I’m guessing it is the cold weather or maybe it’s the extra days off over the holidays but there is nothing like having something cooking on the stove, in the oven or even in a crockpot all day long that just brings a smile to my face.
I think I would be lost without my Dutch oven; I fry, brown, stew and braise in it. I feel very strongly that every kitchen needs to have one or if you are really lucky maybe two of them. There is just so much you can create with it and it can stand up the long hours in the oven.
I think the first time I tried braised short ribs was in a local restaurant and that was it, I had to make them and I have several times since, they do take some time on the stove top but the rewards are well worth it and it makes the house smell just amazing. They end up super tender; no knife need, and surround them with flavors you love, you just can’t go wrong.
I do love braising short ribs to use up the leftover red wine, I know right how does that happen; on occasion we do have leftover red wine and this is a great way to use it up. While you don’t HAVE to braise in red or white wine you will need some liquid an acid and lots of flavor. You can use beef or chicken stock, you can use tomato sauce or vinegar or even lemon for acid and flavors can come from herbs, spices or even fruit, plums would work for instance. Just be creative as you want with things you have at home.
Braised Short Ribs
6-8 whole beef short ribs
kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1/4 cup flour
2 tbs olive oil
1 large onion diced
3 whole carrots peeled and finely diced
2 shallots, peeled and minced
2 cups red wine (your choice of acid here)
2 cups beef broth (your choice of flavor here)
2 sprigs thyme
2 springs rosemary
2-3 cloves minced garlic
Salt, pepper and flour ribs set aside
In a large dutch oven, cook pancetta over medium heat until crispy and all the fat is rendered. Remove pancetta leaving the grease in the pan and set aside.
Add olive oil to the pan with the grease, and raise heat to high. Brown ribs on all sides; about 1 minute per side. Remove ribs and set aside. Turn heat to medium.
Add onions, carrots, garlic and shallots to pan and cook for about 2 minutes. Pour liquid, in my case my leftover red wine and scrape up all the yummy bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring to a boil and cook for a couple of minutes.
Add broth, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and some fresh cracked black pepper. One thing to remember that flavors will intensify while it cooks down, so be careful not to over salt. Add ribs to the liquid; they should be almost completely submerged. Add whole thyme and rosemary sprigs to the liquid.
Put the lid on and place in the oven. Cook at 350’ for about 2 hours. Then reduce heat to 325’ and cook for additional 30-45 minutes. Ribs for be fork tender and falling off the bone. Remove pan from the oven and allow to sit at least 20 minutes, with the lid on before serving. Make sure to skim off the fat from the top of the liquid. You can also refrigerate so the fat becomes a solid and is a lot easier to remove.
Serve over mashed potatoes or polenta or even noodles. Spoon the liquid gold gravy over the top