Thursday, October 4, 2012

Short Ribs

I need your attention please.

Go buy some short ribs and veggies and meet me back here.

Because these short ribs are awesome.

Completely falling off the bone

braised in a deep, rich, broth full of veggies

and served on top of creamy polenta.

Or rice.  Or pasta.  Or grits.  Or mashed potatoes.  Whatever you decide.  It's really up to you.

Okay!  Ready to make some short ribs?

Short ribs are cheap.  Because they're a tough cut that has to be cooked low and slow.  Which also means they're amazingly flavorful.

We're going to start by salting and peppering the short ribs and roasting them for about 15 minutes.  It's an easy way to brown them in the oven while we get the veggies going in the pot.

On to the veggies.  You'll need these things

as well as fennel.

Core it and chop it.

Now, I don't really love fennel but it's great in this recipe.  So try it if you're not sure.

Pot o' Veggies
Okay, now we need some liquids once our veggies have softened.

Once we add the liquid, add the roasted short ribs.

Into the oven!  Couple of hours.

When it comes out, the meat will be falling off the tender and delicious.

But you're also going to have a layer of fat on top, so I like to refrigerate the short ribs overnight and scrape off the fat the next day.  It's so easy!

After scraping the hardened fat, you're still left with a yummy dinner.

Heat it up and stir in a cornstarch slurry (just cornstarch & juices from the pot).

Let it boil, thicken, and serve it with polenta.  Yum.

Braised Short Ribs

2 1/2 lbs. short ribs (about 5-6 short ribs)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 T olive oil
2 onions, diced
1 lb carrots, peeled and chopped (or 1 lb. baby carrots, whole)
4 stalks celery, chopped
1 fennel bulb, core removed and chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
6 stems rosemary
6 stems thyme
6 oz. tomato paste
15.5 oz. diced tomatoes, not drained
2 T brown sugar
1 T Worcestershire sauce
6 cups beef stock
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 T cornstarch

Wide egg noodles, rice, grits, mashed potatoes or creamy polenta, for serving

Place the short ribs in a shallow baking dish or sheet tray and sprinkle with the one teaspoon each salt and pepper.  Roast in a 400 degree oven for 15-20 minutes until brown on top.  Remove from the oven and turn the temperature down to 300 degrees.

Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven and saute the onions, carrots, celery and fennel for about 20 minutes, until softened and reduced by about half its original size.  Add the garlic and cook another minute.  Add the rosemary, thyme, tomato paste, diced tomatoes, brown sugar, Worcestershire, beef stock and 2 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper.  Bring to a boil and cook, simmering, for 10 minutes.

Add the short ribs to the pot and put the lid on.  Bring to a boil on the stove, then bake in the oven for about 2 hours or until the short ribs are falling apart tender.  At this point, you can cool to room temperature and refrigerate overnight to allow the fat to harden on top, which makes it very easy to scoop off the hardened fat.  Or you can take a spoon and spoon off the liquid fat.

Place the pot over high heat and bring to a boil.  In a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch with two tablespoons of broth from the pot.  Stir the sauce in the pot while you add the cornstarch slurry.  Cook for another minute to allow the sauce to thicken.

Serve immediately with a starch to capture those yummy juices.

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