Saturday, December 31, 2011

Braised Short Ribs with Orange Tarragon Cream


Amazing!  In the Babble food blog voting you all have moved me from #197 to #27.  We are in the last weeks of voting.  If you enjoy "Snippets" will you   Click here or on the side link to the right.

 Thank You!

What I hope for the New Year ~ 2012?


Early Morning Walk at Sunrise

Quiet Moments of Reflection.



Early Morning Walk at Sunrise



Continued Discovery...
...always continued discovery

But...what I see in the world
as I grow wiser
...not older...just wiser the intolerance of mankind for one another.
I question why, we as a world of humans
insist on compartmentalizing ourselves.
Alienate others based on appearances, culture, 
history, and religion.

Don't ask me who I pray to...
Don't ask me on what page directs my decisions
...or those of others.

Watch the behaviors of others.
Don't ask what book do they carry.
Don't judge how many times they profess a particular faith.

Are they kind?  Are they just?
Or, is this behavior confined only to a select few.

This beautiful land that we live in called America
is a land that has welcomed...
still welcomes...
and will welcome all those who need freedom.

Freedom of religion.
Freedom of speech.
Freedom from poverty.
Freedom from intolerance.
That is what we represent in this country.
That is what we should represent in this country.

Raising teenagers is a very defining stage.
For parents as well as teens.
Many  tough 'life' questions are openly discussed.
Religion. Politics, Cultures, History.
Cooking and creating meals in the kitchen has encouraged 
a multitude of cultural discoveries for our family.
Our quest continues.
But it is a good and important quest.

Conversations ensue about people, tolerances, differences, religions, marriages, morals...values

One thing for sure is that we all enjoy good food, shared family times, soft words, kind gestures.

The world of food blogging is often like 
a mirror into the soul of humanity.  
It reflects itself in shared holidays
Chinese New Year
...and so many others

Look around you.  Look all around you.
We are not defined by a litany of ideological structures 
that bind us to a rigid code.

We don't know the "whys", the "what ifs", and the "maybes".

What we do know is...
It's important to open a door for someone else.
It's kind to smile at someone who walks by.
It's not important to always be first and foremost.
It's not important to care for your own and not the rest.
We don't know why.
We just...know.

As I move into the year 2012
I will usher in a renewed personal quest for 

Will you?
Will all of you?
Regardless of who you are in this world?
Or, what faith you most subscribe?
Or, what skin color you possess?
Or, what ideology you most profess?
I hope so.  I really do.
Because sometimes, all there is hope.

Happy New Year
to all of you...

Braised Short Ribs with Orange-Tarragon Cream

2 tablespoons olive oil
3 1/2 lb (1.75kg) bone-in short ribs
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
4 tablespoons (1 oz/30g) all-purpose flour
2 oz (60 g) thick-sliced pancetta (or bacon), cut into strips
1 large white or yellow onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
6 cloves garlic, smashed with the side of a heavy knife
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 1/2 cups (20 fl oz/625 ml) fruity red wine, such as Zinfandel
2 fresh thyme sprigs
2 bay leaves
2/3 cup (5 oz/155 g) canned crushed tomatoes (I roasted some)
1 3/4 cups (14 fl oz/430ml) reduced-sodium beef broth
1 teaspoon minced fresh tarragon
Grated zest of 1 orange
1/4 cup (2oz/60g) creme fraiche

Place a large Dutch oven or other heavy ovenproof pot over medium-high heat and add the oil.  Season the ribs generously on all sides with salt and pepper.  Dust with the fennel seeds and 2 tablespoons of the flour, shaking off the excess.  When the oil is shimmering, add half of the ribs and sear until golden brown on all sides, about 10 minutes.  Transfer to a platter and repeat with the remaining ribs.

Preheat oven to 300˚F (150˚C)

Pour off most of the fat from the pot, leaving a thin film.  Reduce the heat to medium and add the pancetta, onion, carrot, and garlic.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have begun to brown, about 6 minutes.  

Sprinkle in the remaining 2 tablespoons flour, then stir and scrape the mixture constantly, until the flour is golden brown, about 2 minutes.  If necessary, adjust the heat so the flour doesn't scorch.  

Stir in the vinegar and 1/2 cup (4 fl oz/125ml) of the wine and deglaze the pot, stirring to scrape up browned bits from the bottom of the pot.

