The short-ribs I used to prepare this post were one of the the first few meals we ate from the side of beef we purchased from Adams Farm. There is something good and satisfying about knowing where our meat came from. I’m not talking about knowing that it didn’t come from a feed lot, or that it wasn’t fed antibiotics and GMO grains. I feel closer to my food chain. I drove by the fields the animal grazed in and breathed the same air the animal did. On the sheet that listed the cuts and weights of the bags of meat, there was a name written on the bottom in small letters. *Hazel* it said. I suspect that Hazel referred to the name of the butcher who processed our order, but we have taken to calling the meat by that name. I don’t know if it’s advisable to call the animals you eat by name, but we all feel so much closer to this meat that we need to call it something more than just steak or ground beef or short-ribs.
There are so many things I love about slow braised meats. I love the smell that fills the house and the warmth that it brings to the chilly kitchen in the colder months. I love how you can put the work in early in the day then enjoy a meal later with no last minute fuss. Braising is fun cooking. You get to build flavors a layer at a time with lots of time in the middle to get other things done. But most of all I love how braised meats taste; complex, rich and hearty; the taste unfolding in your mouth. That’s the way it is with these braised short-ribs. You can start them early in the morning and let them cook while you live your day.
For example, while braising the short-ribs we…
Then once the ribs are done you can wow everyone with a showstopper of a meal. If you want a super easy meal then you can always stop when the short-ribs come out of the oven and serve them straight away. But with a few extra easy steps you can make this a restaurant style dish that is pretty hard to beat anywhere.
Braised Beef Short-Ribs (print function is now at the bottom of the post)
Store-bought beef broth is frequently flavored with “beef flavor” what ever that is, and it has a harsh artificial flavor. If you do not have good quality beef broth or stock, using chicken broth or even vegetable stock provides a equally nice finished product. Also, you can easily substitute dried herbs for the fresh herbs. Use about 1 teaspoon each of thyme and rosemary and a half teaspoon of oregano.
4 boneless beef short-ribs, about 1 1/2 pounds
salt and pepper
1 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped, about 2 cups
1 -2 celery ribs, chopped, about 1 cup
2 large carrots chopped, about 1 cup
4 garlic cloves, minced or crushed
2 cups chopped seeded tomatoes, or 1 16 ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 cup red wine
1 1/2 cup beef or chicken stock
2 bay leaves
3 sprigs fresh thyme
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 sprig fresh oregano
Preheat oven to 300°F. Heat a dutch oven or other oven/stove-top safe deep pan over high heat till hot. Use paper towels or a kitchen towel to make sure the short-ribs are dry then season liberally with salt and pepper.
Add short-ribs to pan and brown beef till all sides are dark golden brown rotating every 4 or 5 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
Add the olive oil to the pan then the onion, carrot and celery. Sauté till vegetables start to brown, about five minutes.
Reduce heat to medium and add garlic and tomatoes and cook for additional minute until garlic is fragrant.
Add the wine and stir to get stuck bits off the bottom. Add the stock and herbs.
Return the beef to pan, pushing the ribs as far down into the liquid as possible. Cover the pot tightly and place in oven.
Cook for about two and a half hours turning the beef ribs over once halfway through the cooking time. While it’s really impossible to overcook the short-ribs, but they are best when they are tender but not quite falling apart yet.
After removing the short-ribs from the oven, carefully take the beef out of the cooking liquid and vegetable. Strain vegetables off of the sauce and remove the herbs. Let the liquid set and separate the fat and discard the fat.
Using a food processor or blender, blend the vegetables to form a thick sauce.
Return the vegetable puree to the pan with the defatted liquid. Stir to combine the sauce and season to taste.
Serve short-ribs with a generous serving of sauce over mashed potatoes, pasta or polenta. (or whatever else you please).