As we have come to the conclusion of the Surveying George Washington exhibition, I’ve had a score of requests for my Rye Whiskey and Cherry Braised Beef Short Rib recipe that was part of the accompanying Tasting Menu in Eleven. Few people actually know that George Washington owned the young nation’s largest rye whisky distillery at the time of his death, so to pay homage to the spirit and spirits of our first president when I designed this recipe, with a whisper of cherries to boot.
The most important part of any recipe is the quality of ingredients used, so of course I utilize one of the most remarkable butchers in all of Arkansas, Richard’s Meat Market in Fayetteville, to ensure that my meat is exceptional. We’ve opted for the boneless variety this month, but for an added dramatic flair, feel free to use short ribs with the large bone if you so desire. A great Spanish chef shared a very important tip with me many years ago: Always slowly massage red meat with extra virgin olive oil before cooking. Somehow this very simple act ensures your meat will be exponentially tender, and the technique can be used for rib-eyes, tenderloins, and even meats with a lot of connective tissue like short ribs. Try it…I promise it works. I’ve shared (below) some very specific ingredients to be included in the braising pot with the meat, they include: cherries; mira poix, which is carrots, onions, and celery; as well as several brown spices and fresh rosemary—however, feel free to experiment with your own herbs, spices, fruits, and veggies. Of course, I serve this dish with buttery whipped potatoes and Southern succotash, but you can certainly substitute any of the sides with whatever sounds good to you; perhaps a purée of cauliflower with chèvre and some delicious root veggies from the Bentonville Farmers’ Market. Live, Love, and Eat with Art!
Rye and Cherry Braised Beef Short ribs 6 8oz Boneless Beef Short ribs (Massaged with extra virgin olive oil) 1 Quart Beef Stock 1 Cup Rye or Bourbon Whiskey 2 Cups Cherries 2 Apples 2 Oranges 2 Yellow Onions 2 Carrots 2 Celery Stocks 5 Cinnamon Sticks 5 Bay Leaves 1/4 Cup Cardamon Pods 1/4 Cup Star Anise 2 TBSP Dried Cloves 1/2 pound butter Seasoned Flour for dredging (Seasoned with salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cumin, and allspice) 1/4 Pound Fresh Rosemary
1) Heat butter over medium heat in large stock pot or wide pan 2) Dredge short ribs in seasoned flour, then brown on both sides. 3) Add whiskey, then all veggies, fruits, spices, and herbs…cover meat with stock. 4) Wrap tightly with foil, place in 350 degree oven and braise for three hours. 5) Short rib should be fork-tender…serve with your favorite buttery mashed potatoes and vegetables.