Braised Short Ribs — Easier Than You Think!

There are not many things in this world that intimidate me. Well except for sharks and Ronda Rousy. That’s all. But braised short ribs came close! Funny story… a client of mine ordered them for her annual holiday dinner party and I was more than happy to make them for her and her guests. But the second I hung up the phone, I ran to the computer to look up a recipe. And of course, I made them twice before her party to get them right.

In the end, I’m so glad she hired me because these are now on my menu and I honestly make them for myself (and Truman) literally once a week. And shockingly, they are SO EASY.

Let’s get right into it. Here is what you’ll need:

Ingredients:
Bone-in or Boneless Short Ribs (1/2 lb. per person)
4 Garlic Cloves, chopped
1 Onion, chopped
1/2-1 C Carrots, diced
1/2-1C Celery, chopped
1 C Mushrooms, chopped OPTIONAL
2T Fresh Thyme
1 small can Tomato Paste
1/2-full bottle Red Wine
2-4C Beef Stock
Flour for dredging
Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper

unnamed-1Gather all your ingredients and get ready to chop! Here is a shortcut. I hate nothing more than peeling and chopping whole carrots. It’s torturous. Luckily, I had my nephew Frankie over the weekend and had bought some pre-cut veggies for him to snack on! So, feel free to purchase these in the produce section of the supermarket where you find the produce snacks. You may spend a little more money but it’s worth it. Plus, for me, it reduces the danger of cutting myself, which as you know I do often.

Chop the garlic, mushrooms (if using), onion, carrot and celery. Next, season your meat WELL with salt and pepper, then coat with flour.

In a large pot, preferably a Dutch oven, sauté the meat in enough Olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Sear the meat on all four sides, remove from the pan and set aside. (In this recipe, I chose to use boneless short ribs. Shown below is about 3/4 of a pound.)

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Add the vegetables and garlic to the same pan and sauté until sweated. Season with salt and pepper. Do not burn the garlic! After about 5 minutes, add about 2T – 1/4 cup of red wine. You just want to break up all the yummy flavor bits from the bottom of pan from when you seared the meat. While the wine is deglazing the pan, make sure you scrape the bottom to help release those flavors. When you’re done, add the thyme.

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This is what it should look like (left).  How you doing? Easy enough, right? Good. Add the tomato paste and stir. Now it should look like the photo on the left… but very red. Next, add the red wine. Depending on how much meat you are cooking, I suggest a full bottle for 8 people and a half a bottle for 4. Stir and let simmer for a couple of minutes.

Add the meat back into the pot and add enough beef stock to completely cover the short ribs. Cover with the lid and place in a 350 degree oven for about 3 hours.

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The meat should be VERY tender and the liquid should be dark in color and rich in taste. Thanks to the flour used to sear the meat, the liquid thickened making it the perfect consistency for dipping with a fresh loaf of bread.

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