Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Braised Short Ribs


The hubby and I have been seeing a lot of short ribs being prepared on food shows lately and I have to say, I've been a little intrigued by them. I've never tasted or prepared them, so when we saw them marked down at the local grocery store, we snatched them up. I remember seeing an episode on Food Network where Anne Burrell prepared some delicious looking short ribs, so off to the website I went. I was a little overwhelmed by the recipe, but I decided that I was going to follow through.

I have to say, for the amount of time that I put into this meal, I was expecting a knock out dish, and I didn't get that. Maybe it was because it was due to the cut of meat or because braising is not my choice of method for cooking, but I just wasn't impressed. I'm one of those weirdos that likes a little bite to the meat, I don't like it so tender that it falls off the bone. (crazy, I know). The braising liquid was good, but extremely hearty. The hubby said it was "ok", so I didn't get a "OMG, you gotta make this again" scream; however, I had a great excuse to get out my Le Creuset pot and use it!!


Anne Burrell's Braised Short Ribs from Food Network's Website

Bone-in short ribs (about 5 3/4 pounds)
Kosher salt
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 large Spanish onion, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 ribs celery, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 carrots, peeled, cut in 1/2 lengthwise, then cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 1/2 cups tomato paste
2 to 3 cups hearty red wine
2 cups water
1 bunch fresh thyme, tied with kitchen string
2 bay leaves

Season each short rib generously with salt. Coat a pot large enough to accommodate all the meat and vegetables with olive oil and bring to a high heat. Add the short ribs to the pan and brown very well, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Do not overcrowd pan. Cook in batches, if necessary.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

While the short ribs are browning, puree all the vegetables and garlic in the food processor until it forms a coarse paste. When the short ribs are very brown on all sides, remove them from the pan. Drain the fat, coat the bottom of same pan with fresh oil and add the pureed vegetables. Season the vegetables generously with salt and brown until they are very dark and a crud has formed on the bottom of the pan, approximately 5 to 7 minutes. Scrape the crud and let it reform. Scrape the crud again and add the tomato paste. Brown the tomato paste for 4 to 5 minutes. Add the wine and scrape the bottom of the pan. Lower the heat if things start to burn. Reduce the mixture by half.

Return the short ribs to the pan and add 2 cups water or until the water has just about covered the meat. Add the thyme bundle and bay leaves. Cover the pan and place in the preheated oven for 3 hours. Check periodically during the cooking process and add more water, if needed. Turn the ribs over halfway through the cooking time. Remove the lid during the last 20 minutes of cooking to let things get nice and brown and to let the sauce reduce. When done the meat should be very tender but not falling apart. Serve with the braising liquid.
Serves 8.

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