Monday, March 10, 2014

Red Wine Braised Short Ribs

I love short ribs. The problem is when I've looked around for ideas about how to cook them, the recipes are massive. Some call for entire bottles of wine, or 5-6 lbs of meat. I don't know about you, but for me, 6 lbs of short ribs would end up costing something like $30 and make so much food I wouldn't know what to do with it. When you have a husband who doesn't eat red meat and the teenager is away, it would be crazy to come up with a pot of food that large. I'm already feeling a little overindulgent creating this recipe just for myself when I know that nobody else is going to help me eat it.

This recipe for braised short ribs is small enough for two or three people. Most packages of short ribs that I've seen at the grocery store come in 1 1/2 to 2 lb portions anyway, which works well. This is also a great way to use up those last bits of wine you may have from a bottle in your fridge, or maybe you froze a teeny bit and are waiting for something to use it in. This is where you need it. Make sure it's one with a good deep, rich flavour such as a Cabernet Sauvignon. I like Yellow Tail Cabernet-Merlot, but you can use whatever you have.

What makes this recipe so great besides the fact that I practically licked the dish, is that you can just throw everything together and then set it in the oven to bubble away on it's own while you find something else to do. Nap, take the kids to the park, go to church, write, go shopping. The oven will do the work for you and when you finally open the oven, salivating from the amazing smell that is emanating throughout the house, dinner will be there like a gift; velvety sauce, meat falling off the bone, and tender veggies. You can spoon it over mashed potatoes, dip crusty bread in the sauce, or get a spoon and eat it right out of the dish there at the stove, which I am not ashamed to admit that I actually did.

braised short ribs

Serves: 2-3


2 lbs bone in short ribs
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, peeled and chopped finely
1/2 cup red wine
1 1/2 cups beef stock
2 slices of bacon, chopped into small pieces
1 cup sliced mushrooms
2 tsp tomato paste
1 tbsp flour
1 tsp worchestershire sauce
1 sprig fresh rosemary, leaves picked off and chopped finely
1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme


Pre heat the oven to 325 F.

Get a large fry pan with about 2 tbsp of oil in it hot over medium high heat. Add the short ribs, season well with salt and pepper, and sear them on all sides until browned. Take your time with this, because getting this crust on the beef will add a lot of flavour to your dish. When they are browned all over, remove the ribs to a 2 litre casserole dish. Add the chopped bacon to the pan and saute until crisp. Remove and add to the dish with the ribs. Drain off all but about 1 tbsp of the fat.

Turn the heat down to medium and add the onion to the pan, stirring well to keep them from burning, and saute until they have softened; about 5 minutes. Stir in the carrots, mushrooms, rosemary, and garlic. Keep them moving so that the garlic doesn't burn. When they have softened, stir in the flour and tomato paste.

Continue to cook over medium to medium low heat, stirring, for about 2 minutes. Slowly pour in the wine and beef stock, stirring as it thickens. Bring the mixture to a boil, then turn the heat down and let it simmer for about 5 minutes. Add the thyme, worchestershire, then salt and pepper to taste. Pour everything over the short ribs in the casserole dish, put a lid on it, and place the dish in the oven for 2 1/2 hours and let it bubble away.

Remove the dish from the oven and let it sit for about 10 minutes to cool.  Spoon over mashed potatoes or serve with roasted potatoes, yorkshire puddings, and salad.

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