Sunday, December 16, 2012

Braised and Pulled Short Ribs in Red Wine Sauce

It seems that no longer how low and slow you cook short ribs, there are always some left over fatty pieces where the fat just won't render.  After trying numerous recipes, I finally came up with my own where after braising for a long time, I remove the ribs and pull them just like you would with pulled pork or brisket and then return them to the dutch oven.  It results in an absolutely delicious stew like dish that pairs beautifully with a hearty red like Cabernet Sauvignon or a meaty Syrah.  Here how to make it:

5 lbs short ribs
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 celery stalks chopped
3 medium onions chopped
5 medium carrots very coarsely chopped (these will be reserved in the ribs)
1 whole head garlic sliced in half so that each clove is divided in two
1 bottle of decent, dry red wine (if you wouldn't drink it, don't cook with it!)
32 oz beef stock
sea salt
black pepper
8 sprigs fresh thyme
8 sprigs fresh parsley
4 sprigs fresh oregano
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 bay leaves
4 tablespoons flour
1.5 tablespoons tomato paste

Preheat oven to 350.  In a large dutch oven (preferably cast iron), heat the olive oil over medium high heat on the stovetop.  Once hot, add half of the short ribs and brown for about 2 to 3 minutes a side on all 6 sides, and salt and pepper each side as you go.  Once done set aside to a plate and repeat with the remaining ribs and then add those to the plate.  Add the celery, onions, and carrots to the dutch oven and cook for about 5 minutes until vegetables start to soften a bit.  Add the flour and tomato paste and stir in for a minute or two to coat all the vegetables.  Next, add the red wine, bring to a boil and scrape the pan bottom as you go to make sure to deglaze the pan.  Once the red wine is boiling, add all the herbs and the garlic and then add the beef broth and return to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes.  Cover the dutch oven and transfer to oven and cook for 2.5 hours.  Remove the short ribs from the dutch oven and set aside on a warm plate.  Strain all the liquid and reserve the carrots and return to the liquid and then discard any other solids and return the liquid to the dutch oven.  Use a fork to pull the short ribs and then return to the dutch oven.  Heat liquid and pulled ribs over medium heat on the stove top for an additional 30 to 45 minutes until the liquid thickens nicely and any remaining fat renders.  Remove from heat and let the pot rest for 5 to 10 minutes and then spoon off any fat that has settled at the top and its ready to serve.

This works very nicely over orzo, polenta or even mashed potatoes.  This is a fantastic meal for a cold winter day and all that time it spends cooking makes your whole house smell great.


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