Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Short Ribs

Our friends Jennifer and Eric invited us to a fabulous dinner party a few weeks back.  Jennifer prepared a scrumptious dinner with braised short ribs as the star.  They were incredibly delicious! My husband loved it and I knew I needed to get the recipe and make them for my family.  I wasn't surprised when Jennifer told me that the recipe was from Barefoot Contessa Family Style.  I have never made a recipe of Ina Garten's that wasn't a keeper.  This recipe is no exception.  Use whatever amount of veggies you prefer, no need to stick exactly to the recipe. The key to this recipe is to make it in advance and reheat it...allows the flavors to develop.  I also think it might be better with bone-in short ribs.  I will try that next time because I am sure the bones would add more beef flavor.  Another important note - Jennifer was smart to use more short ribs than called for in the recipe.  There is plenty of braising liquid for the ribs so I think one could easily put 10-12 short ribs in this recipe.  I wish we had because my family loved them and were asking for seconds!

Short Ribs
adapted from Barefoot Contessa Family Style

6 to 12 beef short ribs, trimmed of fat (bone-in or boneless)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup good olive oil
1 to 2 onions chopped
2 to 6 celery stalks, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 small fennel bulb, chopped see my Fennel 101 primer here
1 leek, cleaned and chopped, white part only
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 (750-ml) bottle Cotes du Rhone or other dry red wine
Fresh rosemary sprigs
Fresh thyme sprigs
one or two bay leaves
6 cups beef, turkey, or chicken stock
1 Tablespoon light brown sugar
2 Tablespoons tomato paste

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 onion, celery, carrots,
fennel, and leek and cook over medium-low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Pour the wine over the vegetables, bring to a boil, and cook over high heat until the liquid is reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add bay leaf, rosemary, and thyme to the pot.

Place the roasted ribs on top of the vegetables in the Dutch oven and add the beef stock and brown sugar. 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.