Braised short ribs on a cold January day? Nothing beats ’em. I found this recipe for braised beef short ribs on Epicurious, but I only used the short rib part, ignored the vegetable part, and served the ribs over polenta. Perfect.
This recipe is a good one to learn because it really teaches the basics about building flavor. You sear meat, leaving the brown bits — the flavor — in the bottom of the pan, then build more flavor with aromatics (onion, garlic) and then more flavor by adding liquid and reducing it.
Let meat come to room temp.
Chop onions and carrots. I combine them in a bowl —
— and left the garlic on the cutting board.
Get your other ingredients ready. Here is duck and veal demi —
— diluted with water to make a veal stock:
We’ll also need red wine and tomato puree.
I used Bordeaux and whole tomatoes turned in a blender.
Measured out and ready to go:
Sear the meat on high. Let it get really brown:
On all sides. Remove to a plate.
Now look at the bottom of your pan. Yummy goodness:
Now add onions and carrots. (I like this recipe doesn’t use celery. I’m not a huge fan.)
After they’ve cooked a bit, add the garlic:
I like to add the garlic after the onions because garlic is smaller and more delicate and so more apt to burn.
After that’s cooked a bit, add your tomatoes —
Bring to a boil:
Now add your wine:
Bring to a boil and reduce for a little (intensifying that flavor) and scrape up any brown bits that haven’t already made their way into the sauce.
Now add a little vinegar. Both balsamic and red wine.
(That’s homemade SCF vinegar on the right.)
Now add your herbs. I tied the bay leaf and the thyme up in a little string:
So I could fish it out later. Pop that in the liquid:
And now you’re ready to add the meat back in.
Be sure to add back any juices —
— that have accumulated on the plate:
Then pop that baby in the oven for four or five hours:
I went for five:
A little polenta in a bowl and a rib on top:
Some wine and you are all set:
Greg went for a few carrots and onions, too:
Braised Short Ribs
4 (8-ounce) pieces bone-in beef short ribs
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
4 medium carrots, finely chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 (14-ounce) can whole San Marzano tomatoes in juice, puréed in a blender with juice
1 1/2 cups dry red wine
4 cups brown veal stock or 1/2 cup Demi-Glace Gold concentrate (concentrate requires a dilution ratio of 1:8; 1/2 cup concentrate to 4 cups water)
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 Turkish or 1/2 California bay leaf
1 tablespoon Banyuls vinegar or red-wine vinegar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Put oven rack in lower third of oven and preheat oven to 250°F.
Pat beef dry. Heat oil in a wide (12 inches in diameter) 3- to 5-quart heavy pot over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then brown beef on all sides, turning with tongs, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon sea salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
Add chopped carrots, onion, and garlic to oil in pot and cook over moderate heat, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in 1 cup puréed tomatoes (reserve remainder for another use) and bring to a boil over moderately high heat. Add wine and boil, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thickened, about 8 minutes.
Add veal stock, thyme, bay leaf, vinegars, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon sea salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper to sauce, and bring to a simmer. Skim fat from surface, then add beef along with any juices accumulated on plate and cover pot with a tight-fitting lid. Transfer to oven and braise until beef is very tender, 4 to 5 hours.
Serve over polenta.