beef short ribs

this meal turned out exactly how i wanted it to. my first time braising short ribs was too easy, and too delicious. the cravings for this dish began with our visit to nyc, when we ate at an amazing restaurant called northeast territory. we had beer braised short ribs with seasonal vegetables, and i coveted and craved the recipe ever since. after doing a ton of research about braising beef ribs and scouring books for the perfect recipe, i decided to combine all of my favorite parts of a bunch of recipes.

i started with the free range organic grass beef short ribs at right by nature, a natural foods market here in pittsburgh that boasts the city’s best meat. i then chose any seasonal vegetable that looked good at the farmer’s market that day. finally, i bought a bottle of red wine after talking with the “wine guy” at the state booze store, and he recommended an $8 bottle of spanish wine that was excellent, though i don’t remember what it is called.

the meal was perfect, and i would love to make it again for a crowd. there was an amazing gravy that resulted from the many times i deglazed the skillet with the red wine, which i spooned over both the meat and the veggies before serving.

yes, it does look like a long and daunting process. but it’s something everyone should do once to get it out-of-the-way. once you do it, the process makes sense and you will find it easier to do again. it is worth the time and effort involved for the delicious result. life life skills here, people, life skills!

to serve aside the beef, chose the veggies that are in season and look good, and roast them during the last 30-40 minutes in a separate roasting pan from the beef. i used pattypan squash, green beans, carrots, and redskin potatoes. don’t be confused, these are not the veggies that will make the broth for the ribs. they need to be cooked independently of the ribs.

my miripox, along with some fresh herbs, in a cheesecloth ready to be all tied up

wine braised beef short ribs:

4 beef short ribs, on the bone

1 bottle of red wine

huge handful rosemary

handful of thyme

5 cloves garlic, whole

3 carrots

3 stalks celery

1 huge white or yellow onion

salt

pepper

preheat oven to 250f. chop onions, carrots, and celery into small pieces, and the garlic into large chunks.

sprinkle rib meat with salt and pepper.

heat up a large skillet with a little canola or grapeseed oil. wait until skillet is nice and hot to add meat. place meat, 2 ribs at a time, onto skillet and let it sear for 2-5 minutes. -just until seared. you don’t want them to cook, just to brown and for the fat to caramelize. do this on all 3 sides of the meat. set aside and prepare the other 2 ribs similarly. set all ribs aside, bone side down, in the casserole or roaster that you will be cooking them in.

the skillet will still be quite hot, so you can throw in your chopped veg, pour in 1/4 bottle of the wine, and immediately turn heat down to a medium temp. the veggies will be cooking in this sauce for 5 minutes or so before they begin to soften. a lot of liquid will be gone after 5 minutes, so you could add a little more, just a splash, and cook until veggies are completely cooked.

place the veggies in a cheesecloth along with the fresh herbs, and tie up. reserve any liquid that they have produced. pour the liquid over the meat, and place loaded cheesecloth into casserole dish with ribs. place loose fitting lid or tin foil over the top.

stick it all in the oven, and let the magic happen. bake for a few hours.

have a few glasses of wine, then go for a walk. not too long, don’t forget you have food in the oven.

be sure to check the meat if your walk took a while. i knew it was done when i stuck a fork in it and it fell off of the bone. the meat should be very tender.

when you know it is done, pull it from the oven, and let the meat rest for 10 minutes or so before serving.

sauce:

there will be quite a bit of liquid from the dish now, and you want to save it. pour it into a warm/hot skillet with a big splash of red wine. squeeze any broth from your cheesecloth in, as well. discard the solid vegetables. if there isn’t much liquid from the veg, you can use another stock or broth that you may have. after it bubbles for a few minutes, keep it on a low simmer. i wouldn’t salt and pepper this. wait until you taste it first. after it thickens, turn heat off and let it cool for a few minutes, using a spoon to skim the fat from the top after cooling. after fat is skimmed, you can get the gravy nice and hot again if it needs thickened.

spoon over short ribs, your roasted veg, and dig in!

it will turn out beautifully. enjoy the fruit of your labor. eat it slowly. savor with friends.

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