Classic Red Wine-Braised Beef Short Ribs

Classic Red Wine-Braised Beef Short Ribs {Katie at the Kitchen Door}

It’s one of those gray December days that makes me feel like cozying up on the couch with a blanket and a cup of hot chocolate. I know that it’s too warm for snow, but it looks like it could start flurrying any minute. It’s early enough in the season that I don’t mind. It still feels festive to stay inside by the Christmas tree, or even to bundle up and walk through the neighborhood at dusk, looking at everyone’s lights (and, let’s be real, the plethora of horribly tacky but also endearing Christmas inflatables in our neighborhood).

Classic Red Wine-Braised Beef Short Ribs {Katie at the Kitchen Door}

Classic Red Wine-Braised Beef Short Ribs {Katie at the Kitchen Door}

It’s also the perfect sort of day for slow cooking. It will be dark by 4pm, at which point we’ll start thinking about dinner and wonder what we have that we can pop in the oven. That’s what this short rib recipe is for. It’s for days when you have hours to while away indoors, when you crave something rich and tender, when you want an excuse to open a nice bottle of red wine before 5. This is your excuse – you’ll need a cup or two of wine to braise the short ribs. This is also your excuse to stay put while the short ribs roast, filling your house with the savory scent of beef slumping into red wine.

These short ribs are classic but wonderful. If you do a little research, you’ll find that most short rib recipes out in the world are fairly similar, with only minor tweaks in the order of operations and a secret ingredient here or there. You could argue that this means the recipe is ripe for innovation, or you could just take what’s been tried and tested by the world’s greatest chefs and go with it. This version is most closely inspired by Sunday Suppers at Lucques, my favorite cookbook. I go through periods when I can’t seem to cook from any other book, as I’ve mentioned before. It also takes a few cues from this Daniel recipe. Whichever recipe you use, the tricks I’ve picked up for great short ribs are as follows. One, season generously.  Two, brown until caramelized, not just grayish-brown. Three, set aside at least 3 hours cooking time and don’t be tempted to take the ribs out before they are super tender. Four, refrigerate overnight before serving in order to skim and discard as much fat as you can.

Classic Red Wine-Braised Beef Short Ribs {Katie at the Kitchen Door}

I had originally planned on doing a follow-up post as well – a short rib grilled cheese sandwich. They offer a similar sandwich, on rich challah bread, at Tatte. We made the sandwiches but, shockingly, they were too rich for me. It turned out I had met my match when it comes to how much richness you can squeeze into one bite. So I’ll save the short rib grilled cheese for another day, when I’ve cracked that recipe. For now, I hope these delicious red wine-braised beef short ribs will warm up your kitchen this winter.

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More winter braises…

Tunisian Lamb-and-Eggplant Stew with Farro and Harissa

Braised Lamb Shanks with Blue Cheese Polenta

French Beef Stew with Red Wine

French Beef Stew with Red Wine

Classic Red Wine-Braised Beef Short Ribs {Katie at the Kitchen Door}

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Classic Red Wine-Braised Beef Short Ribs

Classic Red Wine-Braised Short Ribs {Katie at the Kitchen Door}

Classic beef short ribs, braised in red wine for hours until meltingly tender. Best served over creamy mashed potatoes, potato gnocchi, or buttered egg noodles.

Adapted from Sunday Suppers at Lucques and Daniel (via Serious Eats)

