5

I just made braised short ribs with balsamic vinegar, and after taking it out of the oven all the liquid turned clear! Here is a picture of the result (sans a few ribs):

clear liquid in dutch oven with short ribs

I suspect it is due to the rendering of the connective tissue and fat from the short ribs, but I don't understand why it is so clear, especially given that there was wine and beef broth in it.

Here is the recipe I followed: https://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2014/02/balsamic-brown-sugar-short-ribs-recipe.html

Additionally, is there anything I can do with this liquid? I'd rather use it than toss it if possible.

Edit: The liquid has since congealed into a solidified opaque beige liquid, which looks to me like fat.

  • 4
    By "clear" do you mean evaporated? I'm not seeing liquid in that pot, only lot of burnt bits. Did you have the lid on while braising? – myklbykl Mar 21 at 5:30
  • 1
    I do not mean evaporated, it may be hard to see but there is a layer of clear liquid at the bottom. I did have the lid on. If you view the image directly (i.imgur.com/80ZxBqu.png) it's easier to see. – user975989 Mar 21 at 5:42
  • 1
    Yes, much better photo, and it does look like fat. You should be able to feel it with your fingers or put a little in a small skillet on the stove to see if it evaporates when heated to know for sure. Or taste it. It looks like the solids all burned out and the fat was all that was left which is why it is clear. – myklbykl Mar 21 at 15:48
11

I believe the liquid looks like fat that has been rendered out of short ribs, which are quite fatty. Most of the water-based liquids you added (red wine, stock, vinegar, etc.) seem to have evaporated and/or burned, and what's left of them has sunk to the bottom of the pan. Naturally, oil would float on top.
As to what to do with it, you could use it to cook, but keep in mind it will carry some flavours of this dish.

Update: OP just edited the original question to say the liquid solidified, confirming that it is indeed fat.

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    Yes, I also believe it is fat. I am surprised that all the other liquids evaporated, the dutch oven was kept closed and the recipe was followed properly. – user975989 Mar 21 at 7:34
  • 1
    Dutch oven lids don't keep ALL liquid in. If you simmer something covered on the stovetop, with the lid on, you'll see plenty of steam escaping. I often use foil between the pot and lid to make the lid tighter fitting if I want less water to escape. – AMtwo Mar 21 at 13:55
  • 1
    Seemingly minor differences in amount of liquid, size of the dutch oven, oven temperate, cook time, even the shape of the shortribs & how they are nestled into the braising liquid will all effect evaporation. – AMtwo Mar 21 at 13:57
  • Lesson learned, will braise it for shorter next time. Still came out well though. – user975989 Mar 21 at 22:37
  • 2
    I wouldn't braise it less, I would add more liquid next time. – Ross Millikan Mar 21 at 23:53

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.