The March, 2012 Daring Cooks’ Challenge was hosted by Carol, a/k/a Poisonive – and she challenged us all to learn the art of Braising! Carol focused on Michael Ruhlman’s technique and shared with us some of his expertise from his book “Ruhlman’s Twenty”.
I am currently in FL on vacation and trying to type this on my iPad so I will probably be keeping this a little short. I would as thinking I would skip this one since I didn't have much time but when I saw that it was braising I had to do it - everything is good braised. My wife is a big fan of braised short ribs so I was thinking I would do the Michael Ruhlman Red Wine braised short ribs. Well I did a stop at the local supermarket and learned that they didn't carry short ribs. I had a sick kid at home and trying to get ready for vacation so I didn't really want to deal with getting to a meat market for ribs so I decided to fake it. I had a chuck roast in the freezer so I cut the pieces into sort of rib shape pieces ( McRib anyone? ) and just followed the recipe after that.
The recipe was easy to follow. I made the braised meat a day ahead - it is a lot easier to time that way. The only problem with that plan is that you get to smell it cooking all day and then you don't get to eat it right away. The unique thing about the recipe is that you braise it with vegetables to make a nice flavorful sauce but then you throw the veggies away and cook some new vegetables so they are complete mush. I served mine over polenta that I cooked using Alton Brown's Savory Polenta recipe. The polenta was great and it was a very easy recipe since it cooks in the oven. The faux ribs were also a big hit with my wife and myself. Great tasting fall apart meat with a fantastic flavorful sauce and nice tender but not mushy vegetables. I also loved all the mushrooms - it was a lot of mushrooms but I never complain about too many mushrooms.