Latkes with Short Ribs

Elizaveta Vigonskaia

3 hours and 30 minutes

4-6 Servings

Latkes with short ribs
Latkes with Short Ribs

During the Soviet Famine of 1946 and 1947, Elizaveta Vigonskaia and her family struggled to find food in their hometown of Kyiv. “My mom tried everything” to ensure the family survived, Elizaveta explains. A doctor prescribed fish oil, which could be sourced from a pharmacy, to provide nourishment. Her mother Esther used it to fry the few potatoes she could gather, making latkes to sustain the family. Elizaveta’s latkes, which she makes in her home in Brooklyn, nod to abundance, topping potato pancakes with rich braised beef spiked with warming allspice. Read more of Elizaveta’s story on the Jewish Food Society’s archive.

Ingredients

  • For the stew:
  • 2 pounds bone-in short ribs, cut across the bone into 2½ -inch pieces
  • 1½ tablespoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable or grape seed oil
  • 5 kernels whole allspice
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • For the latkes:
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled
  • 4 large russet potatoes, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1½ tablespoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • For the garnish:
  • 3 – 5 sprigs fresh dill or parsley

Preparation

  1.  Make the beef stew: Season the short ribs with salt and pepper. Place 2 tablespoons of oil into a large pot over medium high heat. Once the oil is hot, gently add the short ribs and sear on all sides until golden brown, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer the meat onto a plate and reduce the heat to medium. Add the onions and garlic and saute until soft, about 15 minutes. Add the seared meat back into the pot, along with the allspice and add enough water to cover the beef about ¾ the way up. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium low and cook covered. Cook at a gentle simmer for about 3 hours, or until the meat is tender and the liquid reduced in half into a stew-like consistency.
  2. Make the latke mix: Grate the onion and potatoes with a box grater or in a food processor. Wrap the grated onions and potatoes with a tea towel and squeeze out as much liquid as possible into a bowl. After about 5 minutes the potato starch in the liquid will settle at the bottom of the bowl. Gently drain out the water and then scrape off the potato starch from the bowl. Add the potato starch, onions, and potatoes into a separate mixing bowl. Add the flour, eggs, salt and pepper into the bowl and mix the ingredients until combined well.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400F/205C degrees.
  4.  Fry the latkes: Place a large skillet over medium high heat and add about 1-inch of oil. Once the oil is sizzling, take 1½ tablespoons of the latke mix into your palm and shape into a flat disk that is about 3 inches wide. Gently place the latke into the oil. Repeat the process, adding 4 or 5 more latkes to the pan. Be sure to not overcrowd the pan. Fry the latkes on both sides until golden brown, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a paper-towel lined tray and continue frying the latkes in batches with the remaining mix.
  5. Roast the latkes with the short ribs stew: Once the stew is ready, place the latkes in one layer onto a baking pan. Once the short ribs are cool enough to handle, shred the beef and discard the bones. Gently place a dollop of short ribs over each latke. Pour the stew liquids over the latkes. Place the baking pan into the oven and reduce the heat to 350. Bake for 15 minutes or until the latkes have absorbed some of the stew and the flavors of the beef.
  6. Serve hot with a few sprigs of fresh dill or parsley.

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