Monday, October 24, 2011

Braised Short Ribs

I've heard it's bad manners to "mmm" at the table so it's a good thing I wasn't eating this with Emily Post because I mmm-ed and ahhh-ed my way through this dinner.

Look at all those veggies. This dish is totally healthy

I think this is my favorite meal. To eat for dinner, anyway. It even outranks macaroni and cheese. It is just completely satisfying. The meat is packed with flavor and so tender it literally falls off the bone, the sauce is rich and velvety, even the vegetables taste incredible thanks to their beef stock sauna. And the garlic. Don't even get me started on the garlic. Make sure you get at least one whole clove. After hours soaking up all those juices, it will be so tender you could spread it on a piece of toast.

 Why am I even showing you these sad poorly lit photos? 
They don't even come close to doing this dish justice

Not to mention that the three hour jaunt in the oven will make your house smell irresistible. Yes, another recipe that will make you want to gnaw on your counter. I was actually dissapointed at the candle selection at Target today because they didn't have a "Braised Short Rib" variety. Can someone please get on this? I would... but I'm too busy eating.

Braised Short Ribs
Yield: 3-4 Servings

3 lb short ribs
Salt & freshly ground pepper
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
3 carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 dried bay leaf
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 sprig fresh oregano
3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp tomato paste
2 1/2 cups red wine (I used cabernet)
6 whole garlic cloves, peeled
3 1/2 cups beef stock

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Remove the membrane from the back of the ribs, and trim away some of the fat. Season generously with salt and pepper.
2. Heat a dutch oven or casserole over medium heat. Add the vegetable oil and heat until very hot, almost smoking. Add the ribs (in batches if necessary) and brown on all sides, about 2-3 minutes per side. Remove to a large bowl and set aside.
3. Add the carrots, celery, and onion to the dutch oven. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until soft, about 7-10 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, cut a square of cheesecloth and place the bay leaf and fresh herbs in the center. Bring the corners of the cheesecloth together and tie with kitchen twine to form a bouquet garni. Set aside.

5. To the cooked vegetables, add flour and tomato paste and stir to combine. Add about half the red wine and use a wooden spoon to scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Add the remaining red wine and bring to a simmer. Continue to simmer until the wine is reduced by half, about 10 minutes.
6. Add garlic, beef stock, and bouquet garni. Return browned ribs to the pot and bring liquid to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cover and place in preheated oven. Cook until meat is very tender, 3 hours.
7. Remove cooked meat from the dutch oven. Remove and discard the bouquet garni. Set the pot on the stove over medium heat, and simmer to thicken sauce slightly. Skim any fat that rises to the top. Spoon sauce over short ribs and serve warm with mashed potatoes or creamy cheddar grits.

Recipe Notes
  • You can add the herbs directly to the pot if you don't have cheesecloth. Just remove and discard them before thickening the sauce.
  • You can sub chicken stock for beef if you really want to, but there's really no substitute for the red wine. But trust me, even if you don't like red wine (like me!) you will still love this dish.
Recipe adapted from Bobby Flay

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