  • Author: Katie at the Kitchen Door
Scale

Ingredients

  • 4 bone-in short ribs, about 10-12 oz each (3 lbs. total)
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
  • 1 TBS fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery, finely chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 whole bay leaves
  • 2 cups full-bodied red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 1/2 cup port wine
  • 3 TBS saba or aged balsamic vinegar
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325F.
  2. Pat the short ribs day and sprinkle the pepper, sea salt, and thyme leaves on top of them. Rub the seasoning in to fully coat the short ribs on all sides. Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven or medium heat, then add the short ribs to the pan (do this in batches if they don’t fit in a single layer). Brown the short ribs on all sides, about 2-3 minutes per side, until a nice, caramelized brown crust has formed on the exterior of the ribs. Remove the browned short ribs to a plate.
  3. Drain the rendered fat from the pan, reserving only 1 TBS of fat in the pan. Return the pan to the heat and lower the heat to medium-low. Add the chopped onions, carrots, celery, garlic and bay leaves to the pan. Saute until the vegetables are tender and translucent, about 5-7 minutes.
  4. Add the red wine, port wine and balsamic vinegar to the pan with the vegetables. Bring to a simmer and scrape up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Simmer the wine until it has reduce by one third, which should take 5-8 minutes.
  5. Add the beef broth to the reduced wine and stir to combine, then place the short ribs back in the pan. They should fit snugly in the pan and be just barely covered by the liquid. Tuck the parsley in to the pan around the side of the ribs. Cover with a lid and transfer to the preheated oven. Roast the short ribs for 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours, checking every 30-45 minutes and turning the ribs over in the pan at least once. When finished, the ribs should be completely tender, such that you can easily pull the meat apart with a fork. Remove them from the oven and let cool for 20 minutes. For best results, cover and transfer them to the fridge overnight before serving.
  6. When ready to serve, remove the ribs from the fridge. Skim off and discard the hard white fat on top of the dish (there will likely be a lot of this). Preheat the oven to 400F, and return the ribs, uncovered, to the oven for 15-20 minutes – this is to both reheat the ribs and to gently brown the exterior. Before serving, ladle the sauce and vegetables out of the pan and strain through a fine mesh strainer. Discard the vegetables. Serve the ribs on mashed potatoes, gnocchi, or buttered egg noodles, topped with the strained sauce.

Back // Pan-Fried Pork Chops with Roasted Apples, Pears, and Brandy Cream Sauce

Pan-Fried Pork Chops with Roasted Apples and Pears {Katie at the Kitchen Door}

Pan-Fried Pork Chops with Roasted Apples and Pears {Katie at the Kitchen Door}

I’ve spent a lot of time in the past year grappling with the future of this blog. As do all bloggers, writers, or people who show up to do anything consistently day after day. I’ve gone from certain I want to make this blog my full time business to certain I want to quit entirely (the range of the uncertainty effectively negating either option as the best one). Hearing about other people’s “should I or shouldn’t I” blog crises always bores me, so I’ll keep this short and sweet. Here’s how I feel today: I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished here. I still feel the urge to write and create. I tried the blogging-as-a-business thing (the podcasts, the SEO otpimization, etc., etc.) and it mostly left me frustrated. My job challenges and fulfills me and right now that, not blogging, is my career. So I will keep coming here, keep cooking, keep writing, but I’m not going to worry so much about stats and schedules. I want this to be a place that inspires and fulfills me, not a chore to stress over.

Pan-Fried Pork Chops with Roasted Apples and Pears {Katie at the Kitchen Door}

Now that that’s out of the way – hi! I’ve been gone because Trevor and I got married! Then we went on an incredible honeymoon and spent three weeks in Croatia, Slovenia, and Prague. It was awesome. I took a lot of pictures, I drank a lot of wine and beer and mead, I walked a bajillion steps every day, and I spent so much time with Trevor everyday that I think I’m going to go through withdrawal. I’m happy to be home though, not least because it’s fall. An exceptionally warm, lovely fall at that.

With wedding planning off my plate I’m just starting to find room in my mind for cooking and creativity. The day we got back from our honeymoon we did a deep clean of the fridge, freezer, and pantry which was also strangely inspiring. I feel like I have a clean slate in the kitchen now. That, combined with the beautiful fall produce, inspired these Pan-Fried Pork Chops with Roasted Apples and Pears. It was the first real home-cooked dinner we’ve had in months.

