Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Stove Top Braised Short Ribs

For Valentine's Day dinner I thought it would be fun to switch it up a bit. I would make dinner, my husband usually does the cooking. (Thank God!) And he would make dessert. Let just say it was a match made to be...and my stomach totally agrees.
First off, I have never ever braised a thing in my life. Second, it is so easy and so tasty. Tasty also because short ribs braised in wine with whole shallots and carrots and a bunch of thyme, and parsley makes for a good show...really it does!
Oh I forgot the mushrooms! They were just like little magic after they soaked up all the goodness of the braise. 

I also forgot to mention that the short ribs were dredged in flour, salt, pepper and nutmeg and then seared in bacon fat...yes I said it bacon fat....fatty fat fat!!!

 The scene is set...

 Wine and cheese please.

 A chopped salad with mango, pear apple and pomegranate seeds.
And there she is.....oven braised short ribs over a cheesy polenta. As you can see the dog is wafting in the aromas.
And to top it all off my husband made mini pecan sour cherry sticky buns with gelato and chocolate. (He needs to bake more often.) All I can say is that this was such an easy dinner and it was so good. Glad that Valentine's Day comes once a year as my taste buds, and belly could not handle anymore!

Oven Braised Short Ribs
I made these the day before and then let them sit overnight. The best part of braises is that there is minimal work and you really can't screw it up. The flavors sitting overnight just made this even better.

Serves 4 to 6 depending on portion size

3 to 4 slices of bacon
2 large parsley sprigs
2 large thyme sprigs
2 large bay leaves, bruised
1/2 tablespoon flour, plus 3/4 cup for dredging the meat
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 or just a good grate of fresh nutmeg
2 1/2 to 3 lbs of short ribs ( We had about 5 short ribs in total and had leftovers)
1 cup chopped onion ( about 1/2 of a large onion)
1 cup diced carrot plus 3 medium carrots chopped into about 2 inch chunks
2 to 3 large garlic cloves peeled whole plus 1 minced
About 1 and 1/2 cup beef broth
2 cups Burgundy wine
8 oz crimini mushrooms sliced into about 1/4 inch slices
6 to 10 small shallots blanched for one minute and then peeled

Cook the bacon in a heavy large pot over medium high heat until brown and crisp. Using a slotted spoon
remove the bacon and save to use for something else. Keep about 3 to 4 tablespoons of bacon fat in the pot to use to brown the meat.

Tie parsley, thyme, and bay leaves together for a bouguet garni. Stir  1 tablespoon of flour and butter in a small bowl and smooth into a paste.

Whisk flour remaining flour, 1 teaspoon salt, the nutmeg and black pepper together in a bowl Add the short ribs and toss to coat.

Heat bacon fat back up on medium high heat. Working in batches sear the short ribs on all sides until golden brown transfer to a bowl after each batch.

Reduce heat to medium low and add the onions, diced carrots, and minced garlic to the pot. Saute until the onions are soft about 7 to 8 minutes. Return the short ribs to the pot. Add the boquet garni, and then the broth and wine. If needed you can add more liquid until the ribs are covered about half way.
Bring to boil then cover and lower the heat to a simmer. Cook until meat is almost fork tender, about 2 hours. Adjust heat to make sure that it maintains a gentle simmer. Mix in mushrooms, whole garlic cloves, shallots and carrot chunks. Bring to a boil  and then cover the pot and reduce heat to low. Cook for another 30 to 45 minutes until the veggies are tender.

If needed tilt the pot to skim off any excess fat. Our short ribs were well trimmed so I did not need to do this step. Stir flour paste into the stew. Simmer uncovered until the sauce thickens slightly stirring occasionally for about 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Can be made the day ahead. Cool for 1 hour. Refrigerate uncovered until cold and then cover and keep refrigerated. Rewarm over low heat before serving.

We served this with a cheesy polenta using a fair amount of goat cheese to stand up to the cooked polenta. We also had a great chopped salad with a hint of blue cheese.

Enjoy.... I know I did!


  1. These short ribs look so tender and delicious. :) They're tempting me something terrible!

  2. I absolutely love short ribs, and these look really amazing! Looks like you had a wonderful Valentine's Day!

  3. This sounds terrible, but I think the smell of short ribs cooking is better than the taste of them. I DO like them, but I LOVE the smell of them braising. I just about hyperventilate.

    Your celebration table looks fantastic. Every part of it is perfect. Your husband rocks with the dessert he made for you guys. I love it.

  4. Short ribs! What a perfect meal. Love the different flavors in the salad too. Looks like your dinner was a success.

  5. oh my, this is so my favorite thing to eat, braised short ribs- augh that sounds good! what a lovely vday you must have had... i ate out, it was ok.

  6. Those short ribs look absolutely nothing less than succulent. And when I cook beef, I also brown in bacon fat. Nothing better!