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Old 11-23-2008, 11:37 PM   #1
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Technical question - what is the name of this technique

ok, i really love braised beef short ribs. i mean, i really, really, really love braised short ribs, and i cook them several different ways:

1. mirepoix + red wine + well browned ribs + 300 F oven for 4 hours.
2. moroccan style with a sweet, cinnamon-based rub braised in beef stock with a touch of honey, etc.

and here's the question...

Anne Burrell has a recipe for braised short ribs where she purees the following:

1 spanish onion
2 celery ribs
2 carrots
2 garlic cloves

then, she proceeds to brown the paste until it forms a "crud," then, she scrapes the "crud" up and allows it to form again. then, she adds the tomato paste and allows that to brown as well. then, she adds-in the red wine to deglaze and then the water, etc.

what is this called... when you puree veggies, brown them to a "crud" forms, scrape it up and allow it to form again... before deglazing? what is this process called? is it just used to form a flavor base? where can i learn more about this "technique?"

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Old 11-23-2008, 11:51 PM   #2
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This is news to me. but I suspect she does this to add a flavor base to her braise.
The carmalization of the veggies would give great depth of flavor to the short ribs.
I have some in my freezer and think I will try the next time I fix them
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Old 11-24-2008, 12:15 AM   #3
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I'm not sure every combination of techniques can be reduced into one term.

I assume you are talking about this:

Braised Short Ribs

Recipe courtesy Anne Burrell
Show: Secrets of a Restaurant Chef
Episode: The Secret to Short Ribs

I think Anne actually identified the important term - "browning". Some people would call this "carmalizing" - but it's actually a Maillard browning reaction.

You puree the vegetables to start (that's one technique) and then you add them to the pan and cook until they are brown (two things going on here: sweating to pull the moisture out and a browning reaction) and cooks down to a crud (aka: paste - a reduction).

I agree with Dave - it's a way to develop a base flavor.
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Old 11-24-2008, 01:28 AM   #4
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Two well known products come to mind as you explained this process, fruit leather, and tomato paste. With the veggies puree'd and the liquid evaporated in this way, you are making a vegetable paste. Depending on the heat used to evaporate the liquid, you will either simply make a paste, or brown the paste to some degree, adding additional (and sometimes unwanted) flavor to the paste. In this instance, the veggies used will be enhanced by browning the paste. And if memory serves me, there is caramelization going on here as the vegetable sugars react to the heat. Maillard effect is evident as well as the protiens oxidize.

In any case, it sounds like a great technique. You can also achived it by placing the puree onto a jelly-roll sheet, spreading thin, and placing in a medium oven for an hour or so, if you need larger batches.

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Old 11-24-2008, 06:47 AM   #5
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ok, so it's simply referred to as, "developing a flavor base?"

i guess this can be used for sauces, stews, etc., as well.

i thought there may be a single term to describe the process she's using... but i guess it develops better flavors instead of just sweating the veggies and adding them to the braise.

does anyone know where i can read-up on this technique?
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Old 11-24-2008, 07:02 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goodweed of the North View Post
In any case, it sounds like a great technique. You can also achived it by placing the puree onto a jelly-roll sheet, spreading thin, and placing in a medium oven for an hour or so, if you need larger batches.

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
Interesting! How would you store this, and what sort of shelf life could you expect from the mix? I'm not anticipating a long life, otherwise this would be commercially available, and I've not seen it on the shelves of my local Piggly Wiggly.
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Old 11-24-2008, 07:25 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by black chef View Post
ok, so it's simply referred to as, "developing a flavor base?"

i guess this can be used for sauces, stews, etc., as well.

i thought there may be a single term to describe the process she's using... but i guess it develops better flavors instead of just sweating the veggies and adding them to the braise.

does anyone know where i can read-up on this technique?
Shirley Corriher's "Cookwise: The Secrets of Cooking Revealed" is a great source of information on the science behind all sorts of cooking techniques.
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Old 11-24-2008, 08:07 AM   #8
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Isn't this a "sofrito"? Used in classic Spanish and Cuban recipes?

I did something similar when I made some short ribs several weeks ago. I browned all the ribs over extremely high heat. Once those were done, I added in the mirepoix, with whole garlic cloves, and whole sprigs of rosemary. I cooked that until the veggies were caramelized. I added the beef back to the pot, poured in some red wine to deglaze the pan, stirred it around, then added some beef stock. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for a couple hours until just beginning to get tender. We had to reheat them for service at work, so I wanted them slightly underdone.

They were fantastic! I strained and saved the broth. I used some of the broth to make the gravy the next day. The rest of the broth was used as needed in the kitchen.
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Old 11-24-2008, 08:32 AM   #9
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I've never made short ribs. Never even really contemplated them...
Now I am interested and will have to grab some when I see them on sale.
Thanks!
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Old 11-24-2008, 08:45 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by AllenOK View Post
Isn't this a "sofrito"? Used in classic Spanish and Cuban recipes?

I did something similar when I made some short ribs several weeks ago. I browned all the ribs over extremely high heat. Once those were done, I added in the mirepoix, with whole garlic cloves, and whole sprigs of rosemary. I cooked that until the veggies were caramelized. I added the beef back to the pot, poured in some red wine to deglaze the pan, stirred it around, then added some beef stock. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for a couple hours until just beginning to get tender. We had to reheat them for service at work, so I wanted them slightly underdone.

They were fantastic! I strained and saved the broth. I used some of the broth to make the gravy the next day. The rest of the broth was used as needed in the kitchen.
I was thinking sofrito also.
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