Wine Braised Short Ribs
January 1, 2011
New Year’s Eve demands attention. It is the last day of the year, and like many big deadlines, it pressures us to make the most of our final minutes. We often feel obliged to stay up late and live large on this cold night. We either celebrate the blessings of the previous year or say good riddance to a year that treated us harshly. For my husband and I however, times have changed.
This year we did not ring in the new year as we once had. There were no loud parties, drunken dances, or boisterous cheers. Perhaps it is as the checkout gal at the butcher shop and I agreed, we have paid our dues by partying wholeheartedly in previous years and we deserve a night off. Perhaps we are lured by the calm and seemingly more desirable option of staying in with a delicious meal and a bottle of bubbly. Perhaps we just don’t have a babysitter. Whatever it is, the food made the night (and the company of course!).
Inspired by a friend’s Christmas dinner and my husband’s ever-present hunger for more beef, I headed off New Year’s Eve morning to buy some short ribs. I rubbed the ribs with coarse salt and pepper, then browned them in olive oil. The ribs then rested as I sautéed onion, carrot, celery, and garlic in the drippings. I added wine to deglaze the pan, then returned the meat, added herbs, and beef broth. Once the mixture came to a boil, I slid the covered pot into the oven to bake for the rest of the day. The meat was, in a word, luscious.
This recipe is perfect for entertaining or for a night when it is just your family at home, but you don’t want to fuss with cooking during the evening. In fact, I made sour cream and chive mashers and our veggie early too and finished cooking at 3! Plenty of time for the last trip to the playground in 2010. Best of all, the meal was delicious.
Wine Braised Short Ribs
3 pounds beef short ribs
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 cup diced yellow onion
1 celery rib, minced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
6 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cups full-bodied red wine (I used Cabernet Sauvignon)
2 cups low-sodium beef broth
1 sprig rosemary
1 Tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
Salt and Pepper
Pat the ribs dry with a paper towel, then rub with 2 Tablespoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Heat the olive oil on medium- medium/ high in a dutch oven or other large oven safe dish and brown meat on all sides. (If you don’t have a dutch oven you can use a large skillet and transfer the items to an oven safe dish after you deglaze the pan). Set the meat aside to rest.
Drain pan of all but 2 Tablespoons of oil. Saute onion, celery, and carrot until soft. Add garlic and saute 2 minutes more, until fragrant. Pour wine into pot and stir with spoon to release any bits stuck to the pan. Add back the beef and all other ingredients. (Go cautiously with the salt at this point. The liquid will reduce by half by the end and will become much more flavorful). Bring to a boil. Cover and bake at 275 degrees for 4 hours (or until meat is tender).
Once tender, remove dutch oven from oven. Take meat from pan and set aside. Discard bay leaf and any stems from the herbs. Pour liquid in a glass container and let sit to cool slightly. Skim fat from surface and discard. Return remaining liquid to the pot. Simmer liquid uncovered until reduced enough that it begins to thicken. Use a ladle to remove 1 cup of the veggies. Reserve. Blend the remaining liquid with an immersion blender (or a regular blender if you don’t have one. Return blended liquid to pan). Return reserved veggies and ribs to the pan. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and keep warm until ready to serve.
Serve with potatoes, pasta, polenta, or crusty bread.
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