How much do you love it when you open the door to a home (preferably yours), and you're immediately swept in by alluring, comforting, aromas of food cooking? I love it so very much! Making braised short ribs will do that very thing!
These Short Ribs are exquisite — and a rare treat for most (at home, anyway). In the past, this is the sort of thing I'd only eat in a restaurant — after all, it takes a few hours to prepare, I'm up to my eyeballs with my two boys, and my husband doesn't eat red meat. Then, a few weeks ago, we had friends over who love meat, and I knew they'd really appreciate this dinner. (Which they did!) I've decided I should make it more often — on a weekend only of course — I'm not Wonder Woman, as it turns out! When our friends walked in that evening a few weeks ago, they said, "We could smell it the minute we got out of our car!"
Believe me, I know time is precious, but so is this food! And here's a great tip: double the recipe and use this tender meat in my quick and easy Braised Short Rib Tacos, in the days following. My boys like the ribs but love the tacos!
And not to worry, my vegetarian husband is always served something he loves in lieu of meat. . . Nachos! Really! They're his favourite meal.
- 2 pounds bone-in beef short ribs (about 5)
- Olive oil to coat pan
- 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced onion
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 2 cups thinly sliced carrot
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
- 1/2 cup, plus 1/8 cup tomato paste
- 3 cups red wine
- Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees, place the ribs on a baking sheet, and season generously with salt and pepper. Coat an oven safe pot large enough to accommodate all the meat with olive oil (a dutch oven is perfect.) Heat the oil in the pot over high heat. Add the ribs to the pot — you should hear a sizzling sound, and if you don't, your pot's not hot enough. Wait until it's very hot and listen for the sizzle! (We are searing the meat, which can only be done over high heat — this seals in the juices, caramelizes the surface, and reduces the cooking time.) Brown the ribs very well, about three minutes per side, then remove them from the pot and set aside.
Add the onion and garlic to the pot and cook over medium-high heat until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the carrots and thyme, and continue to cook until everything is browning nicely, about 15 minutes. The vegetables should be very brown, and the bottom of your pot will become brown, too. This is okay. In fact, it's great! It's flavor! Pour in about a 1/4 cup of water and use a deglazing spatula (a wooden one with a flat edge is best), to scrape the bottom of the pan, working all that wonderful flavor back into the sauce. Once the water has completely evaporated, add the tomato paste, and cook until it browns as well, about 10 minutes. Add the wine and scrape the bottom of the pan again. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer, do not cover, and reduce the mixture by about half — this will take about 20 minutes.
Return the ribs to the pot and add just enough water so the ribs are covered, about 2 cups. Mix to incorporate. Bring to a boil, cover the pot and place in the preheated oven for 2 hours. Turn the ribs over halfway through the cooking time. Remove the lid during the last ten minutes to let things get nice and brown and to let the sauce thicken a bit. When it's done, the meat should be very tender but not falling apart. Serve with the braising liquid.
Some additional notes:
This makes for an amazing stew. Throw in about 1 cup of roughly chopped red potatoes after you add the carrots. Then, once you remove the meat from the oven, add 1 cup of green peas. With or without the added vegetables, this should be served over rice, pasta or bread — something to soak up every bit of the sauce!