I love braised beef short ribs with big red wine. There is nothing better. Here is my way of doing it. I usually make way too much sauce so I have extra for a pasta dinner on another night. I usually allocate 1 meaty rib per person, but I make a lot extra just in case someone wants seconds.
- 6-8 really meaty beef short ribs
- 2-3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- Salt and pepper
- 4-6 ounces finely diced pancetta (Italian bacon)
- 1 onion finely diced
- 3 ribs celery finely diced
- 3 carrots finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic finely minced
- 2.5 cups dry red wine
- 3 cups beef broth
- 1 cup canned plum tomatoes finely diced
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- 2-3 bay leaves
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat a large cast iron dutch oven and add the vegetable oil.
- Season the ribs well with salt and pepper.
- Brown the ribs on all sides. Remove from the pot and set aside the browned ribs.
- In the hot pot, sautee the pancetta.
- Add the onion to the pot and sweat until translucent. Add the celery and the carrots cooking until tender. Toss in the garlic and sautee for a minute.
- Deglaze the pan with the wine and scrape down the bottom of the pan to get all of the tasty brown bits.
- Reduce the wine by half and then add the stock.
- Reduce the cooking liquid some more and then add the tomatoes.
- Return the ribs to the pot and add the herbs. You can finish braising the ribs on the stove top for 3 hours on a low simmer or you can put the whole pot into a heated 350 degree oven and cook for about 3 hours or until the meat is super tender.
- After the meat is cooked, remove the ribs and keep warm. Skim any excess fat or foam off the surface of the cooking liquid.
- Reduce the cooking liquid to the desired thickness. I like to leave the sauce chunky, but you can always blend some of it to make is smoother.
- Season to taste.
There are a few ways to serve the ribs and the sauce. You could make soft polenta and serve a rib on the polenta with a ladle of sauce. You could be very traditional and serve the sauce on pasta as a first course followed by the ribs with roasted potatoes and braised greens as the second course. I prefer to go “Fred Flintstone” style and serve the rib, bone and all, but you can always remove the meat from the rib and serve in pretty slices. Enjoy with a hearty Cabernet like the Silver Oak!