Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Rye Bread and Short Ribs Braised in Borscht

I think bread and a hearty soup make one of the best winter meals I know. Last night-Temperature 8 degrees-after a stressful afternoon at The Galleria doing gift buying, I came home to this soup and bread. In the morning, first thing I prepped the soup and placed it in a 250 degree oven right before I left for shopping. Second thing I mixed up the bread dough for a long first rise. When I returned home, I punched down the bread dough and made loaves, letting it rise again for a bout 1 hour. I took the soup outside to quick chill. When the bread went into the oven, I retrieved the soup to de-fat the top and slowly reheat. It was a really satisfying supper, especially considering my alternative of eating at the dreaded food court.

Rye Bread (makes two loaves)

3 1/2 cup bread flour

3 1/2 cup rye flour

1/4 cup cocoa

1 Tablespoon salt

2 Tablespoons of wheat gluten

2 cups milk

1/2 cup honey

1/4 cup molasses

2 Tablespoons of butter

1/4 cup golden raisins

4 Tableespoons dry yeast

Mix the flours, cocoa, salt, and gluten in a mixing bowl.

Heat the milk, honey, molasses, butter, and raisins, stir until the honey, molasses, and butter are melted. Let the mixture cool to body temperature (stick your finger in the mixture, and it should feel neither cold nor hot)

Add the yeast to the milk mixture and let proof for 5 to 10 minutes, if the yeast is good it should be bubbly and foamy.

Stir the milk-yeast mixture into the flour mixture and knead for 8 to 10 minutes. I use my kitchen aid mixer with the dough attachment. Let the dough rise in a warm place for a couple of hours. Rye flour doughs rise more slowly than wheat flour doughs.

After the dough has doubled in bulk, punch down and knead again slightly, before forming into two loaves, let rise again-the dough should be warm from the first rise and will rise more quickly on the second go around.

Bake in a 325 degree oven for 30 to 45 minutes, until the loaves are browned and sound hollow when thumped.

Short Ribs Braised in Borsht

I used to eat a soup like this when I lived in Chicago at a restaurant called Mel Markon's located somewhere North of the Gold Coast, but South of Diversey and East of Clark-it may have been in the old Beldon-Stratford Hotel, but I'm nor sure. It's really good when it's cold outside.

4 cups of sliced cabbage

4 cups of tomato juice

1 small onion, sliced

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

Salt and pepper

2 pounds of beef short ribs

1/4 cup flour, salt,and pepper

2 Tablespoon of vegetable oil

In a dutch oven, combine the cabbage, tomato juice, onion, lemon, sugar, and season with salt and pepper, bring to a simmer over gentle heat.

Dust the short ribs with the flour seasoned with salt and pepper.

Get the oil hot in a saute pan and brown the ribs.

Place the ribs on top of the borsht, cover with the lid and braise in a very slow oven (250 degree oven for 3 1/2 to 4 hours.

Chill the soup and defat before reheating and serving the soup.

Best served with crusty brown bread.

1 comment:

Lori Lynn said...

Oh, my Nana used to make this soup. I have been meaning to make it for a long time, now I have a recipe to guide me, yours! Thanks.
P.S. I'm from Chicago...