Sunday, April 13, 2008

I am a Braised Short Ribs Rock Star

Braised, fall apart roasts scare me more than yeast breads scare others. I've ruined more good cuts of meat by cooking it improperly than I care to count. Still, I was a "Cooking in the Kitchen with Kate" mood this weekend, for sure. It was the first weekend I didn't have a) the flu, b) a bad tooth following root canal and c) too much work to do at home. Add to the mix the fact I reorganized and set up a more professional looking kitchen this week (I had one of those moments laying in bed where you think of a great idea, and the next morning you are in line at Home Depot at 7:00 a.m. to get the materials), and all the pieces were in play -- I was going to cook up a storm.

Having already made french toast for breakfast, and a loaf of white sandwich bread in the afternoon, I watched an old episode of Paula Deen's show and she made a dish of braised short ribs. She made it seem so easy, and I've seen them on so many blogs recently, I really wanted to try a few short ribs. I immediately went out to the store, bought some ribs, and trolled the blogs looking for inspiration.

Ultimately I decided on an easy braised-in-a-dutch-oven version I found from an anonymous chef at the Food Network, and adapted it from there. When it came out of the oven tonight, I was a short rib rock star. The dish turned out VERY well (with one exception noted below) and I'll be sure to try this again in the future -- albeit in a colder month. Northern California was really warm and beautiful this weekend and you can't really pull off wintery dishes like this when butterflies and hummingbirds are flitting past you on the way out of the grocery store.

I only cook for 1 or 2 at most, so all my amounts are ballparked by me as I go along.


4 short ribs
1 handful of shredded carrot
1/2 of a chunked onion
3 garlic cloves
Sprig of rosemary
2 slices of pre-cooked bacon
1 tablespoon of olive oil
seasoned flour
1/2 cup red wine
2 cups beef broth

Step 1:

Chop up 1/2 an onion, 3 garlic cloves, some rosemary, some carrot, and set aside in a bowl. Season a few tablespoons of flour, and dredge the short ribs in the flour. In a heavy dutch oven, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and a few pieces of snipped bacon, and heat until the bacon has rendered and the oil is hot. Add the short ribs, turning and browning each side.

Step 2: Remove the browned short ribs to a platter, and, add the reserved vegetables to the pan drippings, sauteing lightly until they are soft.

Step 3: Deglaze the pan with a healthy glug (I used about 1/2 cup) of red wine.

Step 4: After the pan has deglazed, pour into 2 cups of beef broth and bring the dish to a hard boil.

Step 5: After the vegetable broth has reached a boil, turn off the stove, and add the short ribs, assuring the liquid has come up at least half way up the sides of the ribs. Put the lid on the dutch oven, and put in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 2 hours.

Step 6: After 1.5 hours, I checked and took off the lid. After 2.0 hours, it was fully browned, tender, and about to fall off the bone (but didn't).

Step 7: Prepare your favorite side dishes. For me, I made a simple mound of garlic mashed potatoes, and, hot brussels sprout slaw (pan fried shredded spouts, seasoned and served hot). Mound it up, baby.

So damn good. Every component was delicious. The ONLY change I'd make next time, is to trim up and off some of the fat from the ribs. None of the recipes I read said to do so, but honestly, there was so much fat in the pan, and thick pieces on the rib, that I really didn't want to fish my veggie mixture out of the pan because it was all under at least an inch of fat. I would hope that trimming that back wouldn't ruin the tenderness of the meat. There must be a happy medium, right?

P.S. The pan cost $39.99. The short ribs cost $3.99. That is SO me -- buying an expensive pan to cook the cheapest cut of meat imaginable. But I look at it as an investment. I still need to make that No Knead Bread. So NEEDED this pan.


  1. there is a trick to this, but it involves cooking your short ribs a day ahead. If you have the time and inclination, cook the recipe, bring to room temp, and then fridge the short ribs in their sauce overnight. The next morning, a white shell of fat will have congealed on top, which you can easily remove. Then, you could just heat it all up again and serve, or remove the ribs, reduce and beef up your sauce with a flour slurry to thicken, and serve. Easier than it sounds.

  2. Actually that does sound easy -- and I do that with soups and stews, so it would work on this quite well. But I'm wondering, can one (or should one) also trim some of that fat to begin with, or just do the scrape method after the fact?

  3. great blog! Thanks for stopping by and introducing yourself... now I have one more great blog to add to my list of must reads :)

    Oh and I love your header and tagline!

  4. Dont trim the fat first...the more it cooks in, the more flavorful it'll end up being

  5. very impressive pics and your definitely the braised rib rock star, going to be making a braised short rib for a luau I have coming up, I will send you the pic

  6. That looks like a hearty meal. I bet that pan will come in handy again :)! The ribs look fall-off-the-bone delicious! I'd like to include your recipe on our blog, please let me know if you're interested :).

    Sophie, Key Ingredient Chief Blogger