Chef Notes: Calling All Meat Lovers….Braised Short Ribs

Chef Notes: Calling All Meat Lovers….Braised Short Ribs

I guess this morning is the coldest we’ve had so far. It’s not exactly bitterly cold but it’s certainly below the “crisp” fall morning temperatures that I enjoy. As the weather gets colder, and the days get shorter, and the holidays begin bearing down on me I start to think of easy, one pot meals. I want something I can start mid-day and count on to be delicious a few hours later. Something that makes you feel warm and cozy and leaves you with leftovers for lunch or maybe even another dinner tomorrow. 

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What you’re really going to like about this dish is the first night you can serve it as is, maybe with a little salad or a chunk of crusty bread but that’s totally optional.  The next day you can pull the meat off the bones, add a bit more stock, and turn it into a soup or stew. Then if you still have leftovers you can make a third meal by adding rice or pasta. I love short ribs but if you prefer a leaner cut of beef you can always substitute a pot roast.

Braised Short Ribs

4-1/2 to 5 lb. beef short ribs (8 to 12 ribs)
¼ cup vegetable oil
Kosher salt
ground black pepper
1 cup medium-diced onions
1 cup medium-diced carrots
1 cup medium-diced fennel
1 Tbs. finely chopped garlic
2 Tbs. chopped fresh thyme
1 cup coarsely chopped dried apricots
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
1 oz. dried mushrooms, steeped in hot water until soft, then coarsely chopped, steeping liquid strained through a coffee filter and reserved
1 cup beer
1/4 cup lower-sodium soy sauce
2 cups canned crushed tomatoes
1 cup lower-salt beef broth
1 cup beer
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Heat the oven to 325°F. In an 8-quart Dutch oven, heat 3 tablespoons of the oil over medium heat. Season the ribs with salt and pepper. Add ribs to the pot (as many as will fit without overlap), and cook, until very golden brown on all sides. Remove from pan and repeat with any ribs that did not fit the first time. Remove last ribs from the pan. Pour off the oil from the pan.

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, onions, carrots, and fennel to the pan. Season with salt and pepper and sauté, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan (called fond), until soft and lightly browned. Add garlic, thyme, chopped dried apricots, rosemary, and chopped reconstituted dried mushrooms, and sauté about 1 minute.

Pour the beer and reserved mushroom liquid into the pot and cook on high, stirring to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot, until the liquid is reduced by about 1/2.

Return the ribs and accumulated juices back into the dutch oven and arrange the ribs as evenly as possible, no more than 2 layer’s deep.

Bring the liquid to a simmer, cover, and put the pot in the oven. Cook, turning the ribs about ½ way through, until they are very fork tender, about 3 hours. Don’t be fooled by meat falling off the bone, that does not mean the meat if fully tender.

Let rest for 15-20 minutes before serving and skim off as much of the fat as possible from the surface. Season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper, and add the lime juice.

Serve the ribs with the sauce spooned over, sprinkled with chopped parsley.

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