With them popping up on more and more fine dining menus and all over the blogosphere, short ribs are becoming more and more fashionable. I have used short ribs for years in stews, but I have to say that wine braised is my favorite method for this relatively inexpensive beefy cut.
The first time I had short ribs, I was at a swanky Italian restaurant. The wife and I were curious about this new joint and decide to check it out. We went for the 6 course prix fixe menu with wine pairing. Pretty fancy schmancy. Well, the food was decent, but the quantity left much to be desired. I ended up spending over $250 and we had to stop at micky-D’s on the way home for some nuggets! I was more than miffed at this. I have to say though the menu did list the beef short rib as “beef short rib with potato puree” and it was ONE seriously short rib with maybe 3-4 ounces of meat on it. Tasty, yes, but tiny.
I have made braised short ribs any number of ways from cooking them to death and ending up with fall-apart dry meat to not cooking them enough and having a tough go of it. The technique that I use now is an amalgamation of various approaches that I have used in the past. This process take two days but is well worth it. It can be done in one, but allowing the ribs to sit in the fridge overnight with the wine and aromatics really makes a difference.
Add the remaining olive oil.
Add the garlic, onion, celery, and carrots. Cook, stirring often, until onions are softened; about 4 minutes.
Give the ribs an ample salt and peppering and let sit for about an hour.
Assemble the supporting cast:
3 carrots thickly sliced
3 celery stalks thickly sliced
1 medium sized onion coarsely chopped
5 cloves garlic minced
5-7 black peppercorns
4 tbsp olive oil
1 750ml bottle of decent Cabernet Sauvignon
4 cups beef stock
tied herb bundle:
2 rosemary sprigs
2 thyme sprigs
Heat a large dutch oven or similar heavy bottomed pot over medium high heat and add 2 tbsp olive oil.
Preheat oven to 300.
Working in batches, brown the ribs on all sides.
Add the ribs back to the pot. Toss in the peppercorns. Lay the herbs on the ribs and pour in the bottle of wine.
Add stock until ribs are covered.
Cover pot with foil then the lid. Place into oven. Let braise for 3 hours.
Let pot cool then place it in the refrigerator. Let sit overnight.
Remove pot from fridge and place on stove; remove foil.
The fat will have solidified and makes for easy removal.
Place the pot, covered over medium low heat. Leave simmer for about 2 hours.
Remove ribs and keep warm.
Turn heat to high and let the sauce reduce until thickened; about 30-45 minutes.
Strain solids and reduce sauce further for thicker sauce or make a slurry with flour and water and whisk in.
Pull meat from the bones and discard fat.
Serve topped with the silky sauce.