This week I’m traveling to NYC for a cooking demo, and Providence and Boston for book signings. More info here – please be sure to come visit since I’m not sure when I’ll be heading north again for a while. See you there!
I have a love/hate relationship with braised beef. While I love the tenderness that comes from slow-roasting meat in liquid, I sometimes become bored with the tired texture of braised dishes. So in writing this recipe, I decided to make a classic braised short ribs recipe, but alter its final texture by roasting it at a high heat before returning it to the braising liquid. This technique allows me to add some crispness to the beef and also presents an opportunity to reduce and flavor the braising liquid while the beef finishes.
Short ribs are one of my favorite cuts of beef, as they are extremely rich, relatively inexpensive, and very versatile. They are best known as a low-and-slow cut, but they fare just as well with high heat grilling, such as in my Wang Kalbi recipe.
The short ribs for this recipe were graciously donated by my friends at Arrowhead Beef, a grass-fed farm located in Chipley, Florida. Along with their online store, they sell their products all over Florida, at farmer’s markets and retail locations. Their short ribs were delicious – meaty and full of tasty connective tissue. They worked perfectly with this braise.
Better yet! They’re offering a 10% off total purchase for The Domestic Man readers. Use code domesticman when checking out. Offer expires March 31st, 2014 and excludes Bulk Beef options; limited 1 per customer.
Classic Braised Short Ribs
4-5 lbs beef short ribs
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp thyme leaves
2 tbsp cooking fat (bacon grease, lard, ghee, or coconut oil)
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 tbsp tomato paste
4 cloves garlic, minced
bouquet garni: 1 sprig rosemary, 2 sprigs thyme, 2 bay leaves
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup dry red wine
2 cups beef broth, more if needed
salt and pepper to taste
8oz mushrooms (about 25 total)
1. Pat the short ribs dry with some paper towels, then season with the salt, pepper, and thyme leaves. Set aside to come to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
2. In a Dutch (or French) oven, warm the cooking fat over medium heat. Add the ribs and sear, in batches, on all sides; turn every few minutes. Turn down the heat as needed to keep the beef from burning. Take your time and make sure the beef is thoroughly browned. Remove the pieces and set on a plate.
3. Preheat your oven to 325F. Add the chopped onion, carrots, and celery to the Dutch oven, and sauté until softened and slightly caramelized, about 6 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and garlic and sauté until aromatic, about 1 minute. Add the bouquet garni, vinegar, wine, and broth and bring to a simmer. Return the beef pieces (and their accumulated juices) to the Dutch oven, adding beef broth until the pieces are a little more than halfway covered. Bring to a simmer, cover, and place in the oven. Braise until tender, 2-3 hours total. Flip the short ribs after 1 hour. You’ll know when they are done when easily pierced with a paring knife.
4. Remove the Dutch oven from the oven, then increase the oven temperature to 450F. Remove the ribs from the braising liquid and place on a baking sheet. When the oven comes to temperature, place the baking sheet in the oven and roast the ribs until darkened, about 6 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
5. While the oven is coming to temperature and roasting the short ribs, prep your sauce. Strain the braising liquid through a fine sieve and discard the solids, which will by mushy by now (be sure to gently press them through the sieve to extract as much juice as possible). Skim any excess fat from the liquid. Return the liquid to the Dutch oven, and reduce on med/high heat until reduced to about 2 cups total liquid. Taste the liquid, adding salt and pepper if needed. Reduce the heat to med/low and add the mushrooms; simmer until softened, about 5 minutes. By this time, the ribs should be ready. Return them to the reduced liquid and serve with mashed potatoes or mashed boniato (pictured above).
** Along with the mushrooms, feel free to add any other vegetable you’d like near the end. Some ideas are: pearl onions, carrots, zucchini, parsnips, turnips, eggplant. Bear in mind that some veggies take longer to soften than others so you may want to time them accordingly. You could always soften them by sautéing in butter beforehand.