For his 31st birthday this week, Aaron presented me with the menu he wanted me to make for his dinner. I was happy to oblige, especially given the birthday dinner he gave me. He was very specific, requesting:
- Main Course – Slow-roasted, French-style braised short-ribs simmered in a red wine reduction with carrots and onions, served over handmade, rough-cut egg noodles
- Dessert – Pumpkin cheesecake with graham cracker crust, topped with bourbon whipped cream
He was also kind enough to find the precise recipes he wanted to try, making it easier on me. After two days of prep work and cooking (some of the steps required overnight resting), it all came together beautifully. The photographs don’t do it justice. The recipes themselves were grand, though there is one small change I would make to the beef. I’d prefer it to be further along the braising process, breaking down the meat even more so that it was closer to a stew. That texture, with the flavor of the reduction, would be a knockout. I am going to try and test out the proportions and process with other beef dishes because it’s one of the best reductions I’ve had, especially the next day when the juices have had a chance to marinate, making the flavor more powerful.
I photographed the entire process in case I ever wanted to share the recipes, but I’m not in the mood to sort them all out at the moment, so here are some of the highlights. I might go reheat a bit of it for myself as dinner tonight because seeing the pictures is making me hungry …
Also, having never made a cheesecake before (normally, that’s Aaron’s area of expertise), I now realize why they can have upwards of 1,100 calories per slice. The sheer amount of deliciousness that had to be poured into that dish shocked me.