Monday, November 9, 2009

Comfort Food - Braised Short Ribs

I always seem to have more food in my freezer than I need.  Even with a large family it is getting a little ridiculous and, with Thanksgiving just around the corner, I am trying to clean it out just a bit.  It is a battle and at the moment the freezer is winning.  In my valiant effort I did find a packet of short ribs that I had purchased a couple of months ago when a yummy-sounding recipe caught my attention.  Of course I have no idea where this rib recipe is now.

I went online and saw that there are thousands of similar-sounding recipes but I found one on the Food Network by Anne Burrell for Braised Short Ribs that sounded amazing and had received excellent reviews. I have seen her show Secrets of a Restaurant Chef a few times but had not gotten hooked on watching it on a regular basis. I can tell you right now that if this recipe tastes half as good as it smells cooking I am going to have to re-visit this show.  Not only does it smell heavenly but it came together so easily.  The only change I made to the recipe was to use boneless short ribs and add about 2 teaspoons of cinnamon to the pot.  I did this because I love the Cinnamon-Braised Short Ribs at Chef Kevin Hanney’s 12th Avenue Grill, which is one of my favorite restaurants in Honolulu.  Unfortunately it is not available at the moment but I hope that it will return to the menu soon.  So until then I am trying to replicate it at home and if this fails I will have to turn to begging them for the recipe.  Fingers crossed it will not come to that.  I served it with Creamy Mashed Potatoes and some butter-garlic sauteed spinach.




Braised Short Ribs 


  • Prep Time: 25 min
  • Cook Time: 3 hr 30 min
  • Level: Easy
  • Serves: 8 servings
  • Ingredients

    • 6 bone-in short ribs (about 5 3/4 pounds)
    • Kosher salt
    • Extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 large Spanish onion, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
    • 2 ribs celery, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
    • 2 carrots, peeled, cut in 1/2 lengthwise, then cut into 1/2-inch pieces
    • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
    • 1 1/2 cups tomato paste
    • 2 to 3 cups hearty red wine
    • 2 cups water
    • 1 bunch fresh thyme, tied with kitchen string
    • 2 bay leaves

    Directions

    1. Season each short rib generously with salt. Coat a pot large enough to accommodate all the meat and vegetables with olive oil and bring to a high heat. Add the short ribs to the pan and brown very well, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Do not overcrowd pan. Cook in batches, if necessary.
    2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
    3. While the short ribs are browning, puree all the vegetables and garlic in the food processor until it forms a coarse paste.
    4. When the short ribs are very brown on all sides, remove them from the pan. 5. Drain the fat, coat the bottom of same pan with fresh oil and add the pureed vegetables. Season the vegetables generously with salt and brown until they are very dark and a crud has formed on the bottom of the pan, approximately 5 to 7 minutes. Scrape the crud and let it reform. Scrape the crud again and add the tomato paste. Brown the tomato paste for 4 to 5 minutes.
    6. Add the wine and scrape the bottom of the pan. Lower the heat if things start to burn. Reduce the mixture by half.
    7. Return the short ribs to the pan and add 2 cups water or until the water has just about covered the meat.
    8. Add the thyme bundle and bay leaves. Cover the pan and place in the preheated oven for 3 hours. Check periodically during the cooking process and add more water, if needed. Turn the ribs over halfway through the cooking time. 9. Remove the lid during the last 20 minutes of cooking to let things get nice and brown and to let the sauce reduce. When done the meat should be very tender but not falling apart. Serve with the braising liquid.

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