Monday, October 15, 2007


I've been waiting for an appropriate reason to make a first posting for sometime now. I was hoping for something "egg" related to justify the blog's title. So, the other evening I made Short Ribs Braised in Chimay Ale from Judy Rodgers' fantastic, The Zuni Cafe Cookbook, and the opportunity for a posting revealed itself. I had some leftover ribs and cooking juice and saved it for the next morning. Judy mentions a way to use the leftovers in the ribs recipe, Eggs Baked in Restes. I tried it the next morning. It was luscious, rich and completely satisfying. The only adjustment to my leftover cooking juice was to add a bit more beef stock and some Carpano Antica Italian Red Vermouth, which I will elaborate on further below.

In regards to the Short Ribs recipe, it is really really good, but next time I will increase the proportion of beer to beef stock used and possibly a bit richer beer than the Chimay Red Label ( go for something with a tad more sugar, but definitely stay away from something too hoppy. For instance, Maredsous Brune, Bornem Dubbel or Lozen Boer Abt. ) I also did not do the mustard glaze. I just simply broiled the ribs wet with beer jus and that worked fine. Judy is very big on pre-salting meat and letting it rest overnight. Her Roast Chicken recipe which utilizes the pre-salting is close to perfection. Everyone should try it at least once.

adapted from Judy Rodgers, The Zuni Cafe Cookbook

Choose a shallow baking dish appropriate to the amount you are making. I used a small cast iron pan. The leftover braising liquid should be about 1/2 inch deep in the pan before eggs are added.

per serving:
~ 3/4 cup leftover braising liquid
~ 1/2 cup scraps of boned short rib meat and vegetables from the braise coarsely chopped or shredded
To correct the liquid (as needed):
A splash of beef stock and Italian Sweet Red Vermouth (Carpano Antica)

1 or 2 eggs
freshly cracked pepper
garlic clove
extra virgin olive oil
rustic bread - I used rustic French and some Flax seed flatbread

Preheat oven to 500 degrees
Reheat the braising liquid on the stovetop in your cooking dish over medium heat. Reduce heat and stir in meat scraps and vegetables. Bring to just a simmer. Reduce till the liquid is almost the consistency of maple syrup. Be careful that it doesn't become to salty from reducing too far. Thin more as needed if it is already too thick with beef stock, sweet vermouth or Chimay or other beer originally used. If too acidic, add a pinch of sugar.

Crack the eggs into the center of the pan. Barely prick the surface of the yolks to help prevent them from setting a rubbery skin. Cook on the top rack of the oven and bake for approximately 5-7 mins.

I served it right out of the pan with toasted garlic rubbed bread drizzled with grassy olive oil and black pepper.

Side Note:
Carpano Antica Formula Italian Sweet Red Vermouth
Carpano Antica is the "ancient formula" red vermouth made by Branca Italian Products. It has been hard to get in North America, but it's not too hard to track down. Branca is known more so for their popular digestif Fernet - Branca. Carpano Antica sets itself more as an apertif, but holds it's own as a digestif or dessert wine. It incorporates similar botanicals as some Bitters such as Amaros, but it is more pleasant, sweet and full. Some consider it the best of red vermouths. It's great in many cocktails, Manhattans, Negronis, and what some consider the true Martini, gin and red vermouth. I also love to use it in a tequila cocktail, La Rosita. Serious Eats has a nice article on vermouths if you would like to know more.

1.5 oz Cazadores Reposada Tequila
0.5 oz Dry Vermouth
0.5 oz Carpano Antica Formula Sweet Red Vermouth
0.5 oz Campari
Fill a shaker 2/3 with ice. Add the ingredients and shake several times. Strain into your favorite chilled glass.


I know some of you will be asking where the Short Rib recipe is. Well, it's in The Zuni Cafe Cookbook, which I think is a must have on your book shelf. I'm going to put together a post of what I consider to be the essential books for any cook's library sometime soon. Until then, I'll give you this link because I don't think it's right to post more than one recipe from a book at a time. This is a link for the Short Ribs in Chimay Ale. The only difference in how I prepared it is: I used a combination of Chimay Red Label and Beef Stock, I used white peppercorns, and I used regular cut Short Ribs I had the butcher at Whole Foods cut for me instead of the Flanken Ribs / Korean style Ribs. Also, I didn't use a slow cooker. I did it per the recipe and braised in the oven at 300 degrees for 2 & 1/4 hours.