14 Aug2008

stew1

I love tomatoey stews. Actually, I generally like tomatoes and tomato sauces of all kinds. So when the cook told me we still had four wonderful beef short ribs in the freezer, the last of the meat that my sister brought from New York a few weeks ago, I decided to try this recipe for short ribs with tomatoes and fennel from The Complete Meat Cookbook by Bruce Aidells and Denis Kelly. While I used their recipe as a guide, I didn’t follow it exactly as I didn’t have all of the ingredients listed… nevertheless, the results were extremely delicious and provided us with two terrific meals from just 4 large short ribs. First off, how to make the the stew. Defrost your ribs (if frozen) and pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle the ribs with dried basil, thyme, cayenne pepper, kosher salt and cracked black pepper, massaging the herbs and spices on the surface of the meat. Heat up an oven-proof casserole and add some olive oil and when the oil is hot, brown the short ribs all over. This should take a few minutes.

stew2

When the ribs are browned, remove them from the pot and reduce the amount of fat in the pot to roughly 2 tablespoons worth, then add about 1.5 cups of chopped celery to the oil, 1.5 cups of chopped fresh fennel (I used some leftovers from a previous meal that I threw into the freezer), about 10 cloves of garlic finely chopped, and about 3 medium sliced white onions and stir, reducing the heat to medium strength. Cover your pot and wait for the vegetables to “sweat,” stirring occasionally. Add about a cup of red wine and let that reduce a bit, then 4-5 cups of chopped canned Italian plum tomatoes (or crushed tomatoes) and about a cup or two of beef broth and stir to mix well. Let this cook for a few minutes, add the browned short ribs, and cover and place in a 340 degree oven for say 1.5 to 2.0 hours or the meat is very tender. Season with salt and pepper a few minutes before you intend to take the stew out of the oven for good. Serve with bread, potatoes or rice. Super yummy. The thick tomatoey sauce, slightly accented by the anise-like fennel was comforting yet rich at the same time…

Note: If the sauce hasn’t thickened enough after two hours of cooking, carefully remove the short ribs and return the pot to a medium flame and reduce the sauce further, to the desired consistency. Don’t fret that there is too much sauce, and stay tuned for Part II of this post to find out why…

 

COMMENTS:

  1. MrsKookie says:

    I love any kind of beef stew. And this looks yummy :)

    Aug 14, 2008 | 8:48 am

     
  2. Lei says:

    i love beef stews. will try your version with fennel! tnx MM, really appreciate your blog.

    Aug 14, 2008 | 9:00 am

     
  3. zena says:

    i love beef stew, all nationalities, hehe. But if tomato-based, red wine is a must for me.

    Aug 14, 2008 | 9:56 am

     
  4. alicia says:

    That looks delicious. We love beef stews.. and short ribs too.. I mean really who doesn’t?! Will have to try to make one with fennel. We just had a pretty good short ribs stew at La Regalade ( new French bistro on Pasay road) the other night that I enjoyed the next day for lunch as well. You may want to give it a try!

    Aug 14, 2008 | 11:39 am

     
  5. Apicio says:

    Fennel is one vegetable I never saw in the Philippines when I was growing up but it’s quite common here specially if you live close to Italians. Your fennel laced stew will probably remind me of the bouillabaisse I tasted in Marseille. Filipinos are fond of the anise-licorice flavor though and we put it to good use in our puto, ubi, araro cookies and pan San Nicolas, or even in savory dishes such as humba and sweet ham. I do not know if they still make them, but local cigarettes rolled in black paper called Regaliz are actually licorice flavored so was the local anisette called Anis del Mono which my dad was truly fond of.

    Aug 14, 2008 | 11:44 am

     
  6. Vanessa says:

    Marketman, how difficult is it to transport raw meat across countries? I don’t mean in terms of containers and refrigeration. Do you have to get paperwork for this? Would you know how it works when sending via courier? Thanks.

