I love this time of year – the beautiful fall colors, the weather getting crisper and cooler, sweater-time, bundling up in front of a fire time. And with Braised Short Ribs simmering in the oven, there is no better time, right? Short Ribs have always been a favorite of mine but for my late husband Steve, not so much. He never liked the soft gristle that comes with them. Perhaps too jelly-like and sometimes a lot of work to separate them from the meat. So therefore, I didn’t make them often and never had a chance to perfect my recipe…
A wonderful time of the year…
But my oldest son and I love them! So last Saturday, on a beautiful, weather-perfect day, after apple picking with his wife and my grandson and six of their friends, full of hot apple cider, sugar doughnuts, streusel sticks and of course, apples, we came home and I whipped up this recipe, which I think is my damn near-perfect recipe of Braised Short Ribs – savory and a little sweet!
Because this week has been such a tortuous one with the election results still unresolved at this moment, I thought you all might enjoy and need a little comfort food. These Braised Short Ribs fit the bill exactly!
I do hope you’ll try this and let me know what you think.
Only the best ingredients
Remember, it is all about the ingredients and it is best to use local grass-fed beef and organic vegetables, along with a decent quality dry red wine. My brother, Steve, who is a sommelier and has a wine and food pairing blog you should visit, says to never cook with something that you wouldn’t drink. Remember that, as I have found it to be a great piece of advice. It also means you can drink a little good wine while you cook!
So in this recipe, I used a good quality Cabernet Sauvignon. The same theory goes for the broth or beef stock. Homemade is the best, then move on to store bought, only organic, with real ingredients.
Ideally, make this the day before you want to serve it for two good reasons: one, it is so much easier to get rid of all the fat as it will collagulate on top and two, the flavors will intensify and develop into total indescribable yumminess.
Braised Short Ribs – serves 4 – 6
5 lbs. beef short ribs, bone on
Freshly ground black pepper (I like a coarse grind)
1 Tbs. vegetable oil
1 large onion chopped or 2 small
2 carrots, peeled or scrubbed and chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
4 large whole garlic cloves, lightly crushed
2 Tbs. light brown sugar
1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbs. Confit de Figues – a French fig jam usually served with cheeses
Juice from ½ lemon
2 fresh (or dried) bay leaves
3/4 cup Madeira
11/2 cup dry red wine
1 – 2 cups beef broth
Chopped parsley for garnish
Heat the oven to 250 degrees. Season the short ribs liberally with salt and pepper. Heat a large heavy Dutch oven over medium high heat with the oil. Add the short ribs (add them in batches, if necessary) and brown on all sides. Transfer the ribs to a plate as they finish browning. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat.
Add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic to the pot, reduce the heat to medium, and cook until the vegetables are soft and all the browned bits in the base of the pot have been loosened. Put the short ribs (and any juices that have collected on the plate) back in the pot.
Add the light brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, Confit de Figues, lemon juice and bay leaves. Pour in the Madeira and red wine. Add enough beef broth to just cover the ribs. Bring the liquid to a boil, then cover the pot and transfer to the oven.
Braise the short ribs until they are very tender when pierced with a fork, about 3 hours (longer if the short ribs are big). Using a slotted spoon, transfer the shortribs to a plate. Let the cooking liquid settle; spoon off as much fat as possible (ideally, you’d do this over the course of two days and would, at this point, put the liquid in the fridge overnight and peel off the layer of fat in the morning).
Set the pot on the stove over medium high heat. Bring the cooking liquid to a boil and reduce to a syrupy consistency.
Lay a short rib or two in each of 4 wide shallow bowls. Spoon over a little sauce and garnish with chopped fresh parsley. Serve with boiled potatoes dressed with parsley butter and LOVE.
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