Add the remaining wine, bring to a brisk simmer, and cook until the wine has reduced by about half, 8-10 min.

Add the thyme, bay leaves, tomatoes, broth, 1/2 teaspoon salt and plenty of pepper.  

Return the ribs to the pot, cover, and transfer to the oven.  Cook until the meat is falling off the bones, turning the ribs about once an hour, about 3 1/2 hours.  Transfer the ribs to a platter.

Strain the braising liquid and vegetables through a fine-mesh sieve placed over a large heatproof bowl, scraping the vegetables back and forth to extract as much liquid as possible.  Discard the solids.

Let the liquid stand for 3-4 minutes, then skim off the fat from the top, if desired.  Pour in the braising liquid to the pot, bring to a simmer over medium high heat, and cook until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes.

Return the meat to the pot and heat until warmed through, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together the tarragon, orange zest, and creme fraiche.  Taste the braising liquid and adjust the seasonings.  Serve at once, topped with the orange-tarragon cream.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Phenomenal photography and a delicious recipe! I shall be trying this one. Wish I could take photos like u!! btw what telelens do u have thinking of buying one this month... for now i use a 50mm 1.8 for the food. Happy new year! S x

  3. Oh my! Thank you for reminding us to look into our souls and reach into ourselves to become a better person - for ourselves and the world.

    This is exactly what we should all aspire to as a humanity, as people and citizens of the world. And yes I would very much like to see this far and wide throughout our country. But since the change begins with 'the man in the mirror' yes, lets be the change we wish to see in the rest of the world.

    I love your thoughts and your short ribs. So glad I found you in the blog-o-verse. Best wishes to you and your family in 2012! HAPPY NEW YEAR~

    chow! Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

  4. What a phenomenal and powerful post! Thank you for sharing your art and your heart!

    Wishing you every happiness in 2012!

  5. This powerful post prompted (alliteration!) me to leave a comment. I have been feeling down, and I needed to be reminded that I need more quiet moments of reflection, and I need to express more compassion and love to everyone.

    Despite some of the culture-specific suggestions and false statement about the U.S. being a country that has always welcomed "all those who need freedom", which they surely haven't, and I don't expect will in the future, as individuals, we don't have to always believe and subscribe to governmental beliefs. Just because many do not welcome or accept people different from their own, doesn't mean all of us have to be that way.

    Thank you for this post. The photos are lovely. I love making and eating homemade pasta, and the short ribs look tantalizing. YUM!

  6. Such a lovely post - the writing and the recipe - very special - I always so enjoy visiting - all the very best to you and your lovely family for 2012
    Mary x

  7. 'Soft words & kind gestures''s wonderful how you're able to mingle such sincere words of wisdom, with such beautiful and tasty epicurean delights...and all with such gorgeous images as well...thank you!
    Wishing you and your family many blessings in the New Year...thinking of you all. ♥
    xo J~

  8. Sarah - this is such a beautiful..inspiring..moving..meaninful (how many adjectives can I come up with?) post. What a wonderful way to enter into this new year - with your words of hope. Thank-you for this!!
    And - congrats on your 'moving up' in the world...:-)!

  9. Beautifully said! This is an amazing post to start of the new year, both visually and for the spirit!
    Happy 2012!

  10. What a delicious looking recipe. Your photography is gorgeous! And I absolutely love your sentiment for the New Year!! Great Post! Happy 2012!

  11. Your photos are AMAZING as is this delicious recipe!!!

  12. Happy New Year! Beautiful photography. Such a wonderful and though provoking post. Thank you for sharing.

  13. Hey there Sarah,
    I hope you and your family are well and that 2012 has been good to you so far. Once again your photos are stunning. My hat's off to you as meat is one of the toughest things to photograph well. Yours is a work of art - beautiful!

  14. Lovely post!! Your photos are beautiful, they made me hungry! Happy New Year!

  15. A Very Happy New Year to you and your family my dear.
    What a lovely post, every word means world if we can truly feel it, I hope we all feel it and be a better and kinder soul....

    B/W the ribs and the pasta looks really good, God now I am hungry again....

  16. I wish this world was different, in so many ways. It's disheartening sometimes. Love.. it should be a simple thing, really.
    Your words are as beautiful as your photos, my friend.
    Wishing you all that is good and true. xoxox

  17. Wonderful post! Best to you in the new year.


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