    Aug 14, 2008 | 11:23 pm

     
  7. jdawgg says:

    Hello Marketman,

    That sounds so comforting to my tummy. For me I like it over rice (so Asian) anyways. Got a question about one of the author of your cookbook is he the same Bruce Aidells that owns Aidell’s Gourmet Sausage out here in SF/Bay Area? Please get back at me and as always thank you for letting me duplicate or as the local Pinoys says “Pirated” your recipe. :>)

    Aug 15, 2008 | 12:18 am

     
  8. sister says:

    Vanessa, Since I am the courier for meat for Marketman from the USA, I will try to answer your question. Bringing meat to Manila seems to be no problem as far as customs is concerned. Do not however, try to carry meat or meat products from Europe to the USA, which will get you on the Red Alert list in a big hurry. As far as I know Fedex or UPS will not accept international food shipments.

    Aug 15, 2008 | 5:48 am

     
  9. sister says:

    Do not carry meat or meat products from ANYWHERE into the USA. Importers have done the appropriate paperwork amd Agriculture and FDA clearance needed.

    Aug 15, 2008 | 5:50 am

     
  10. mudra says:

    This looks yummy! Where can I get fennel please? Am not really that familiar with spices and herbs … =(

    Aug 15, 2008 | 7:14 am

     
  11. Marketman says:

    mudra, fresh fennel at weekend markets, vendors like Joey at the Salcedo market carry fennel from Benduet? and possibly Tagaytay. Rustan’s has imported fennel, as does S&R. I also saw good fennel at Santis last week. jdawgg, yes, that is the Bruce Aidell’s famous for his sausages… he has several cookbooks and this recipe is from one of his. Vanessa, sister answered your questions… I wouldn’t bring meat into western countries, however, I have brought meat into the Philippines without raising any eyebrows… Apicio, fennel has been available locally only for some 5-8 years at most. Alicia, I have heard several favorable comments about La Regalade…must check it out someday soon…

    Aug 15, 2008 | 8:08 am

     
  12. alicia says:

    I have had a mixed bag of reactions when I have brought in meat to Manila. I don’t know what the actual law is but twice I have been stopped when bringing in beef into the Philippines. Both times I declared it and they stopped me but eventually let me through without a payoff. The times I haven’t declared it, I have had no problems whatsoever.

    Aug 15, 2008 | 8:44 am

     
  13. Vanessa says:

    Thank you, Marketman and sister! That sure was helpful! :-)

    Aug 15, 2008 | 4:26 pm

     
  14. jdawgg says:

    Thank you Marketman

    I’d seen and meet him at one of those food fair, if my memory serves me well i think it was at the Ala Carte-Ala Park in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA several years ago. I meet him and Martin Yan of the local TV/Food Host called Yan Can Cook on Channel 9.

    Aug 16, 2008 | 12:38 am

     
  15. dhayL says:

    I can’t look an these mouth-watering photos anymore, they make me soo hungry! I would love to try your recipe at home, but I have a problem, I don’t have any oven-proof casserole (sort of like Le Creuset) at home. I guess I’d better check my stainless steele pots coz they’re oven proof but only up to certain temperature though…Hopefully I’ll be lucky enough and get a bargain like you did when you got yours at about 70% off the original price! :)

    Aug 22, 2008 | 9:19 pm

     
  16. trinam says:

    MM — I made this last night for a few friends of mine. The dish was an absolute hit — thanks for sharing!

    Aug 25, 2008 | 10:40 pm

     
  17. pulutan says:

    Thanks, MM i made this today for labor day celebration with co-workers and man, this is absolutely superdelicious. since i don’t know what kind of fennel you used on your recipe i throw a couple tbsp of fennel seeds and lots of ground cayenne red pepper . . . (tasted like italian style kaldereta!!)

    Sep 1, 2008 | 7:47 am

     
  18. edee says:

    did this as well, and hubby loves it :)
    got one more batch for pasta…

    Oct 3, 2008 | 10:27 pm

     
 

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