Pan-Fried Pork Chops with Roasted Apples and Pears {Katie at the Kitchen Door}

Pan-Fried Pork Chops with Roasted Apples and Pears {Katie at the Kitchen Door}

This recipe is pretty easy, doable on a weeknight, and hearty without being heavy.  The pork chops are simply dredged in seasoned flour and pan-fried. The fruit – chopped and tossed with rosemary, olive oil, a hint of brown sugar, and cider vinegar. While the fruit is roasting and the chops are resting, you make a quick pan sauce using calvados to tie everything together. The roasted fruit was my favorite part of this, with it’s balance of sweet and savory flavors. It would also go well with other mains, particularly sausages or grilled chicken, so it seems likely I’ll make it again while fall fruits are still at their peak.

P.S. Don’t worry! When we get our wedding pictures back I’ll share some here. I’ll most likely do a few honeymoon posts as well, because, you know, Slovenian venison goulash seems like a thing you might like.

Pan-Fried Pork Chops with Roasted Apples and Pears {Katie at the Kitchen Door}

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Pan-Fried Pork Chops with Roasted Apples, Pears, and Brandy Cream Sauce

Pan-Fried Pork Chops with Roasted Apples and Pears {Katie at the Kitchen Door}

An easy fall dinner of pan-fried pork chops, roasted apples, pears, and red onions, and a quick  brandy pan sauce. 

Inspired by Diana Henry’s Roast Figs Sugar Snow and Hilary Davis’ French Comfort Food.

  • Author: Katie at the Kitchen Door
  • Yield: 4 1x
Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 red onions, peeled and cut into wedges
  • 2 Bartlett pears, cut into quarters and cored
  • 2 McIntosh apples, cored and cut into thick slices
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 2 sprigs rosemary leaves, finely chopped
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 TBS brown sugar
  • 1 TBS apple cider vinegar
  • Four 8-oz pork chops
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 TBS flour
  • 2 TBS butter
  • 4 leaves sage
  • 1/2 cup dry hard cider
  • 1/4 cup calvados / apple brandy
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

Instructions

  1. For the fruit: Preheat the oven to 375F. Arrange the onion wedges, pear slices, and apples slices on a rimmed baking sheet. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, chopped rosemary leaves, sea salt (to taste), black pepper, brown sugar, and apple cider vinegar until combined. Drizzle the olive oil mixture on top of the fruit and onions. Use a spatula to flip everything over once to coat with the oil. Place in the oven and roast until the fruit is soft, about 20 minutes.
  2. For the pork chops: Place 1/4 cup of the flour on a large plate and spread into a thin layer. Season with sea salt and black pepper to taste. Pat the pork chops dry with a paper towel and then dredge in the seasoned flour so that they are lightly coated with flour on both sides. Melt the butter in a large, heavy-bottomed frying pan over medium-high heat. When the butter starts to foam and sizzle, add the sage leaves and fry for 60 seconds. Add the floured pork chops to the pan, spacing them out evenly so they aren’t touching one another (you may need to do this in batches if your pan is small). Fry the pork chops until golden brown on one side, then flip and fry on the other side. This should take about 5 minutes per side. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of your pork chops – they should be 145F at the thickest portion. If they have not yet reached this temperature, cook 1 minute longer then check again. As soon as they reach 145F remove them to a paper-towel lined plate and let rest for 5 minutes.
  3. For the pan sauce: Return the pan you used to cook the pork chops to the heat. Add 2 TBS of flour to the juices left in the pan and quickly stir until thickened, about 60 seconds. Add the hard cider to the pan and let simmer, then use a wooden spatula or spoon to scrape the bottom of the pan until it is clean, stirring the sauce as you scrape. Add the apple brandy to the pan, stir to incorporate into the sauce, and cook for 2-3 minutes, then remove from the heat. Stir in the heavy cream and season the sauce to taste.
  4. To serve: Place a pork chop on each plate along with several pieces of roasted fruit. Spoon some of the pan sauce over the pork and serve immediately.

