Braised Short Ribs

Who knew such a tough cut or meat could taste so good? Short ribs are one of the most inexpensive cuts they carry at Safeway, which is usually a sign of trouble. The weaker the cut, the more difficult it is to create a great dish. The trick with tough cuts like this is time. The more time, the better the end product in most cases. With the short ribs, about 3 1/2 hrs of searing, sauteing, de-glazing, and cooking left the house smelling fantastic, the kind of cooking that leaves an aroma that fills the block leaving all the neighbors jealous and hungry. The aroma was good, but the taste of the sweet meat falling off the bone was even better. We think this dish got more moans and groans then the last fillets we made. This was even more surprising considering that short ribs are usually very tough unless cooked correctly. This dish is really affordable, but don’t tell your guests because it tastes like you spent a fortune. 

Charisse first tried short ribs at a wonderful little bistro in Los Gatos, called Nick’s on Main and loved it. We then began talking about trying it ourselves, and a week or so later, we got our issue of Fine Cooking and there was an entire section dedicated to creating your own braised short rib recipe. How convenient! So on a cold Saturday afternoon we began the short rib journey. All the steps are extremely important so don’t rush and don’t skimp on ingredients!  The following recipe is Charisse’s version, but we are going to be trying different combinations of spices and herbs to see what works best. Don’t worry, we’ll keep you all updated on all our attempts, even when we end up ordering pizza!

Pictures and Recipe after the break

Braised Short Ribs
What You Will Need

8-12 beef short ribs, bone in (this amount fed 4 people with a few leftover)
3 Tbs vegetable oil
salt and pepper

1 cup diced onions
1 cup diced carrots

sprig of fresh thyme
sprig of fresh rosemary

3 garlic cloves minced
4 anchoives minced
1 bay leaf
black pepper

 1/2 cup dry red wine for deglazing pan

1 cup beef broth
1 cup dry red wine
1 cup  crushed tomatoes
1 cup water

fresh chopped parsley for garnish

Preheat oven to 325*
Salt and pepper the ribs
In a dutch oven, heat 2 Tbs oil on medium heat and sear ribs on all four sides until nicely browned,  work in batches if needed and when done set on plate.

Once all the meat is removed from the pan, add the onions and carrots and brown for about 8 minutes, add 1/2 tsp salt and scrap up any browned bits at the bottom of pan with wooden spoon.

Next  add the rosemary, thyme, garlic, anchovies, pepper and bay, stirring until very fragrant, about 1 minute

De glaze pan by adding 1/2 red wine and scraping all browned bits from the bottom of the pan.  Cook about 1 minute until liquid is reduced by half.

Add all the liquids to pot, stir together and place the ribs back into the pot, sinking them into the liquids a bit.  Also pour any juices that may have accumulated on the plate from the ribs into the pot.  Arrange the ribs evenly, if you have too many to fit in a single layer you may have two layer of ribs but no more than 2.

Bring the pot to a simmer then transfer into the oven and cook about 3 hours, making sure to turn your ribs every 45 minutes

Transfer ribs to a platter and cover to keep warm.

Let the sauce cool a bit and skim off as much fat as possible of the top.  Season with salt and pepper.  Serve with the sauce over the ribs. 

Chef’s Note:
If you would like to make a day ahead of your event these are great!  They only get better with time!  After cooked place the ribs in a baking dish and refrigerate the ribs and sauce separately.

When it’s time to reheat, cover ribs with foil and place them into a 350* oven until heated through.  Heat the sauce up on the stove top.  Serve

Adapted from Fine Cooking, A Plate of Braised Short Ribs