January 27, 2013

Braised Short Ribs

I was going through the Garlic Press archives the other day when I realized that I hadn't posted a single recipe for short ribs. How was this possible? Short ribs are one of my very favorite winter meals. They're rich and tender and flavorful and they make the house smell amazing.

Once I realized my lapse, I did what any dedicated blogger would do. I went right out and got some short ribs. (I know, the sacrifices I make for you guys.) The weather couldn't have been any more cooperative. Bright, sunny, and 20 degrees. The kind of weather that demands that you have something bubbling away in the kitchen.

Start with the short ribs. You can see they have plenty of fat. Take the time to trim off as much fat as you can. It'll make a huge difference.

Season the ribs with salt, pepper and fresh thyme. Let them sit for a little while.

In the meantime, prep the rest of your ingredients: carrots, celery and onions.

Now heat the oil in a large cast iron pot. Sear the meat on the meaty sides until it's a nice, deep brown. Do this in small batches. If you add too much meat at once, it will steam and not get brown. 

Remove each batch of meat once it browns.

In the same pot, saute the veggies until they are nice and tender.

Add the balsamic vinegar, port and red wine. Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce it down to concentrate the flavors.

Then add the short ribs back to the pot, along with the beef broth. Bring it to a boil, then tightly cover and put it in the oven. Let it simmer away for the next few hours.

When you take it out of the oven, the meat should be fork tender, and the liquid will have thickened up a bit.

Now, remove the ribs from the pot. Fish out any bay leave and thyme sprigs.

Blend the sauce with an immersion blender. (The recipe said to strain the sauce, but I decided to puree the carrots, celery and onion into the sauce. It worked nicely as a thickener and gave it some more flavor).

Boil the sauce for a few minutes until it thickens up to a consistency you like.

Add the meat back to the sauce along with the pearl onions. Heat it all up.

Serve, along with French bread, rice or mashed potatoes to soak up the delicious sauce.

Braised Short Ribs

Recipe adapted from Sunday Suppers at Lucques

5 to 6 lbs beef short ribs, fat trimmed off
1 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme 
4 whole sprigs thyme
1 Tbsp freshly cracked black pepper
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup diced onion
1/3 cup diced carrot
1/3 cup diced celery
2 bay leaves
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 cups port
2 1/2 cups + 1/2 cup hearty red wine
6 cups + 1/2 cup beef stock
4 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 package frozen pearl onions, defrosted
1 Tbsp butter

1.    Season the short ribs with 1 tablespoon thyme and the cracked black pepper. Use your hands to rub the spices into the meat. Cover, and refrigerate overnight.

2.    Take the short ribs out of the refrigerator an hour before cooking, to come to room temperature. After 30 minutes, season them generously on all sides with salt.

3.    Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

4.    Heat a large Dutch oven over high heat for 3 minutes. Pour in 3 tablespoons olive oil, and wait a minute or two, until the pan is very hot and almost smoking. Place the short ribs in the pan, and sear until they are nicely browned on all three meaty sides. If necessary, sear the meat in batches. Do not crowd the meat or rush this step. When the ribs are nicely browned, transfer them to a plate to rest.

5.    Turn the heat down to medium, and add the onion, carrot, celery, thyme springs, and bay leaves. Stir with a wooden spoon, scraping up all the crusty bits in the pan. Cook 6 to 8 minutes, until the vegetables just begin to caramelize. Add the balsamic vinegar, port, and red wine. Turn the heat up to high, and reduce the liquid by half.

6.    Add the stock and bring to a boil. Arrange ribs in the pot, lying flat, in one layer. The stock mixture should almost cover the ribs. Tuck the parsley sprigs in and around the meat. Cover with a tight-fitting lid. Braise in the oven for about 3 hours. When the meat is done, it will yield easily to a knife.

7.    While the meat is cooking, put the defrosted pearl onions, 1/2 cup red wine, 1/2 cup beef broth and 1 tablespoon butter into a sauté pan. Bring the liquid to a boil, turn down the heat, and simmer until the liquid has reduced down to a glaze coating the onions. (Sorry, I forgot to photograph this step!)

8.    Once the ribs are done cooking, let them rest 10 minutes in their juices. Then transfer them to a baking sheet.

9.    Remove the bay leaves and thyme sprigs from the pot. Blend the vegetables into the sauce with an immersion blender. (Or transfer to a blender and then pour the pureed sauce back into the Dutch oven). If the broth seems thin, bring to a boil over medium-high heat and reduce it until it reaches a consistency you like. Taste for salt and pepper.

10. Add the ribs and pearl onions back to the sauce. Reheat and serve.

Serves 6

No comments:

Post a Comment

I'd love to hear from you! Please leave a comment below.