Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Adventures in Cooking: Braised Beef Short Ribs

For about 97 years now, I've wanted to try to make braised beef short ribs. Last night, I did. 




It took FOREVER. I won't lie to you. In fact, I was about to gnaw my arm off my torso before these ribs were finished cooking. That was largely due to mind-numbing, scintillating, aromatic nirvana that was the smell drifting from the oven. And it's hard to deal with FOREVER after you get off of work, go to the grocery store, come home, change clothes and THEN start prepping dinner. I had purchased all the ingredients for the dish a day earlier, but I'd forgotten an all-important component...something to sop up all the incredible juices. So I stopped to get bread. Cheddar bread. Cheddar sourdough bread. Heaven on a baking stone. 

This is an Ina Garten, aka, the Barefoot Contessa, concoction. I didn't alter it in the LEAST (shocker for me), but I did give Ina proper attribution. 

Beef Short Ribs


  • 6 beef short ribs, trimmed of fat
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup good olive oil
  • 1 small fennel, fronds, stems, and core removed, large-diced
  • 1 leek, cleaned and large-diced, white part only
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion (2 onions)
  • 4 cups large-diced celery (6 large stalks)
  • 2 carrots, peeled and large-diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 (750-ml) bottle Cotes du Rhone or other dry red wine
  • Fresh rosemary sprigs
  • Fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 6 cups beef stock


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place the short ribs on a sheet pan, sprinkle with salt and pepper,

and roast for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven. 

Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees F.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven and add the fennel, leek, onion, celery and carrots and cook over medium-low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.

Add the tomato paste and wine, bring to a boil and cook over high heat until the liquid is reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Tie the rosemary and thyme together with kitchen twine and add to the pot.

Place the roasted ribs on top of the vegetables in the Dutch oven and add the brown sugar and beef stock. Bring to a simmer over high heat. Cover the Dutch oven and bake for 2 hours or until the meat is very tender.

Carefully remove the short ribs from the pot and set aside. Discard the herbs and skim the excess fat. Cook the vegetables and sauce over medium heat for 20 minutes, until reduced. Put the ribs back into the pot and heat through. Serve with the vegetables and sauce. (And in this case, rice and cheddar bread!)