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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Short on Time? Don't make Short Ribs! Recipe

If you have a lazy day ahead of you where you have no plans - or if you want a great no-bother dinner party dish: look no further! Short ribs are awesome. Big on flavor, long on time - and if you can swing it...make them the day before you actually want to eat them. Your stomach will thank you.

Again, with the blizzard of 2009 upon us, there was no better day to deliver this meal to my family. The smell wafting through the air is unmistakable - beef in wine. And the longer you cook it, the better it tastes. If you can do it, again, make it the day before. By doing this, you allow the beef to come to a cool, room-temp, before placing it into the fridge. This will allow all the fat to congeal and will allow you to skim if off the following day before bringing it to a nice hot simmer on the stove. This locks in flavor in the juice and soaks it into the meat. By cooking this as long as you do, you bring the meat to the point of literally slipping off the bone. Adding the extra step of cooling and then skimming off the fat just adds tons of extra flavor.

Simple Braised Beef Short Ribs
4 1/4 lbs. beef short ribs
1/3 cup flour
1 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. Olive oil
1 1/2 cup medium Sherry - such as "Amentillado"
1 bottle red wine - such as Meritage
1 parsnip, peeled and chopped
3 celery hearts, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 leeks, sliced
3 medium shallots, minced
2 bay leaves

Preheat oven to 375. In a large Dutch Oven pot with a snugly fit lid, melt butter and oil together over medium high heat. Place the flour in a small bowl and when the butter/oil is foamy slip a rib into the flour, shake off excess and put into the pot - meat side down. Repeat with as many as you can fit into the pot without overcrowding. Allow the ribs to brown about 4-5 minutes before turning them. Brown all sides well and remove the completed ones to a bowl. Repeat with remaining.

Once all ribs have been browned and removed from the pot, add in the sherry and allow it to bubble and boil and with a wooden spoon scrape up the bits stuck to the bottom. Add in the wine and the vegetables. Mix well. Next add in the ribs, meat side down into the liquid, and cover with as much of the liquid and vegetables as possible.

Turn off the heat, cover, and place into the oven for 1 hour. Turn the ribs, keeping the meat submerged in the liquid. Recover and cook another 1 1/2 hours. If you're serving it at this time, bring the pot to the stove and remove the meat carefully to a bowl. Spoon off as much of the fat off the top as possible and boil liquid about 10minutes.

If you're serving the following day, allow the meat to come to a complete cool-down before placing into the refrigerator. The following day, spoon off the thick white fat layer that has formed and bring the pot to the stove and reheat, slowly.

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