Recipe Test: Red Wine-Braised Short Ribs

It's a rare sunny and frosty January day in Oregon today--my favorite kind of winter weather.  The air is cold and crisp and the mountains are stunning today.

So what's on the menu, you ask.

Yesterday, I promised to tell you about the recipe I tested yesterday, and I'm here to do it right now!  Short ribs may be my newest favorite cut of meat for cooking up in my Dutch oven.  I never paid much attention to them until I tried this recipe for Porter Braised Short Ribs back before Thanksgiving.  Those were so delicious that when I saw this recipe for a red wine braise in Bon Appetit, I knew I had to give them another try.  Oh my gosh!  The sauce/broth/stew/gravy (can't decide what to call it) that is produced when ribs meet red wine is to die for!  And since it's served over your own mashed potatoes, there's plenty to love here.  Bon Appetite describes the recipe thus:

These short ribs are unstoppably, almost obscenely good; they're impossible to screw up...

And to that I said, "Okay, Bon Appetit.  You're on!"  So here's how it's done:

Start with five pounds of beef short ribs.

Season them with salt and pepper, and then brown them on all sides in 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil.  You'll want to brown them in two batches to avoid overcrowding the pan.

While those are browning, you can chop up the holy trinity of 3 medium onions, 3 carrots, and 2 stalks of celery.  (My onions were large, and so I used just two.)

When your ribs are all browned, move them to a plate and set them aside.  Then, dump in your vegetables and brown them for about 5 minutes until they are soft.  I like to season them a little with salt and pepper too.

When those are softened, sprinkle in 3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour and 1 tablespoon of tomato paste.  I like this stuff that comes in a tube for such small amounts.

Now get ready for the good part.  This recipe calls for a whole bottle of red wine.  How can it not be good? I just buy whatever is cheapest and still drinkable.

When your vegetables, tomato paste, and flour are well combined, pour in the whole bottle.

Now you're going to bring it to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for about 25 minutes until the wine has been reduced by half.

Once you've done that, you can put the ribs and any juices accumulated on the plate back into the pot and get ready to add some lovely herbs.  It just gets better and better, doesn't it?

You're going to add in ten sprigs of flat leaf parsley, 8 sprigs of fresh thyme, 4 sprigs of fresh oregano, 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, 2 fresh or dried bay leaves, a whole head of garlic (cut crosswise).  I actually messed up here and only added half of the garlic.  I used the other half in my garlic mashed potatoes.  Just toss those into the pot and then add four cups of beef stock.

This is the one I like to use.  To my palate, it tastes better than regular beef broth.

There you go...just pour it right in with the herbs.  Mmmmmmmmm.

Mix it up and then bring it to a boil.  

Put the lid on it and then move it to your 350°F. oven.  Now go do some sewing.  Or throw the ball for the cat.  Or take a shower.  Or whatever.

Somewhere between 2 to 2 1/2 hours later, go check it.  Breathe deep.  Mmmmmmmmmm.  Does this look delicious or what?

You'll know it is ready if the meat is falling off the bones.

Really.  They'll just fall right off.  Some of them might have already made their way to the bottom of the pot, so you'll want to fish those out.  

Here, the recipe got a little weird because it said to strain the broth.  Then it didn't really say what to do next.  Was I supposed to keep the vegetables?  Discard them?  I wasn't sure.  I ended up just fishing out the largest herb stems (because by now they were stripped of their leaves), and of course, the garlic head (which came out all in one piece).  After I'd removed all the bones from the ribs, I put all of the meat back into the broth.  When it's ready to serve up, it will look like this.

At some point, you will have made up a batch of mashed potatoes.  In fact, this would be a good use for leftover mashed potatoes.  But you could serve this dish over rice, or noodles, or even slices of crusty bread.

I'm telling you, it was absolutely delicious.  Now I'm on the hunt for my next short rib recipe.  I have always preferred to use a chuck roast in my Dutch oven, but I'm telling you, these ribs are so delicious that I'm starting to think they're the better choice.  So.....want the recipe?  You can find it right here.

Okay now.  I'm getting hungry!

Updated to say that I'm linking this post to the Sew Darn Crafty linky party:

13 comments from clever and witty friends:

Angel and Kirby said...

WOW! That does sound good! I may have to try it!

Scooquilt said...

Oh, these look good! I love short ribs. We get them from our meat CSA. I made your porter ones and they were great. Keep up the cooking!

Cal said...

I am hungry again, and I just had dinner. Those ribs look delicious. Will wait for cooler weather on our part first, but will surely try these! Is that mt hood in the distance?

LynCC said...

OK, I'm sold! This is happening this weekend. Probably Sunday to give Marissa's belly time to get back up to par (poor kid had a seriously sick stomach today).

Teresa in Music City said...

Oh my gosh I can smell the deliciousness from here! I'll have to try that one! What kind of dutch oven do you have? I've been transitioning all my cookware to cast iron and stainless steel. I saw a cast iron covered with procelain today and it was gorgeous. Just curious. A cook, I am not! But I am getting to the point that I am trying to learn how to be a better cook, so I'm going to those who are good cooks in order to find out the proper tools I need to acquire :*)

Lynda Otvos said...

Short ribs have been a favorite of mine for decades. So tender and meaty that it amazes me when people eat those other kind of ribs.... This recipe looks totally great. A whole bottle of wine-how can we go wrong !~! I love cooked down gravy that starts with a good red wine. The weather here is pretty dang cold too.

Swedish Scrapper said...

Mmmm, I admired your view yesterday and looked forward to this recipe--wowie!I love other people's ribs, but now I think I have a chance to make some ymminess too! thanks for sharing!

Ruth Ann said...

Looks delicious

LethargicLass said...

ay carumba that looks amazing!! I'm going to have to look for tubes of tomato sauce when I am next in the US! I like that your broth is from Canada :) Now I just need to get a dutch oven :)

KatieQ said...

This recipe looks wonderful. I finally bought Porter to make your last short ribs recipe and now you tempt me with a new one. I have to wait a bit because I just started the Curves Complete program to drop some weight. After 6 weeks of controlling every morsel that I eat, short ribs will be a great reward.

Anonymous said...

Oh Yum Yum Yum another short rib receipe - loved the last one you posted have made it twice already - now will have to make this one -- they are so gooooooooddd...
Boy those cats sure have the right idea - snuggly sleeping by the fire - perfect picture for cold weather.

Oh the mountains there are so beautiful - snow covered.. what a nice view..

ana said...

¡¡Que rico! tiene un aspecto magnifico.


LynCC said...

OH MY GOSH. That was good. :) Thanks for sharing, Barb.