Date Night: Braised Beef Short Ribs

October 12, 2012

Braised beef short ribs is a comforting meal that no date will be able to resist.  Short ribs are cooked with wine and vegetables until they are melt in your mouth tender.  They are braised low and slow in the oven for several hours so that all the flavors can be absorbed and meld together.  Serve your braised short ribs on a bed of silky mashed potatoes and glazed carrots.  This meal is sure to win anyone's affection.

Braised Beef Short Ribs

Ingredients:

4 strips of Bacon
3 tablespoons Olive Oil
5 pounds Beef Short Ribs
1 teaspoon Sea Salt, fine grain
1 teaspoon Fresh Ground Pepper
3 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 pound White Button Mushrooms, sliced
2 Medium Yellow Onions, diced
1 Medium Carrot, diced
4 cloves Large of Garlic, minced
2 cups Cabernet Sauvignon Wine
2 cups Beef Stock
2 tablespoons Tomato Paste
2 tablespoons Beef Base
1 tablespoon Dried Thyme or 6 fresh Sprigs
2 Bay leaves
1 teaspoon Sea Salt, fine grain
1 teaspoon Fresh Ground Black Pepper
 
Directions:
 
Preheat your oven to 300 degrees. Place a large heavy bottomed pot on the stove top (like a Le Creuset pot).
 
Over medium heat cook 4 strips of Bacon in the large heavy bottomed pot until crisp. Remove from the heat and allow to drain on paper towels. Later you will crumble the Bacon into the finished Sauce. Reserve the Bacon Fat in the pot.
 
Dry off any moisture on your Beef Short Ribs using paper towel. The meat will brown better and caramelize instead of steam if it is dry. This browning will produce a lot of flavor in the finished dish.
 
Cut the Short Ribs into 3-4 inch sections. Trim some of the excess outer fat, leaving some for flavor. Season the Short Ribs with Sea Salt and Black Pepper.
 
Over medium high add 3 T of Olive Oil to the Bacon Fat and brown all sides of the Short Ribs until they get a good dark brown sear. Give the Short Ribs room between each other so they do not steam and brown properly. You will have to do this in 2 to 3 batches to brown all the Short Ribs well. You will not be cooking through all the way, just browning at this stage. The Short Ribs will be raw in the middle.
 
Place the first batch after browning in a bowl to catch any drippings.
 
After all the Short Ribs are browned well, remove them from the pot and set aside in the large bowl to collect any drippings as they sit. Next remove the used Bacon Fat and Olive Oil from the pot leaving any of the cooked on bits stuck to the bottom of the pot. Reduce the heat to medium and add 3 T of fresh Olive Oil and saute the sliced Mushrooms until browned and crisp. 7-10 minutes.
 
Then over medium heat add the diced Onions and Carrot and saute until soft, 5-7 minutes. Add the minced Garlic and cook for 1 minute more.
 
Deglaze the pot by adding 2 cups of Cabernet Sauvignon. As soon as you add the Wine increase the heat to high and stir rapidly, scraping the bottom of the pot releasing the cooked on brown bits stuck to the bottom. Bring to the boil then add 2 cups of Beef Stock and the Tomato Paste, Beef Base, Thyme, Bay Leaves, Sea Salt and Black Pepper. Allow to boil, stirring continuously for 3 minutes.
 
Add the Beef Short Ribs and any juices that collected in the bowl to the boiling pot. Put them in snugly against each other and boil for 2 minutes.
 
Then place the lid on the pot and place in the center of the oven and cook for 3 hours at 300 degrees undisturbed. Don't peek and release the moist heat that will make these Short Ribs fall of the bone.
 
After 3 hours remove from the oven and take off the lid. Prepare for a steam facial! Remove the Cooked Beef Short Ribs to a large bowl. Be gentle, it will be falling off the bone. Allow the Sauce to sit for 3 minutes so the fat rises to the top. Skim off the fat using a large spoon and discard it. Remove as much as you can. Remove the Bay Leaves and stems from the Thyme if you used fresh Thyme.
 
Remember, the pot is HOT, it just came from the oven!!! Use pot holders and place the pot of defatted Sauce over medium high heat and bring to a boil, stirring frequently, and reduce by a third. This will concentrate the Sauce into a rich incredible Sauce. Taste the Sauce and add Sea Salt and or Black Pepper is needed at this point. Crumble the Bacon and add to the Sauce stirring in well.
 
Add the Beef Short Ribs back to the pot of reduced Sauce and remove from the heat. Coat the Short Ribs in the Sauce well. Serve Immediately over Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes or Polenta.

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