"It's not much but it's ours"

Monday, May 25, 2009


So I found myself at the counter of the Jack O’Shea concession in Selfridges on Saturday, gabbing with the man himself about meat in general and Beef in particular, when he asked me what I fancied. I scanned the display cabinet.

There were Veal Kidneys encased in a thick coat of creamy fat, to be roasted whole; a Popeseye, a cylindrical cut seamed out of the Rump, deep coloured and etched with a fine lines of fat; or my favourite the Ribeye on the bone – what the French call a Cote de Boeuf – beautifully marbled and crying out to be slapped onto a searingly-hot ridged grill, rested and served with a pile of matchstick frites and a tangy béarnaise. Decisions, decisions. In the end I went for the cut right in front of me.

Short Ribs (aka Jacob’s Ladder) are a mainstay of menus throughout the US. Sort of an equivalent to the British Lamb Shank. They’re also very common on Korean menus. It’s difficult to find them in the UK because, sad to say, British butchers are becoming rather thin on the ground. Finding a decent one is even harder. Finding one who knows what short ribs are , well, now you’re talking about something on the level of the P v NP problem.

Short Ribs can be braised or barbecued but after talking to Jack decided to slow roast them. The Ribs were brought to room temperature and sprinkled with some rock salt. They were put into an oven at 100C and left to cook untouched for several hours.

While the ribs were in the oven I cooked up some Razor Clams I’d also bought. Preparation is as for other shellfish like clams or mussels i.e. discard those that don’t close when handled and those that are still closed after cooking. There is a dark intestinal sac that can be removed beforehand.

Cook some chopped garlic in Olive Oil then throw in the clams and cook them until they open. Chucked on some chopped parsley and give them a squeeze of lemon juice. Done. Some bread to mop up the juices would be handy too.

After about four and half hours I lost patience and got the ribs out. All the fat had been rendered but the ribs were still moist. They had a little bit of a chew to them but were good and beefy. They needed little more than some peppery Watercress, Horseradish sauce and a bottle of red from the Monsant region in Spain that belied its six quid price.

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Blogger Chris Pople said...

Bodean's occasionally do Jacob's Ladder. Phone ahead though - they don't always have it in.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009 8:34:00 am  
Anonymous Tommy J. said...

As Yoda said in "Return of the Sith"....."Short Ribs for a very long time braise at low heat must."
Or as the Supremes sang "you can't hurry short ribs,oh you just have to wait...etc".
Patience in cooking short ribs,young Hermano will indeed be rewarded.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009 2:30:00 pm  
Anonymous George Mackay said...

Are those clams?
They look like E.T's fingers!!!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009 2:40:00 pm  
Blogger Hollow Legs said...

I cooked beef short ribs for the first time recently and they were gorgeous. Those razor clams look great.

Thursday, May 28, 2009 10:36:00 pm  
Blogger Hermano 1 said...

You don't get a lot of meat - 1.3 kg of ribs and I was still hungry but that might just be me (no doubt).

Razor Clams were an impulse buy from fish section in Selfridges and cost about the same as the ribs (!) Very fresh and good though.

When Corrigan's first opened I got a comped dish of razor clams ceviche which was fab. Might try that next time.


Thursday, May 28, 2009 11:10:00 pm  

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