Lacquered Short Ribs with Celery-Root Puree and Celery-Pear Salad

There is perhaps no purer beef flavor than that of a short rib. This version's balance of heat, spice, and sweet is tempered by a tart salad of celery and pear and a creamy celery-root puree.

  • Servings: 8
Lacquered Short Ribs with Celery-Root Puree and Celery-Pear Salad

Source: Martha Stewart Living, October 2008

Ingredients

FOR THE SHORT RIBS

  • 3 tablespoons safflower oil
  • 5 pounds short ribs (5 to 6 pieces)
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 9 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 4 shallots, coarsely chopped
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 dried red chiles, seeded and chopped
  • 2 scallions, coarsely chopped
  • 1 Asian pear, coarsely chopped
  • 5 whole star anise
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 2 cups Gewurztraminer or Riesling wine
  • 1 1/3 cups champagne vinegar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 3 ounces fresh ginger, sliced
  • 5 cups water, or more as needed

FOR THE CELERY ROOT PUREE

  • 2 medium celery roots, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 6 cups heavy cream
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

FOR THE CELERY-PEAR SALAD

  • 1 cup celery, thinly sliced diagonally
  • 1 cup pear, cored and halved, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions
  • 1 jalapeno chile, seeded and thinly sliced (2 tablespoons)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions

  1. Make the short ribs: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large Dutch oven. Season ribs with salt and pepper, and cook in batches until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer ribs to a plate, leaving drippings in pot.

  2. Reduce heat to medium. Add garlic, shallots, onion, and chiles, and cook, stirring frequently, until golden, about 10 minutes. Return meat to pot and add scallions, pear, star anise, soy sauce, wine, vinegar, honey, and ginger. Add water to cover by 1 inch, and bring to a simmer. Cover, and transfer to oven. Cook until ribs are fork tender, about 3 hours. (Ribs in liquid can be cooled, covered, and refrigerated up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature, then proceed with step 5.)

  3. Make the celery root puree: Bring celery root and cream to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer until celery root is tender, about 30 minutes. Strain celery root, reserving cream. Puree celery root with 2 cups of reserved cream in a blender until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. (Celery root puree can be made up to 1 day ahead; reheat over low heat.)

  4. Make the celery-pear salad: Mix celery, pear, scallion, and jalapeno in a small bowl. Toss with oil and lime juice, and season with salt and pepper.

  5. Transfer ribs to a plate and strain sauce through a fine sieve. Skim fat from top, and discard. Return sauce to pot, and cook over medium heat until sauce just coats the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes. Add ribs to sauce, and cook, basting often, until ribs are hot and sauce coats meat, about 5 minutes. Serve ribs on top of celery root puree, and drizzle with sauce. Top with pear salad.

Cook's Notes

The celery root can be boiled in water instead of cream; puree with 2 cups warm cream to finish. The celery-pear salad should be made right before serving.

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