Monday, April 12, 2010
Braised Beef Short Ribs
After a week of the vegan diet (well, we may or may not have succumbed to a little cheese, shhhh), the hubs and I were ready for a meaty meal. I've been wanting to do beef short ribs for some time now, so it seemed like the perfect time to give it a try. Smitten Kitchen has a great recipe, but it seemed a little too involved for a weeknight, and I didn't want to buy port for the sauce. America's Test Kitchen had a similar recipe, albeit quite a bit simpler, so I chose that one. This is a perfect dinner party meal - it only takes about 30 minutes to get it to the point where it braises in the oven for 2.5 to 3 hours. So you could easily prepare it a few hours before your party, and the house will be full of delicious smells when your guests arrive. Then you just pull it out of the oven and plate it!
I was really happy with how this turned out - the sauce had a great depth of flavor and the meat was oh-so-tender. I served it with Ina's Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes and a green salad. The only thing I would do differently next time is trim a bit more fat from the ribs before cooking. The leftovers tasted great the next day, too!
Braised Beef Short Ribs
from America's Test Kitchen
Note: ATK recommends English style short ribs, but I could only find Flanken style. Either style works with the recipe. English are a bit cheaper if you can find them.
6 pounds bone-in English style short ribs, trimmed
Note: this was a monstrous amount for 2 people - I bought about 4 pounds but kept all the other recipe amounts the same - ended up with a little extra sauce but that was fine with me! If you're making it for a party, gauge about 1 pound per person.
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 onions, chopped coarse
2 carrots, peeled and chopped coarse
1 rib celery, chopped coarse
9 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp tomato paste
3 cups dry red wine (I used a pinot noir I had lying around)
4 cups low sodium chicken broth (I use Swanson organic)
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, drained
1 tsp dried thyme
3 bay leaves
1. Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 300 degrees. Pat the ribs dry with paper towels, then season with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until just smoking. Brown half the ribs, about 10 minutes, then transfer to a large plate (Note: it took me 3 batches of browning). Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat and repeat with the remaining ribs.
2. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat from the pot and return it to medium heat. Add the onions, carrot, celery, 1/4 tsp salt and cook until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Stir in the flour and tomato paste and cook for 1 minute.
3. Stir in the wine, scraping up any browned bits. Stir in the broth, tomatoes, thyme, bay leaves, and browned ribs. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook in the oven until the meat is tender, 2.5 to 3.5 hours.
4. Transfer the ribs to a large plate and cover with foil to keep warm. Strain the broth into a large container, let settle for 5 minutes, then skim any fat from the surface using a spoon. (Note: I strained half the sauce and left the other half alone because I wanted the chunky veggies! Not exactly sure why they'd want you to discard all those good veggies.)