French Spring Dinner with La Crema: Strawberries and Cream Chiffon Cakes

*This post is sponsored by La Crema Wines. All opinions here are my own. You can find the companion recipes over on the La Crema blog

As soon as the first hint of spring arrives, I start thinking about rosé wine. Perhaps I’m just more susceptible to social trends and marketing than I think I am, but somehow, that first chilled glass of rosé, preferably consumed on a terrace on a sunny but cool evening, has come to embody the fact that summer is coming. In March and April I test the waters with a glass here and there, usually consumed indoors while looking longingly at the outdoors, wishing spring would hurry up and get here. And then May hits, and it’s all rosé all the time (#roséallday, people).

Strawberries and Cream Chiffon Cakes - a French take on classic Strawberry Shortcake {Katie at the Kitchen Door}

 

Strawberries and Cream Chiffon Cakes - a French take on classic Strawberry Shortcake {Katie at the Kitchen Door}In celebration of the start of rosé season, I’ve put together a pairing dinner using La Crema’s two rosé wines – the Monterey Pinot Noir Rosé and the Saralee’s Vineyard Pinot Noir Rosé. In the past my dinner series collaboration with La Crema has taken us to Japan for Izakaya, Latin America for a spicy Thanksgiving menu, and Italy for a summery seafood feast. Now, for spring and for rosé, we’re going to France, where effortless appetizers and simple but elegant entrées are king. And also there’s a lot of pink wine.

 

There are four courses in this menu. First, a Spring Crudité Platter. If you are thinking to yourself, “how boring,” bear with me a moment. This is not a platter of dry baby carrots and too-thick ranch dressing sitting, ignored, in a corner. This is a vibrant, effortless display of spring’s best vegetables. Blanched asparagus, snap peas, tender spring carrots, bitter endive, spicy radish slices, and sweet pepper… all served with an addictive, pale green herb aioli. Crudité platters can be very classy.

French Spring Dinner Menu - Spring Crudites with Herbed Aioli {Katie at the Kitchen Door}

French Spring Dinner Menu - Goat Cheese Tart with Peas and Prosciutto {Katie at the Kitchen Door}

Second, a simple and savory Goat Cheese Tart with Peas and Prosciutto. It’s similar to a quiche, but thinner and denser. It’s also so, so good. Even if you’re not tackling the whole French Rosé Dinner menu, give this goat cheese tart a try. It’s  a great multipurpose recipe to have in your cooking arsenal, and you can vary the vegetables with the season. Equally good warm or cold, a thin slice is a perfect appetizer for dinner, while a big slice makes a filling breakfast.

The main course is a lovely Baked Halibut Provençal – halibut marinated in lemon and olive oil and served over a rich tomato, olive, and caper sauce. It’s inspired by the time I spent in Provence years ago, on my first vacation with Trevor. We rented an apartment at the top of a hill in Cassis and spent a week there. It was a tiny little place with an expansive patio, and every day after beach hopping we would hike up the hundreds of dusty stone steps with bags of vegetables from the market hanging on our shoulders. We were using most of our disposable income on the apartment so we ate simply – ratatouille and grilled chicken. This recipe takes it’s cues from those meals. A simple but perfectly cooked protein accompanied by a sauce full of seasonal vegetables and herbs.

French Spring Dinner Menu - Baked Halibut Provencal with Tomato, Olive, and Caper Sauce {Katie at the Kitchen Door}

Strawberries and Cream Chiffon Cakes - a French take on classic Strawberry Shortcake {Katie at the Kitchen Door}

And to finish off this lovely French dinner, a cake! Or, mini Strawberries and Cream Chiffon Cakes, to be precise. I wanted to make a French version of strawberry shortcake, one of my favorite spring desserts. I swapped the buttery shortcakes for a light and airy chiffon cake, and layered the chiffon cake with strawberries and whipped cream. A few more tweaks upped the elegance – there’s rosé in the cake batter and mint and tarragon in the strawberries.

