Braised Short RibsFebruary 7, 2012 by: Cavan
When we were discussing the idea of having a food website this was the first recipe I thought of to share. I love making this dish on a Sunday afternoon. It takes about an hour to prep, but it’s the kind of prep work I really like: chopping veggies, browning meat, and drinking wine.
Our good friends at Smith’s American Beef sent us couple pounds of short ribs, and let me tell you, nothing is better than grass-fed beef that has been braised low/slow. If you look at Tom Collicio or Thomas Keller’s recipes for short ribs they will include an 8-24 hour marinade. Don’t get me wrong, this results in a really good dish. But when you’re working with a good quality grass-fed beef, you don’t want to disguise the beef flavor too much. Hence, the recipe I’ll post below. And, like chili, when you have this for leftovers the next day—it’s even better.
Makes 4 servings – can easily be doubled
- 2-1/2 lb. Beef Short Ribs– Try to find large meaty short ribs for this dish
- 6 Pieces (up to one package) of Pancetta–Diced
- 2 Stalks Celery, Diced
- 3 Carrots, Diced
- 1 Onion, Chopped
- ½ Cup Leek (white base—not the leaves), chopped or 3 Shallots, Diced
- 3 Large Garlic Cloves, Chopped/Minced
- 3 Tablespoons Tomato Paste (about one of the small cans)
- 2 Tablespoons Flour (plus flower for dredging)
- 2-3 Cups Red Wine (I use a Malbec or a Cabernet Sauvignon)
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 2 Sprigs Fresh Rosemary
- 8 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
- 3 Cups Beef Stock
- Salt and Pepper
Preheat oven to 325 degrees(F). Season ribs with a good amount of salt/pepper and dredge in flower (shake off excess) and set aside.
In an enameled cast iron dutch oven, add diced pancetta and cook until crispy. Resist the urge to eat the pancetta and set aside.
Add the ribs to the pot and brown on all sides (you may want to add a little more oil if your pancetta didn’t render enough. This is when I would reach for my handy-dandy reserve of bacon drippings stored in the fridge.) Once browned, remove from pot and set aside.
Add carrots, onion, leeks/shallots, celery and garlic to the pot and sauté until softened, about 7 minutes. Stir often to prevent burning.
Stir tomato paste into vegetable mix. Add 2 tbsp. of flour and stir to combine. Cook for another 2 minutes just as if you were making a roux.
Add wine and herbs. Turn heat to medium-high and simmer for up to 10 minutes– until mixture begins to reduce. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking and burning.
Add stock and return ribs to pot. Add in the pancetta too if you actually showed willpower and resisted the urge to nibble on it. Cover tightly and put in the oven. Cook for 3 hours, checking on it each hour to ensure nothing is burning at the bottom of the pot. The meat should be very tender.
Once the ribs are done, use tongs to remove the ribs from the sauce. Place meat in a bowl and set aside. With a mesh strainer or cheesecloth-lined colander, strain sauce into a saucepan, pressing on solids to extract all liquid. Discard solids.
Bring strained sauce to a boil and reduce for about 10 minutes. Pour sauce over ribs and serve with mashed potatoes.
I also recommend checking out Smith’s American Beef. Here is their website and Facebook. These are good people and have been my friends for about 10 years now. Check them out (especially if you’re anywhere near Oswego, IL).