Friday, November 13, 2015

Wine-Braised Beef Short Ribs

This tried and true recipe for braised short ribs is my adaptation of several recipes from a few of my fav cookbooks. It is super flavorful and tastes even better the next day. The ingredients are simple and the cooking time low and slow (in a Dutch oven in the oven), with the end result being a falling apart beef in a rich yet light sauce (yes, you can have both). 

6 lbs. bone-in or 4 lbs. boneless beef short ribs
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. pepper
Olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
3 medium carrots, sliced or cut into large dice
2 stalks celery, sliced
8 cloves garlic, smashed
2 tbsp. flour
3 tbsp. tomato paste
1 1/2 cups dry red wine
10 sprigs Italian/flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
5 sprigs fresh thyme
3 fresh (or 2 dried) bay leaves
4 cups unsalted beef broth (I like to use Kitchen Basics brand)
2 tsp. kosher salt 

1. Preheat oven to 325F.

2. Season short ribs with 1 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. pepper. 

3. Heat 2 tbsp. olive oil in a large cast iron/Dutch oven pot over medium high heat. 

4. Add the short ribs and brown on both sides (don't overcrowd - cook in two batches if needed). Remove to a plate and set aside.

5. Reduce heat to medium and add another tbsp. of olive oil to the pot. Add the onions, carrots, celery, and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until the veggies are softened and lightly browned. Stir in the tomato paste and flour until well combined - cook about 1-2 minutes.

6. Add wine, broth, parsley, thyme sprigs and bay leaves. Stir and bring to a boil. Cook for 4-5 minutes then add the cooked short ribs back to the pot. Bring to a boil. Add 2 tsp. kosher salt (more or less, according to taste). 

7. Cover the pot and place in the oven. Cook for 3 hours or until the meat is very tender.

8. Remove the pot from the oven. Let sit for 30 minutes, until slightly cooled. You can skim off some of the fat from the surface at this point. 

9. Remove the thyme sprigs and bay leaves from the braise. Ladle into individual serving bowls.

10. Refrigerate leftovers - if there's any extra fat, it'll be easy to skim off the next day when it's cold. 

Garlic, chopped onion, celery, carrot, thyme sprigs, chopped Italian parsley, fresh bay leaves 

4 lbs. boneless beef short ribs (these are from Costco). 

Cut the meat into large chunks (I cut each piece into thirds) and season generously with about 1 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. pepper.  

Heat 2 tbsp. olive oil in a large Dutch oven or cast iron pot. Brown the meat on both sides (do this in batches, so as not to overcrowd - overcrowding causes the meat to steam rather than sear). Remove and set aside.  

In the same pot, add another tbsp. of olive oil and saute the onion, garlic, celery and carrots. Cook until softened and slightly browned.  

Stir in the tomato paste and flour and cook about 1-2 minutes (the flour will help thicken the stew as it cooks). 

If not using homemade, this is my favorite brand of stock (chicken or beef) available in many supermarkets. I like to use unsalted so that I can better control the salt content in the dish.

Add the stock, wine, bay leaves, thyme sprigs and chopped parsley. Bring to a boil and cook 4-5 minutes. Stir in 2 tsp. of kosher salt to season.

Add the reserved browned meat back to the pot, stir, cover and place in a 325F oven. Let cook for 3 hours or until the meat is very tender. 

Here's what it looks like coming out of the oven. Remove all the bay leaves and thyme sprigs and skim off as much oil as you can from the top (if refrigerated overnight, the oil will congeal at the top and be very easy to remove the next day). If the gravy/sauce is on the thin side, remove the meat from the pot and simmer the sauce until it is reduced to the desired consistency.