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Braised Short Ribs

Goooooooo MEAT!!

These braised beef ribs are such a beautiful thing and perfect for a cold, rainy, wintry day. They will restore your soul. Eater beware: I got a little carried away when I loaded up my plate with these babies and literally couldn’t move for three days. “Stick to your ribs” is a massive understatement.

**VEGETARIANS BEWARE: This post contains images of raw, seared and beautifully falling-off-the-bone pieces of meat that used to be part of a live animal. Viewer discretion is advised.

First, let’s prepare our ribs; this recipe can accommodate 6-8 short ribs. If you’re one of those folks who like to wash their meat, go ahead and rinse your ribs under cold water and pat dry. If you’re not, you still want to pat your ribs until dry. Dry ribs are very important…it’s how you get a lovely golden brown sear on them. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and set aside. At this point, you could also preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Meat

Next…more meat! We’re going to saute some bacon to create a nice savoury base to cook the veggies and sear the meat. And because everything’s better with bacon. For this, I specifically used pancetta because I like to be fancy. It’s perfectly acceptable to use regular bacon. Dice up about 4-6 pieces of pancetta/bacon (depending on how many ribs you have) and throw it into a large pot to render over medium heat.

My pancetta (aka "fancy bacon")

Rendering the bacon

When most of the fat has rendered off and the bacon pieces are brown (but not burned) remove them with a slotted spoon and set aside, leaving the drippings in the pot. Add another two tablespoons of olive oil to the pot and turn the heat up to high.

Take each rib and dredge it in flour making sure to cover all sides and then shake off the excess. When the oil is hot, place the ribs in the pot and brown on all sides.

Before

After!

Remove the ribs from the pot, set aside and turn the heat back down to medium. At this point, you should have lots of brown gunk all over the bottom of your pot. This is a good thing…nay, a GREAT thing. This brown gunk is called “flava”. Next we’re gonna throw one diced onion, 2-3 diced carrots and 2 diced shallots on top of our flava and saute for a couple of minutes until the veggies start to get soft.

Now it starts to get really good. Pour 2 cups of red wine into the pot and bring to a boil. As it comes to a boil, scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to release the brown gunk and, thus, the flava.

Vino

You want it to be at an active boil for about 2-3 minutes. This will burn the alcohol away leaving just the flavor of the wine. I’m also a true believer of not using a wine in a recipe that you wouldn’t want to drink. Two cups is about half a bottle of wine…I leave you to figure out what to do with the rest.

Now we’re going to add the ribs back to the pot and finish off the braising liquid by adding 2 cups of beef, veal or chicken stock, salt (about a tsp), ground black pepper and 2 sprigs each of fresh thyme and rosemary. The liquid should pretty much cover the ribs.

Cover the pot and place in your preheated oven. Cook at 350 for 2 hours, then reduce temp to 325 and cook for an additional 30-45 minutes, or up to an hour if your ribs are particularly large. Remove from the oven and let sit in the covered pot for at least 20 minutes. Before serving, skim the fat off the top of the sauce with a ladle or spoon. This is a very important step; if you don’t remove enough of the fat the sauce will be too greasy. If you have time, you can also remove the ribs to a plate or baking dish and place the pot in the fridge for about 30 minutes. This will allow the fat to rise to the top and solidify making it easier to remove. Then just reheat the sauce and ribs on the stove top.

To serve this, I like to just spoon the sauce as-is over the ribs. It seems more rustic and homey that way. You could also strain the solids from the sauce and reduce it even further to give it a glossier, more refined feel.

Serve with polenta or mashed potatoes and some sort of vegetable. I served mine with goat cheese polenta and sauteed asparagus.

*drool*

This is one of my favorite dishes, although I’m still kind of traumatized by the meat coma that followed this meal.

2 Comments

  1. Amelia says:

    YUM! Patrick and I were actually JUST talking about making short ribs (which I’ve never done before), but I do believe I will give this a shot. :)

  2. Sarah V. says:

    Oh my YUM! This sounds amazing… You should have your own show and I should I always be a guest :)

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