom Colicchio’s recipe from the Craft of Cooking. No special spices, no embellishments, nothing fancy, just a 24 hour full-bottle of wine marinade and two reductions of the cooking liquid.

The result? Freakishly satisfying. Grease free. Bizarrely light for being the richest, tenderest, most beefily flavorful beef ribs I’ve ever had, if I do say so myself. I served them with another, transcendent Colicchio recipe for pureed potatoes (yukon golds, a cup of cream, a cup of milk, salt, pepper, nothing else but great technique. Tip: buy a ricer. It makes mashed potatoes of a gossamer, light, heavenly texture). The meal was so blastedly satisfying. And what did the kids think? Well (and perhaps this is the point of this post), they didn’t get any.

My wife and I jumped the gun and ate the ribs with a couple of friends on Christmas Eve Eve Eve. Yep, we had a last minute dinner party for the first time in about 3 years (first one since the birth of our son) and, man, did it feel good, as the little ones slumbered, cheese-quesadilla’d and satisfied for the night. We had a bottle of champagne, and almost two more of red (a cab, and a monastrel). Moral of the story: it’s okay to have a mom and dad gastronomic experience of unparalleled heights all to your self once in a while. It was rejuvenating and likely will trickle down into your cooking repertoire and onto your kids place. How, precisely? In the short rib tortelloni that I made with the kids the next day. More on that in a later post. Meanwhile: go to Amazon and order yourself that Craft of Cooking. It’s a primary text on maximalizing minimal ingredients. And if carve out a few days here and there to cook from it, it just might help you revive the gastroparent dinner party.
—Hugh

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