Low and Slow Beef Short Ribs

This is a warming, one-pot-dish which is so full of flavor. The key to this fall off the bone, melt in your mouth beef dish is a slow, and low braise. The delicious aroma it creates in the kitchen is an added bonus. Enjoy.

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George Hirsch Lifestyle Beef Short Ribs

Short Ribs of Beef

Makes four servings

chefgeorgehirsch.comGeorge Hirsch Lifestyle

4 pounds Beef short ribs, bone in

1/4 cup flour, for coating beef short ribs

1 teaspoon each dried thyme and oregano

1/2 teaspoon rosemary

1 teaspoon sea salt

2 Tablespoons olive oil

4 cloves garlic, sliced thin

1/4 sweet white onion, chopped

2 carrots, peeled and sliced

1/2 cup fennel, chopped

1 leek, whites only cut into one inch pieces

2 Tablespoons crushed red tomatoes

2 cups full body red wine

1 1/2 cups beef broth

2 bay leaves

fresh ground pepper to taste

- Coat beef ribs with thyme, oregano, rosemary, sea salt, and flour, shaking off any excess. 

- Pre heat oven to 250 degrees F.

- Pre heat a heavy gauge oven proof braising or sauce pot on stove top to medium high temperature.

- Add olive oil and sear beef short ribs until well browned, turning only once on each side. Drain any excess oil.

Lower temperature of pot, add garlic, onion, leeks, carrots, and fennel. Cook at medium heat until lightly browned, stirring occasionally.

- Add tomatoes and cook two minutes, then add red wine, simmer, reduce down by half. Add beef broth and bring temperature up to a simmer, add short ribs back into pot. Bring sauce up to a boil, cover and place pot in oven. Cook for 3 hours covered, then uncover for one additional hour, or until meat is begins to fall away from the bone.

- When short ribs are fully cooked, allow the meat to cool and "rest" for 30 minutes inside the sauce. Remove meat from pot. Skim any fat or grease from top of sauce. Raise the temperature of the sauce to a low boil, reduce the sauce to naturally thicken.

- Serve with creamy mashed potatoes and roasted vegetables. 

Tip:

Cooking short ribs low and slow at 250 degrees F keeps the flavorful juices inside the meat. If really pressed for time cook at 350 degrees, but there will be some loss of flavor as the natural juices boils out of the meat. 

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Deep Dish Dinner

Change things up on the menu. It might be time to make a warm and comforting Chicken Pot Pie. This recipe is perfect for leftovers as well. The great thing about this recipe is you can assemble all the ingredients the day before, refrigerate and bake it in less than an hour before dinner. Make individual pies for fun or for serving up practical portions.

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For a fancier serving suggestion assemble the potpies in individual ovenproof size dishes. 

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Chicken Pot Pie

Makes 6 servings

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*1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, cubed

1 cup carrots, diced

1/2 cup celery, peeled & chopped

1/2 cup fennel, chopped

1 cup Yukon potatoes, peeled and diced

1 bay leaf

1/3 cup butter

1/3 cup chopped onion

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon each thyme, hot sauce

1/4 teaspoon each sea salt, fresh ground black pepper

pinch fresh grated nutmeg

1 3/4 cups chicken broth

2/3 cup milk

1 cup frozen green peas

*2 (9 inch) unbaked pie crusts, or 1 Puff Pastry Sheet 

1 egg, with teaspoon milk, beaten for egg wash

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

baked pot pie

In a saucepan, combine chicken, carrots, fennel, celery and bay leaf. Add just enough of broth to cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, cool and set aside. Remove bay leaf and discard.

In the saucepan over medium heat, cook onions in butter until soft and translucent. Stir in flour, salt, pepper, thyme and hot sauce. Slowly stir in remaining chicken broth and milk. Simmer over medium-low heat until thick. Remove from heat, cool, add peas and potatoes and set aside.

Place the chicken mixture in bottom of a lightly pre-baked (see note) pie crust. Pour cool chicken mixture over. Cover with top crust, seal edges, and cut away excess dough. Make several small slits in the top to allow steam to escape. Brush top lightly with egg wash. Do not puddle egg wash on top of dough or top will burn. 

Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, lower temperature to 325 degrees or until pastry is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cover edges with foil if it becomes too dark. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

chicken pot pie with heart crust

chicken pot pie with heart crust

Note: A wet sauce added to a bottom crust pie shell requires the pie dough to be slightly pre-baked to avoid it becoming soggy and raw. Place your bottom pie crust in the bottom of the pie pan or serving dish. Cover lightly with aluminum foil outlining the crust so it will bake blind (no color). Bake for 5 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Remove and proceed with recipe as directed.

Optional serving suggestions:

*You may use boneless dark meat or 2 cups leftover pre-cooked chicken.

- Serve in individual crocks. Pour chicken mixture into crocks and place dough over each one.

*George’s Favorite Pie Crust

Makes 1 pie or 2 bottom crusts

1/2 cup butter

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup cold milk

Chill the butter and milk before you begin. Chilling keeps the pie crust flaky and prevents the fat pieces from melting into the flour and becoming tough. 

Next, mix the flour, salt, sugar and baking powder. Cut the chilled butter into the dry mixture using a pastry cutter or by pinching the fat into the mixture with your hands. The mixture should have fat lumps no larger than the size of raisins. If making pie crust in the summer time cool off the flour by measuring your flour and refrigerate one hour before making dough.

