What's hearty, comforting, delicious and absolutely perfect for this chilly weather? Braised short ribs of course! Awhile back, I received a copy of Earth to Table from an Andrew Zimmern contest and I've had this recipe bookmarked for awhile. I've been cooking from the ad hoc book lately (there is a braised short rib recipe in there also) so I decided to switch it up. I know the ad hoc book is out of stock until next February and Earth to Table wouldn't be a bad substitute if you still need to find a gift for that cookbook enthusiast. The book's divided by each of the four seasons and all of the recipes are easy to follow. The authors are pretty active on Twitter as well so you can probably shoot them a question if any problems should arise.
Now, I love working the cheaper cuts of meat like short ribs. After a little prep and cooking, you just throw these babies into an oven with enough liquid to cover and let it do its thing. It's a perfect weekend project or recipe while you're studying for finals. Some of you might think making this while studying for finals is just ludicrous but this really isn't hard to make and you get so much more food out of it. 10 minutes of prep, maybe 30 minutes of on-hands cooking and 2 hours of oven time. No more excuses people. Get in your kitchen and start cooking!
The process of making these delicious short ribs is quite simple. Sear meat, saute mirepoix, add a crapload of wine, put ribs back in and throw them in the oven. The ribs become fall-off the bone tender and the red wine sauce at the end gives it a nice, deep, complex flavor. I topped the ribs off with a citrus gremolata like the book suggested and it did a good job in cutting the richness of the meat. Make sure you don't use too much garlic in the gremolata because the flavor's quite strong when it's raw. I served my ribs under a bed of soft parmesan polenta but a lot of things would pair well with these ribs. I was going to do a post about making polenta but it's not that exciting and it's bloody difficult to photograph by yourself. Just let me know if you want my recipe.
Braised Short Ribs
From Earth to Table, Serves 4
- 8 short ribs (2 short ribs per person)
- 2 cups of onion, diced
- 1 cup of carrot, diced
- 1 cup of celery, diced
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 2.5 cups red wine (I used cabernet, just drink the 1/2 cup you have left)
- 1.5 cups port wine (aka 750mL which is 1 standard bottle of wine)
- 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
- 6 cups of beef stock
1) 30 minutes before cooking, season the short ribs all around with salt and pepper.
2) In a dutch oven over high heat, add olive oil and brown the short ribs on all sides. Work in batches if you must and set aside.
3) Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
4) Reduce the heat to medium and throw in the vegetables and bay leaves. Saute the vegetables until caramelized.
5) Add both wines and balsamic vinegar to deglaze the bottom of the pot. Scrape up any of those delicious brown bits at the bottom of the pan and bring the liquid back up to a boil. Keep boiling the liquid until it reduces by half.
6) After the wine's reduced by half the starting amount, add the ribs back into the pot and add enough stock to just cover the short ribs. Cover the pot with a lid and throw it in the pre-heated oven for 2 hours or until the meat yields easily when pierced with a knife.
7) After 2 hours of cooking, remove the ribs to a plate. Strain the liquid to a saucepan squeezing all of the liquid out of the vegetables with the back of a ladle.
8) Bring the strained liquid to a boil and reduce until it coats the back of a spoon. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve along with the short ribs.
From Earth to Table
- 3 tablespoons of flat leaf parsley, minced
- 1 teaspoon of finely grated lemon zest
- 1 medium clove of garlic, minced
- salt and pepper to taste
1) Combine everything together in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
To serve, place 2 short ribs on a plate and sprinkle with the citrus gremolata.
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