Thursday, July 16, 2009

The world’s saltiest short ribs

Oh what a disaster. First off, I have to tell you, I cried. The goal was to try out a ‘cure’ what I estimated would be equal to a dry brine, but it would let me get more spices in contact with the meat. More like more salt in contact with the meat. On the up side, the grilled asparagus and Vidalia onion risotto was highly successful. I ruined, I mean ‘cured’ the short ribs in kosher salt, celery salt, coriander, black pepper, and crushed juniper berries for 24h. Rinsed them, and threw them in the smoker for 2 hours over hickory chips with a water bath of cola and allspice berries. We keep experimenting with different water baths, but I have yet to taste a difference.
The ribs came out beautifully, to the eye. But they were tough and almost inedibly salty. I think we may have made beef bacon…
What is the lesson here? Kyle says that it is not to cure them so long. I don’t disagree, but maybe dry brines are something I leave for another day. I also think that maybe my salt was too fine. I should have used a coarser salt so that it wouldn’t have broken down so easily

Fresh from the cure, it looked so promising. Rinsed and air dried...

The asparagus and onions seasoned, oiled, and ready for the grill

Nothing but the finest generic cola for us.

We floated allspice berries in cola as our water bath... don't know if it did anything

There they go, into the smoker. Hi Kyle!

After the arborio rice gets sautéed in olive oil for a bit, I add the broth about half a cup at a time (home made turkey broth made from a turkey we did in the smoker *drool*)

Stirring until the liquid is absorbed and then add some more broth. Everything is steaming up!
Until all the little rice ladies have softened.
But not mush, Al Dente as they say.

It appears that the veggies are finished with their purgatory on the grill.
Into the risotto they go!

Look how lovely they looked coming out of the smoker. Looks can be so deceiving.

And the final plating, again, prettier than it tasted. Apologies go out to the cow that this came from and to Kyle for having to eat this.
We are not salt deficient this week.

Any thoughts? Suggestions?


  1. I would say the bigger, coarser salt would do. Can you brine ribs (or beef for that matter?). Gotta admit, my makeshift bbq sauce was just sweet enough to counter some of the salt. Right?

  2. if you ever find a happy medium for this recipe it'd be great to do a part 2. while this may sound weird, my bf and i love salt and would love a good go-to meal without it being chips and chicken wings!

  3. Just wanted to stop by and say your blog looks great. I'm a vegetarian so I'm afraid a I can't eat this, but I wanted to wish you luck with your blog just the same =)

  4. Thanks Julie, we WILL experiment with this, but I'm a little scarred at the moment :O. Feel free to suggest anything!

    And to Eternal Pessimist, thanks for dropping by. I will be sure not just to feature 'carne' on the site :)

  5. I like cooking tips with plenty of photos, as you have done. This one may not have turned out the way you hoped but I look forward to reading about the next culinary adventure.

  6. if you ever feel WILD, you could try cooking and blogging about TUNA STEAK! i want to make some myself but have never tried because i'm a wuss.