Sunday, January 22, 2012

Oven Braised Short Ribs

Another winter winner, based on an Epicurious recipe. If you love to spend time in the kitchen preparing a top-notch meal, then this recipe is for you. The enjoyment of the dish is not just in the eating, but also in the process of creating the dish.  Plan to make the ribs on a more leisurely day when you have time to chop, taste, and smell your way through each step.

The short ribs are so tender and the resulting sauce is thick and flavorful. Serve over mashed sweet potatoes or cauliflower.

4 beef short ribs
Olive oil
Sea salt
1 onion, peeled, cut into 8 pieces
2 carrots, peeled, cut into quarters
2-3 stalks celery, cut into quarters
½ cups tomato paste
2 cups dry red wine or beef broth
½ cup cider vinegar
4 cups beef stock
2 cups water
3 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 bay leaf

4 slices bacon
1 cup butternut squash, peeled, cut into 1” pieces
3-4 carrots, peeled, cut into 1” pieces

Special equipment: Oven-safe stockpot with lid

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Heat 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot. Season the short ribs with salt and pepper and brown on all sides. 

Place on a plate. If needed, add another tablespoon of oil to the pot. Add the onion, carrots, and celery and cook for about 5 minutes, or until just beginning to brown. Stir in the tomato paste, wine (or beef broth), and vinegar. Bring to a boil and cook until the liquid is reduced by half. Then add the beef stock, water, sprigs of thyme and the bay leaf. Bring to a boil again and add the short ribs. Turn off the heat.

Cover the pot and place it in the middle of the oven. Cook for about 2 to 2 ½ hours, or until the ribs are tender.

Remove the ribs carefully from the broth and set aside. Strain the broth through a sieve into a bowl and discard the solids. Let the broth cool. Skim off any fat. Wash the pot to use in the next step.

Cut the bacon into small pieces and cook in the cleaned pot until crispy. Drain the bacon on paper towels and wipe out any excess fat from the pot. Return the bacon and add the broth from the ribs. Boil until reduced by half. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Turn heat to low.

Cook the squash and carrots in another pot, just until fork-tender. Drain well and add to the pot with the ribs. Simmer for a minute or two.

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