Braised Short Ribs

Whew! I am a WILD WOMAN. Seriously. I was a powerhouse tonight, just cook, cook, cooking away! I had some absolutely amazing short ribs while eating out with my sister last week. This insanely flavorful, perfectly fall-apart meat was served with a super flavorful roasted carrot/turnip mix alongside some haricots verts. I came home talking about it and - of course - showing the picture of my food to everyone. It's 2016 people! We take pictures of our food and show them to each other! Get over it.


So anyway, I think I really drove my "this was the best thing I've ever had" home since my mom suggested this morning that we try making short ribs at home. After googling a hundred thousand recipes (maybe 10), I felt like I'd learned enough about the basic process to choose my own adventure. Those were seriously the best books.


The result was a relatively easy, mostly hands-off recipe that was restaurant quality for a fraction of the price! More money to spend on some vino with dinner. While my short ribs were in the oven and before I had to start in on the mashed potatoes, I started in on a winter vegetable soup that I'll share later on. Can you see why I said I'm a wild woman now?

All in all, both recipes are pretty simple. There's always a little anxiety making a completely new recipe, never mind two, but really you spend most of your hands on time for each just cleaning and cutting veggies, so there's nothing actually difficult here.


And on we go! Get wild with me.

Serves: 4

Total Time: 3 1/2 hours


Ingredients

  • 4 short ribs (bone in or out, Wegman's had good looking bone out ones in two-packs for just under $10 each so I went for those!)
  • 2 cloves garlic, pre-minced if you don't have a garlic press/mincer/whatever it's called
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 large carrots
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 cups dry red wine (I used Lab since we had a bottle opened)
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 1 small bunch thyme
  • Salt and pepper, to rub on short ribs

 

 

 

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Dice onion and wash, peel and finely chop carrots and celery. Rub salt and pepper onto largest sides of each short rib and rub in gently.
  2. Heat large high-rimmed pot to medium-high heat. Add vegetable oil and swirl around pot until bottom is coated and a hand an inch or two above the oil can feel heat.
  3. Add short ribs, with plenty of space between. Let sit for a few minutes until deep brown on each side, turning and letting sit on each side to fully sear. This will take about 10-15 minutes. I found that using tongs to turn the meat as I lift it up is the cleanest way to remove it from the pot, otherwise it'll tend to stick. And once you place the meat down, don't touch it! You want a perfect sear instead of a messy-looking side. As meat is searing, prepare a large high-rimmed pan with a few layers of aluminum foil.
  4. Once all sides are browned, add carrots, celery, and onion, and use a garlic press to mince garlic over. Adjust heat to medium and stir veggies in until onions are translucent, about five minutes.
  5. When onions are translucent, pour in wine and beef stock. Bring pot to a boil and cover for 2 minutes.
  6. Remove cover, turn stove off, and use tongs to move each short rib into foil-lined pan. Ladle sauce over meat and add to pan, then cover the pan tightly with a piece of aluminum foil (alternately, if you have a large oven-safe dish with a cover, use it here! Although the foil-on-foil concept really minimizes cleanup) and add to lower third of oven. Set timer for two hours.
  7. Now you have some free time! Start a load of laundry, read a new book, make some soup! Or, okay, fine, go watch Netflix. Just one episode of New Girl. Or four.
  8. With a half hour left on your timer, start in on those mashed potatoes or whatever side you're planning on. I used two russet potatoes per person, just covering peeled and chopped potatoes in a pot with water and boiling at medium/medium-high until a fork goes cleanly through (about 20 minutes). Drain potatoes, mash with a potato masher - a great way to release some tension - and add what you need! We go for some s&p with milk and butter melted in a mug in the microwave for a few seconds, but you can go totally crazy with cream, cream cheese, sour cream, or whatever else you wacky lactose-loving people use (trust me I would join your ranks if not for lactose intolerance in our house).
  9. Remove covered short ribs from oven and let sit on stove for twenty minutes. I know! You're hungry! But the mashed potatoes are covered and ready and you have some time to set the table or microwave some frozen haricots verts. Or watch the last few minutes of that episode you were watching - Winston is the BEST. Plus, I'm letting you off easy: a lot of recipes recommend leaving this in the fridge overnight or putting back in the oven again after shredding the short ribs.
  10. Open the foil (or top) and carefully skim the fat off the sauce. Pour sauce over each short rib, then serve over mashed potatoes and nom away (sounds like when they say on my way do doo do do doo): 

Have you tried making short ribs at home? Any special secrets you want to share?