Pour in the chilled liquid just until the milk is absorbed, mixing gently with a fork. You should be able to gently press the dough into a ball. Mix the dough as little as possible: you don't want to cream the lumps of butter into the flour. A crust without lumps of butter will be dense, not flaky. Note that humidity will affect how much liquid the flour will absorb.

Split the dough into two parts; 2/3 and 1/3 (2/3 for the bottom and 1/3 for the top). Pat them into balls, flattening them slightly, and wrap them in plastic wrap. The dough needs to rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Overnight is preferred. Chilling lets the flour absorb all of the liquid, lets the dough relax and become more elastic, and keeps the fat in separate pieces which will give the crust a lighter texture when it is baked.

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Hot Chocolate Caramel

Need to take the chill out? Homemade hot chocolate is everyone's favorite, even us big kids. This is my spin on hot chocolate and has put smiles on many faces. Enjoy!

Hot Chocolate Caramel

Hot Chocolate Caramel

Makes 6 servings | www.chefgeorgehirsch.com

1/3 cup pure cane granulated sugar

1/3 cup unsweetened good cocoa powder

1/3 cup water

8 caramel candies

6 cups milk (whole milk for best results)

mini marshmallows or whip cream

1 ounce brandy (optional)

In a large saucepan combine sugar, cocoa powder, and water. Cook and stir over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Add candies and stir until melted. Stir in milk. Heat through. Top with brandy. Pour into mug, top with mini marshmallows or whipped cream.

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HOT CHOCOLATE BERRY CUPCAKES

This sweet was created in my restaurant years ago, as a hot dessert to satisfy every chocoholic. it's my warm bit of chocolatey goodness I include in my St. Valentine's Day lineup. A little like a foolproof soufflé only easier to prepare and a hit every time! 

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HOT CHOCOLATE BERRY CUPCAKES

makes 8-10 

chefgeorgehirsch.com |  George Hirsch Living it UP! Cookbook 

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1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 

1 1/3 cups sugar 

1/3 cup cocoa powder 

3/4 teaspoon baking soda 

1/2 teaspoon salt 

1 cup milk 

1 Tablespoon white vinegar 

1/3 cup vegetable oil 

1 egg 

1 teaspoon vanilla 

1/2 cup fresh raspberries 

For the Hot Cupcake filling: 

6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature 

1 teaspoons grated orange peel 

2 Tablespoons semi-sweet chocolate, chopped 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 

In a medium bowl combine the flour,1 cup sugar, cocoa, baking soda, salt, and mix well. 

Combine milk with the vinegar in a separate bowl and allow to stand 5 minutes for the milk to sour. Add the oil, egg, and vanilla; mix well. 

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just moistened. Do not over beat. 

In a small bowl combine the cream cheese, remaining 1/3 cup sugar, orange peel and chopped chocolate and mix until well blended. 

Pour the batter evenly into four or six ounce buttered ceramic ramekins or cupcake tins. Divide raspberries among all ramkins, then place on top of batter. Divide the cream cheese mixture into 10 equal balls and drop one into the center of each batter. Bake for 7-8 minutes. Remove the ramekins, let stand for 2 minutes, and serve with ice cream on the side. 

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Hand Tossed Pizza

Everyone loves a great pizza, and there is nothing better than hot right out of your own oven. When it comes to making any type of pizza let imagination and the season rule your toppings. I love changing up the pizza according to the season. And if you are up to expanding your hand tossed style take the dough to the grill for an added fire roasted flavor.

mini grape tomatoes, caramelized fennel + onion, sopressata and stilton 

mini grape tomatoes, caramelized fennel + onion, sopressata and stilton 

Hand Tossed Pizza

Makes four servings 

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Makes enough for 2-3 pizzas 

1 teaspoon active dry yeast 

1/4 cup warm water (between 105 and 115 degrees F) 

1 teaspoon sugar 

3 1/2 cups bread flour 

1/4teaspoon salt 

3/4 cup warm water 

1 Tablespoon olive oil 

In a small bowl, combine the yeast and water. Add the sugar and stir well. Set aside for 10 minutes, or until small bubbles appear on the surface. 

Place 3 cups of the flour in a mixing bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in the yeast mixture and the water. Stir with a wooden spoon until the dough comes together. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes, using the additional 1/2 cup flour if the dough is sticky. 

The dough is sufficiently kneaded when you can stick two fingers into it and it springs back without leaving an indentation. 

Cut the dough into 4 pieces and roll each piece into a ball. Let the dough rest in an oiled bowl for 45-60 minutes. Lightly oil the top of each ball with the 1 Tablespoon of olive oil, cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 3 hours. 

- Mixing with a mixer & dough hook: Mix for eight minutes at medium speed

- Mixing with a food processor: process for 40 seconds until smooth, add 1 additional Tablespoon of flour at a time until all of the flour is combined into the dough.

Mix Dough and place in a bowl lightly oiled with olive oil. cover loosely with a towel or plastic wrap. Place in refrigerator overnight. 

Next day, pre heat *oven to 475 degrees F. 

Stretch out dough to a rectangular shape and cut into two pieces. Sprinkle a teaspoon of fine grind corn meal on the surface of a heavy gauge pizza pan or sheet pan. Place the two pieces of dough on the top of corn meal. Brush top lightly with olive oil. 

Add your favorite toppings and cheese. 

Bake for 8-10 minutes or until pizza flatbread crusts are fully baked. You can check for doneness by tapping on the edge of the dough with your finger. It should should hollow. 

Remove from oven, place pizza on cutting board, cut to desired size. 

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