Every time I see beef short ribs in the grocery story, I wonder what happens to all the other ribs? Are they inedible? Do the cows used for commercial beef have only tiny ribs? Is there some conspiracy to keep them from the food-loving public? Anyway, I recently picked some up and the grocery store and decided to braise them. What is more comforting and autumnal? As an added bonus, this preparation could easily transition from comfort food to dinner party fabulosity. It is inspired by boeuf bourguignon with flavoring from the red wine, thyme, and bay. You could easily add the appropriate veggies (other than the mirepoix that is already in the braising liquid) and make a Short Rib Bourguignon (see the recipe that inspired this adaptation for ideas).
Braised Short Ribs
adapted from Gourmet, Oct. 2006
2 lbs. beef short ribs (4 ribs in the package I purchased)
salt and pepper
1 c carrot, chopped
1 c onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 c tomato, chopped
2 T tomato paste
1.5 c dry red wine (as Ina Garten would tell you, “Use something you would drink.”)
4 c beef stock (or chicken; veal would be perfect, water could work in a pinch)
2 T balsamic vinegar
1 bay leaf
1. Heat the vegetable oil over high heat until almost smoking in a heavy pan with a tight fitting lid (you will add the lid later to braise the ribs). Add the short ribs (be sure to dry them off so oil doesn’t splatter everywhere) and brown them on all sides. Transfer to a plate when browning is complete. Season with salt and pepper.
2. Add the chopped carrot, onion, and garlic to the pan over medium heat and cook until the onions are translucent.
3. Add the tomatoes and tomato paste, cook for a minute or so.
4. Deglaze the pan with wine and cook until the fluid in the pan is slightly thickened.
5. Add the stock, vinegar, thyme, and bay; bring to a simmer.
6. Add the short ribs to the braising liquid, cover the pan with a tight fitting lid, and braise for 4-5 hours at 250 F. When the meat is cooked it will be incredibly tender.
As you can see at the beginning of this post, I served the ribs over some parmesan polenta. They were amazing: tender, juicy, amazingly beefy; what more can you ask for?? Depending on how you present them, these could be anything from comfort food to dinner party fare. I’m totally impressed! Until next time….