Thursday, February 21, 2013

Braised Short Ribs

Braised Short Ribs - Photo by Taste As You Go

You know, I'm not surprised that it's been two weeks since I've posted anything new. Now that I'm not working full-time, I haven't devoted much time or energy to writing anything outside of my freelancing efforts. I'm constantly keeping my eyes and ears open for the next potential opportunity (a whole new source of stress in my life), and when all is said and done, I'm just plain exhausted. 

It's sad to admit that I don't have enough left in me at the end of the day to think creatively on my own behalf. I hope that this post -- a post I've been promising to write for weeks now -- will help inspire me to save time for my own writing.


Wedding Brunch Reception - Short Rib Sliders with Mushrooms, Caramelized Onions, and Fontina Cheese - Photo Courtesy of Brian Samuels Photography

Some of you may remember this picture of the Short Rib Sliders served at our brunch wedding reception. Inspired by my favorite sandwich at Bouchon Bakery, these sandwiches were a huge hit. Unfortunately, Stephen and I never had a chance to try them because kinda skipped over the eating part to spend time with our guests.

Prompted by our missed opportunity and by your comments, I emailed our caterer to see whether I could get a copy of the recipe for the short ribs. That way I'd have that part covered if I ever wanted to make the sandwiches in our kitchen one day. (The sliders also featured sauteed mushrooms, caramelized onions, and Fontina cheese.)

Well, Nikki totally delivered!

Boneless Beef Short Ribs - Photo by Taste As You Go

Onion, Celery, and Carrots for the Braised Short Ribs Base - Photo by Taste As You Go

While you're browning the short ribs (don't skip this step!), you puree your onion, celery, carrots, and garlic (not pictured, but it's in there) to get here:

Browned Boneless Beef Short Ribs - Photo by Taste As You Go

Vegetable Puree for Braised Short Rib Base - Photo by Taste As You Go

Add tomato paste, red wine, water and bay leaves, and then allow the short ribs to hang out in the oven for three hours to get here:

Braised Beef Short Ribs - Photo by Taste As You Go

Serve with roasted root vegetables or creamy polenta and a glass of red wine and prepare yourself for the food coma that will inevitably follow.

Braised Short Ribs with Roasted Root Vegetables - Photo by Taste As You Go


Braised Short Ribs

INGREDIENTS
  • 5 3/4 pounds boneless beef short ribs
  • Kosher salt
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 ribs celery, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 carrots, peeled, cut in 1/2 lengthwise, then cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 1/2 cups tomato paste
  • 2 to 3 cups hearty red wine
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 bay leaves

INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Season each short rib generously on both sides with salt.
  2. Coat a pot large enough to accommodate all the meat and vegetables with olive oil and bring to a high heat. Add the short ribs to the pan and brown very well, about 2 to 3 minutes per side, cooking in batches if necessary. Do not overcrowd the pan.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  4. While the short ribs are browning, puree all of the vegetables and garlic in the food processor until it forms a thick paste.
  5. When the short ribs are very brown on all sides, remove them from the pan. Drain the fat and coat the bottom of the same pan with fresh oil. Add the pureed vegetables.
  6. Season the vegetables with salt and brown until they are very dark and a crust has formed on the bottom of the pan, approximately 5 to 7 minutes. Scrape the crust and let it reform. Scrape the crust one more time and add the tomato paste.
  7. Brown the tomato paste for 4 to 5 minutes. Add the wine and scrape the bottom of the pan. Lower the heat if things start to burn. Reduce the mixture by half.
  8. Return the short ribs to the pan and add 2 cups of water, or enough water to just cover the meat. Add the bay leaves.
  9. Cover the pan and place in the preheated oven for 3 hours. Check periodically during the cooking process and add more water, if needed.
  10. Turn the ribs over halfway through the cooking time. Remove the lid during the last 20 minutes of cooking to facilitate browning and to let the sauce reduce.
  11. When done the meat should be very tender but not falling apart. Serve with the braising liquid.

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