Herb Crusted Short Ribs, Roasted Vegetables

This recipe has a multi-regional feel--thyme, rosemary,and cilantro identify with disparate cultures, but go together well.


This recipe is an adjunct to Advance Seared Short Ribs

Advanced seared short ribs, 1/2 recipe.
Egg whites, 1 each.
Flour, 1 Tablespoon.
Cilantro, about 1/4 of a bunch.
Fresh parsley, enough to yield 2 Tablespoons when chopped.
Fresh rosemary, enough to yield 1 Tablespoon when chopped.
Fresh thyme, picked, 1 teaspoon.

Kosher salt, 1 teaspoon.
Ground black pepper, a pinch.

Beets, 1 each.
Cauliflower, 4 large florets.
Broccoli, 4 large florets.
Carrots, 2 each.
Onions, medium sized, one each.
Celery heart, 1 each.
Kosher salt, 2 Tablespoons.

Vegetable oil, 2 oz/60 ml.

Barbecue basting sauce:
Ketchup, 12 oz/360 ml.
Garlic powder, 1 Tablespoon.
Worcestershire sauce, 3 oz/90 ml.
Frank’s Hot Sauce, 1 oz/30 ml.
Sugar, 2 oz/60 ml.
Kosher salt, 2 teaspoons.
Vegetable oil, 2 oz/60 ml.

Balsamic syrup, a few drops.

Equipment requirements
Immersion circulator, portable or stationary.
Heat rated container, minimum of 2 gallons/8 liters.
Ziploc gallon freezer bags.
Heat rated sous vide bags.
Infrared or probe thermometer.

Serves 4
Level of difficulty 2.75


Preheat the sous vide bath to
183 F/84 C.

Peel the carrots, remove the ends, cut in half and vacuum seal.

Cut the beet into quarters and vacuum seal. Process in the sous vide bath for 1 hour. While you wait:

Make the sauce.
Combine the ketchup, garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce, Frank’s hot sauce, sugar, oil and kosher salt. Set aside.

Make sure the parsley and cilantro are free of sand and completely dry. Chop until you have approximately 4 tablespoons total.

Everybody has an opinion about how fine herbs should be chopped, but nobody ever gets around to actually doing it. They may insist that it must be super fine and fluffy– but that’s not how they do it for themselves–that’s how they want it it to be done FOR them. Fresh herbs like cilantro and parsley are not difficult to chew, so I don’t usually chop them really fine.

Rosemary a little bit more so.

Rosemary can be a little tough, too, I give it a little more love.

Thyme is a puzzle. Nobody seems to care about the aroma, which to me is heavenly. Gently drag your fingers down the thyme stems from the flower end towards the stem end and the buds will fall off. You don’t really have to chop it, but it is a little tricky to pull off the stem.

Stage  all the herbs into a small bowl.

When the beets are done, cold shock in iced water until the package achieves room temperature–about 70 F/21 C. Do not turn off the bath. Remove the beets from the bag and pat dry with a paper towel. When you are done, make sure you discard the paper towel–the juice will tint everything that it comes in contact with. Use a paring knife to remove the skin. Set aside in a separate bowl. Do not let the beets come in contact with the other vegetables. Wash your hands. This may sound trivial, but beets can make other vegetables take on a very strange color.

If you are prepping ahead for the next day or even for later, this is a good place to stop…

When you resume
Submerge the packages of short ribs in the sous vide bath for 2 minutes to fully melt the gel. Remove the short ribs from the bags and pat dry. Juices in the bag can usually be processed for use, but because of the advance searing process there will be very little juice in these bags.

Use a fork to beat the egg whites in a large bowl. Add the short ribs, and shake the flour over them–it does not need to be uniform.

Using clean hands, toss the short ribs until they are fully coated–they should be very “sticky.”

Add the chopped herbs and toss well. Stage the ribs onto a sheet pan. Set the bowl aside–do not clean. I use parchment for roasting, not only because it is non-stick, but because it also keeps the sheet pan clean. Try to spread the herb mixture on the ribs as evenly as possible.

Preheat the oven to 450 F/230 C.

Cut the onion in quarters and peel–leave the stem end intact. Cut the celery heart into quarters. Combine the cauliflower florets, broccoli florets, and the other vegetables in the large bowl that you had the short ribs in. This gives you one less bowl to clean. Sprinkle with the kosher salt and add the vegetable oil. Toss to coat.

Spread the vegetables out evenly on the sheet pan with the short ribs. Leave a separate space at one end where the beets will go. Do not wash the bowl. Add the beets to the bowl and toss with the oil that remains in the bowl.

Cover the separate space with a paper towel for the beets. The towel, will prevent the beet juice from contaminating the other vegetables. The paper towel will not burn at 450 F/230 C.

Put the sheet pan with the ribs and the vegetables in the oven and check after 40 minutes. The surface of the ribs should be “bubbly.” 

Broccoli will not really take color, but you will see the flower start to draw back.

The onions are a good gauge of where you are in the process, because they tend to brown uniformly.

The sugar in carrots yields a nice dark color.

Most people throw away this part of the celery or put it in stock, but it is just as “celery-like” as the rest of the stalks.

Put a tablespoon of the basting sauce on top of each rib and return to the oven for five more minutes. Remove the sheet pan from the oven.

Arrange all the components on the plates as pictured, we are trying to achieve some altitude. Drizzle with Balsamic syrup. Serve additional basting sauce on the side.

The sauce gives us that sort of barbecue evocation. It is also sticky enough to stabilize the celery heart.

There is a lot to like in this dish!

Norm King



Where would we be without crispness? From French fries to raw carrots to calamari, crispness is more than just a texture. Crispness is a NOISE. It's hard to say how much crunch adds to our enjoyment of food, but celery doesn't have much going for it except snap--And Buffalo wings without celery and carrot sticks are just not right, even though people don't usually eat them. Not like they wolf down wings, anyway.
Herb crusts are a recent addition to popularized foods, and if you look at ancient French and Italian cookbooks, you will be hard pressed to find dishes with an abundance of herbs OR crispness. It could be that French fries started the whole thing. This dish makes noise.

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