The day before Leslie became Superwife, we held a rehearsal dinner at a San Francisco restaurant called Andalu, where their specialty dish – cola-braised short ribs – was among the night’s most popular dishes. Several years later, Andalu’s founding chef, Ben Devries, left to start a restaurant named Luella, and has enjoyed great success there as well. Ben and his wife have made Sunday nights at Luella into family nights, with a separate menu for kids, while maintaining a full menu for the parents.
About that time, Ben and his wife, enrolled their daughter in the same school our daughter attends. So he and I sometimes find ourselves watching school events from the sidelines, as we discuss the latest trends affecting our livelihoods.
Here’s the Devries-inspired recipe for Coke-braised short ribs – a perfect pairing for Syrah (click here to view my current inventory of compatible wines for this dish). It is simple and delicious, but it does take some time…
Ingredients (Serves 6)
|4 Lbs pork ribs||1 Red onion, halved and sliced|
|Salt & Pepper||¾ Cup red wine vinegar|
|1 Liter Coca-Cola||2 Tbsp sugar|
|2 Quarts Chicken Stock||Water to cover|
Preheat your oven to 400. Season the ribs with salt and pepper. Heat a deep roasting pan over high heat for three minutes, add oil and sear the meat until golden brown on all sides – about 7 minutes total. Remove the ribs from the pan and set aside. With the pan still on high heat, add the Coke and reduce by ⅔. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Return meat to the liquid, cover and put in a 400 degree oven for 2 hrs or until meat falls off the bone.
Remove from the oven and let rest, preferably overnight. Reheat in a 400 degree oven until hot. Remove meat from the pan, place remaining sauce on stove top at medium heat and reduce until syrupy. Return ribs to sauce until ready to serve.
PICKLED RED ONIONS
Place all ingredients in sauce pot, bring to a boil, and turn down to a simmer for 5 mins.
Take off flame and let cool. To make sharper add more vinegar; to make sweeter, add more sugar.
Place ribs over a bed of mashed potatoes and top with pickled red onions. Serve with Syrah or other Rhône-style wine.