Strawberries and Cream Chiffon Cakes - a French take on classic Strawberry Shortcake {Katie at the Kitchen Door}

This cake was everything I was hoping it would be. I was worried that it would be worse than your standard strawberry shortcake. Strawberry shortcake is, after all, pretty difficult to improve upon. But the chiffon cake – soft and airy – was the perfect thing for soaking up all the delicious strawberry juices. The rosé wine flavor was just barely present in the cake, and you could taste the mint and tarragon in the strawberries, too. It was the kind of dessert that I thought about multiple times while sitting at work. That’s the surest sign of a win, in my book.

You can find the recipes for the first three courses on the La Crema blog: Spring Crudité PlatterGoat Cheese Tart with Peas and Prosciutto and Baked Halibut Provençal. The Strawberries and Cream Chiffon Cake recipe is below!

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Strawberries and Cream Chiffon Cakes - a French take on classic Strawberry Shortcake {Katie at the Kitchen Door}

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Strawberries and Cream Chiffon Cakes

Strawberries and Cream Chiffon Cakes - a French take on classic Strawberry Shortcake {Katie at the Kitchen Door}

A French take on Strawberry Shortcake, using light and airy chiffon cake as the base. The chiffon cake has rose wine whipped into the batter for a hint of flavor, and the strawberries are macerated with fresh tarragon and mint.

Chiffon cake recipe adapted from the Joy of Cooking.

  • Author: Katie at the Kitchen Door
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Dessert
Scale

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 2 1/4 cups sifted cake flour
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 TBS baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup rosé wine
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil or canola oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 7 egg whites
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar

For the filling:

  • 2 lb. strawberries, washed, hulled, and thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup plus 1/4 cup sugar, divided
  • 2 TBS minced fresh tarragon leaves
  • 2 TBS minced fresh mint leaves
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla

Instructions

  1. For the cake: Preheat the oven to 325°F. Spray an 11×17 inch sheet pan lightly with cooking spray, then line with a piece of parchment paper. Set the prepared pan aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the cake flour, sugar, baking powder and salt until evenly combined. Now add the wet ingredients – the egg yolks, wine, canola oil, and vanilla and beat thoroughly, until a smooth batter is formed. Set this batter aside.
  3. In a large, clean bowl, begin beating the egg whites on high speed (or vigorously by hand). After about 30 seconds, stop and add the cream of tartar, then continue beating. Beat until the egg whites are very stiff and glossy – they should completely hold their shape. Add a third of the beaten egg whites to the bowl with the batter and gently fold with a spatula until the two mixtures are evenly combined. Now add the remaining egg whites and fold in until evenly combined. Scrape the batter into the prepared sheet pan and use a spatula to spread evenly. Bake until the top of the cake springs back lightly when pressed, about 20 minutes. Run a knife along the edges of the pan to release the cake. Let cool to room temperature, then invert the cake on a piece of aluminum foil and peel off the parchment paper. Set the cake aside or refrigerate until ready to use.
  4. For the filling: Place the sliced strawberries in a large bowl with 1/3 cup of sugar and the minced mint and tarragon leaves. Stir to coat the berries with sugar. Set aside and let macerate for at least 15 minutes. You can also cover the berries and let them sit in the fridge for up to 24 hours.
  5. When you are ready to assemble and serve the cakes, beat the heavy cream on high with the remaining 1/4 cup sugar until it is whipped enough to hold it’s shape. Avoid over-beating as it will take on a butter-like consistency. Stir in the vanilla.
  6. Cut the cake into 12 squares that are approximately 4 inches wide. For each cake, place one cake square on a plate. Cover with 2 or 3 large spoonfuls of strawberries and their juice, arranging neatly. Spread some whipped cream on top, then repeat the layers – cake, strawberries, whipped cream – once more. Garnish with a strawberry. Serve immediately.

Ingredient of the Week: Fava Beans // Fava Bean Soup with Mascarpone, Mint, and Pancetta

Fava Bean Soup with Mascarpone, Mint, and Pancetta {Katie at the Kitchen Door}

It’s very clear to me what I should be eating and drinking in May. Perhaps more clear than any other month of the year. May is for fava beans, as many as I can get my hands on. It’s for ramps, garlicky and pungent, worth the splurge. It’s for chilled glasses of rosé, on both warm days and cold days. And finally, at the very end of the month, it’s for the first strawberries, tiny and bright red.

