Braised Short Ribs

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Ok so this recipe doesn’t exactly fit the theme of my blog. I hate to start off my posts with an apology, but really… I’m sorry. You probably came here looking for a cheap, simple, yet gourmet tasting dish. This checks one of those boxes but not all three. If you’re looking for something satisfying yet inexpensive you can take a look at this recipe…or this one. I’m also sorry about the length of this post. This isn’t exactly an amateur recipe and I want to offer enough detail for you to be successful. I don’t want to fry your brain or your retinas but please just continue to read. Oh and I have one more apology. This recipe doesn’t exactly fit the current season – this is more of a Fall or Winter dish but honestly it’s so darn tasty that I’m ok with having it for breakfast, lunch and/or dinner any time of year.

The first time I made short ribs I freaked out. I will never forget opening the lid 15 minutes before my guests arrived and discovering a huge mess in my red Le Creuset dutch oven. The short ribs had lost their bones and were just floating in a reddish/ brown broth with some fancy herbs in it! I wanted to cry. Not only did I take off work early and slave over these slabs of meat but I made a huge mistake and violated one of Julia Child’s number one cooking rules. In general, she always advised not to serve guests something you’ve never tried or made before. You should never experiment when you’re having a dinner party unless you know what you’re doing. I’m all for taking risks in the kitchen but this just isn’t the time.

Luckily my fairy God Mother was looking out for me that day and these turned out AMAZING—I mean really, really good. It turns out that you want the beef to literally fall off the bone. I know that you don’t actually need or want to eat the bone, but I think its nice for presentation—a little Fred Flintstone flair never hurts a dish! I think I’ve pulled this off about 50% of the time and unfortunately I don’t have any secret tips for making the beef adhere to the bone completely. You should buy a lotto ticket that day if you can make it happen.

Before I took and initial stab at these I researched all sorts of recipes for beef short ribs – traditional, Asian, barbeque, you name it. I finally settled on a classic recipe for braised short ribs and I came to find out that braising is a beautiful thing. It requires very little effort, and once you get the hang of it you can get creative and adjust to your own palate. You can doctor up the braise with one or several herbs and spices, and you can simmer them in almost anything– from wine or beer to stock to hoisin or any combination thereof and the result is always magical.

These babies are best served with something creamy on the side and a nice green vegetable. I usually whip up some decadent, cheesy polenta or simple mashed potatoes. I suggest asparagus or Brussels sprouts on the side as well. Hungry yet?

Ingredients

  • 8 Bone-in Beef Short Ribs – $22.00
  • Coarse Salt and Pepper To Taste
  • 1/4 cup flour $.10
  • 5 pieces Pancetta, Diced (I buy the boars head pre diced kind) $5.00
  • 2 Tbs EVOO $.25
  • 1 Medium white Onion, Diced $1.00
  • 2 Shallots, Peeled And Finely Minced   $1.00
  • 5 whole Carrots, Diced (don’t peel, keep it rustic)   $1.00
  • 2 whole cloves garlic – peeled, not chopped $.10
  • 2 cups Beef Broth (enough To cover Ribs)   $3.00
  • 2 cups dry red wine $8.00
  • 3 sprigs Thyme   $2.00
  • 2 sprigs Rosemary   $2.00

Total: $47.25

Instructions

Cut all your veggies and get the pre-work out of the way. Preheat oven to 350.

Salt and pepper ribs, dredge in plenty of flour (I put the flour on a large cutting board so I have plenty of room to work). Set aside.

In dutch oven, cook pancetta over medium heat until complete crispy. Remove pancetta and set aside. Do not discard grease (leave it in the pot).

Add EVOO to pot with the grease, and raise heat to high. Brown ribs on all sides, about 30-45 seconds per side. You want a nice sear but don’t overdo it. Remove ribs and set aside. Bring heat down to medium.

Add onions, carrots, and shallots to pan and cook for 2 minutes. Pour in wine and scrape bottom of pan to release all the brown bits. Bring to a boil and cook 3 minutes. Add in the garlic cloves.

Add broth, 1 teaspoon salt, and lots of freshly ground black pepper. Taste and add more salt if needed. Add ribs to the liquid; they should be completely submerged. Add thyme and rosemary sprigs (whole, not chopped) to the liquid.

Put on the lid and place into the oven. Cook at 350 for 2 hours, then reduce heat to 325 and cook for an additional 40- 45 minutes. Ribs should be fork-tender and either off or falling off the bone. Remove pan from oven and allow to sit for at least 15-20 minutes, lid on, before serving. At the last minute, skim fat off the top of the liquid. Serve immediately on a bed of polenta or mashed potatoes and spoon some of the broth, carrot, onion mixture on top.

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