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Braised Beef Short Ribs with Potato Puree, Swiss Chard, and Horseradish Cream

Updated February 23, 2016

Every chef has a love-hate dish, the dish that made it into the first review, the one that customers call ahead for, the dish, therefore, the chef will never be able to take off the menu. Short ribs are mine. I used to be tortured by them, but I’ve come to accept them as a permanent member of the Lucques family. The short-rib saga began one cool and rainy weekend when, inspired by the weather, I made them for a Sunday supper. The response was so overwhelming that I added them to our daily menu. When spring arrived and the city began to warm up, I replaced the short ribs with something lighter. That week, I went out to the dining room to say hello to a friend and was assaulted by diners at three different tables, who waved me over to find out (you guessed it) where the short ribs had gone. At first I was stubborn and refused to serve them in 90-degree weather. But I had a change of heart when I realized how much people loved them and how easily I could satisfy their craving. The short ribs went back on the menu and will probably remain there for all eternity.

NOTE: Short ribs, like most braised dishes, taste even better the next day. Remember you will need to marinate them a day before braising.NOTE: At the restaurant, we pass the potato mixture through a fine-mesh tamis [twice] using a rubber spatula. This makes an extremely smooth purée. You can skip this step if you want a more rustic-style potato purée. If you are going to serve the purée immediately, you can hold it in a double boiler or in a warm oven. Otherwise, let the purée cool, then refrigerate it. Reheat the purée gently over medium-low heat, stirring often, and adding more cream if necessary.

Serves6

Cooking Methodbraising

CostModerate

Moderate

Total Timea day or more

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

One Pot MealYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party

Recipe Coursemain course

Dietary Considerationegg-free, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free

Equipmentfood mill

Five Ingredients or LessYes

Mealdinner

Taste and Texturemeaty, rich, savory, winey

Ingredients

  • 6 beef short ribs, 14 to 16 ounces each (ask for 3 bone centercut)
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon thyme leaves, and 4 whole sprigs thyme
  • 1 tablespoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 3 dozen small pearl onions
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1/3 cup diced carrot
  • 1/3 cup diced celery
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1½ cups port
  • 2½ cups hearty red wine
  • 6 cups beef or veal stock
  • 4 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 bunches Swiss chard, cleaned, center ribs removed
  • Potato purée (recipe follows)
  • Horseradish cream (recipe follows)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1½ pounds russet potatoes
  • 1½ pounds Yukon Gold potatoes
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • ¾ cup whole milk
  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • Kosher salt
  • ¾ cup creme fraiche
  • 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

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