Fava Bean Soup with Mascarpone, Mint, and Pancetta {Katie at the Kitchen Door}

Fava Bean Recipes {Katie at the Kitchen Door}

This year, on May 2nd, I found myself standing over a pile of fava beans, happily shucking the beans from their fuzzy-pods. (This is only a happy activity the first time. After that it’s a chore and a half but still worth it.) I had just opened the first bottle of rosé, a lovely Chilean blend. And then, I realized that I had lived this exact moment the previous year – the first fava beans, the first rosé, the apple blossoms just reaching their peak outside the window. What a beautiful moment! The world is better for its patterns.

In celebration of this particular moment in the year, I’m bringing back a series that’s been quiet for years: ingredient of the week. It’s been 3 years since I last did one, but it’s always at the back of my mind. What’s in season now that I can only get my hands on for a week or two? How can I make the most of it’s brief appearance before it’s gone for another year? After my Sunday Dinner series, it’s the series that best reflects why I write this blog – finding interesting recipes to celebrate seasonal ingredients. Of course, given my current blogging pace of 4 posts a month, putting together 5 posts in a week seems a bit Herculean. So much cooking and writing and photo editing, not to mention the fava bean shucking! But I’ve planned ahead, and I think we’ve got this.

Fava Bean Soup with Mascarpone, Mint, and Pancetta {Katie at the Kitchen Door}

Fava beans have a very distinct flavor, grassy and slightly bitter. This soup is the essence of that flavor, undistilled, unsweetened. It’s a good recipe to kick off this week, a pure celebration of spring flavors. It’s all about the toppings – don’t skip them. The soup needs the saltiness of the pancetta and the crunch of the croutons and the subtle sweetness of the mascarpone. It even needs the mint, that little bit of herbality humming in the background. Without all of those flavors to highlight and offset the grassy fava beans, the soup is a bit one dimensional and overwhelmingly green tasting. But all together, it’s the very essence of spring.

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Strawberry and Meyer Lemon Filled Crepes

Strawberry and Meyer Lemon Crepes - filled with Strawberry Mascarpone Cream {Katie at the Kitchen Door}

I first learned to make crepes in high school. During one French class our professor took us to his house for a simple French cooking lesson. It was a boarding school and most of the professors lived on campus, so this wasn’t particularly unusual. He taught us the ratio – 1:2:1 milk, eggs, flour – and pan-fried dozens of crepes. Like most of my classes in high school, I spent a good portion of it flirting, an activity that was only enhanced by speaking French and eating crepes. French – the language of ballet, patisserie, and love.

Strawberry and Meyer Lemon Crepes - filled with Strawberry Mascarpone Cream {Katie at the Kitchen Door}

I’ve all but forgotten French, but I do remember how to make crepes. They are such a wonderful dessert. At their simplest, they require only 4 ingredients – milk, eggs, flour, and a pat of butter for the frying pan. From there, you can dress them up in seemingly infinite ways. You can stuff them with fruit and cream, stack them in layers with salted caramel to make a crepe cake, or flambée them with a bit of rum. You can make the batter chocolate-flavored or go the savory route and fill your crepes with ham and cheese. They are simple, economical, and delicious.

These Strawberry and Meyer Lemon Crepes are on the fancier end of the crepe spectrum.  The crepe batter itself has a splash of brandy, vanilla, sugar, and melted butter added to the base. After cooking, you spread each crepe with two different strawberry-based fillings. The first is a strawberry-mascarpone cream (it’s the loveliest shade of pink!) and the second is a jammy sauce made from strawberries, meyer lemon, and a splash of vodka. Folded and garnished with fresh strawberries and powdered sugar they make a spring dessert that’s both elegant and simple.

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