Wine Braised Short Ribs
When someone recently said to me, “I am really craving your wine braised short ribs,” I knew this dish had become “mine!”
When you are passionate about something, you keep trying things over and over again until you achieve perfection! These wine braised short ribs are no exception. In my life, I have created, modified, adapted, invented over 100 or so dishes. Probably more. But there are only about a dozen that are my pride and joy. Dishes that people know me by and dishes that I’m proud to call “mine!” When friends and family insert the word “your” in front of whatever they want me to cook for them, that’s a sign that a dish has risen to the top of the list. “When are you going to make your crab cakes with the lemon zabaglione sauce” or “You haven’t made your veal Bolognese in a while, hint-hint.”
So, In my own little world, wine braised short ribs have now been promoted to the top of my signature dishes!
Note from the Editors: Be sure to allow for 5 hours braising time in the oven. This dish is lovely served with mashed potatoes and sauteed chanterelle mushrooms.
For the bouquet garni:
- Bunches of thyme, oregano, and/or rosemary
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 bay leaves
For the short ribs:
- .9 kg (2 pounds) short ribs
- Smoked salt
- Black pepper
- Garlic powder
- Olive oil, as needed
- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 177 ml (3/4 cup) tomato paste
- 1 bottle dry red wine, such as Pinot Noir or Cabernet Sauvignon
- Beef stock (preferably homemade), as needed
- Butter or cream, for thickening sauce
- For the bouquet garni: In a large square of cheesecloth, combine fresh herbs, garlic, and bay leaves. Tie it up to make a neat bundle, and set aside.
2. For the short ribs: Pre-heat oven to 163°C (325°F). Season short ribs with smoked salt, black pepper and little garlic powder on both sides. In a large heavy pot, such as a cast-iron Dutch oven, heat a small amount of olive oil until sizzling. Add the short ribs and sear until well-browned, about 5 minutes each side. Remove from pot, and set aside.
3. Add a small amount of olive oil to the pot, if needed, and add the carrots, onions, and celery. Saute until translucent. Add tomato paste and stir well. Cook until the tomato paste and the vegetables have combined and cooked through. The tomato paste will be darker red. At that point, add a bottle of red wine.* Bring it to a slow boil.
4. Return the seared short ribs to the pot and add the bouquet garni and enough beef stock to make sure the ribs are submerged. Cover and bake for 5 hours. It will come out really tender at the end. The hardest part is trying to keep the ribs together (that’s how tender they come out)!
5. For the sauce, take some of the liquid from the pot and in a separate pan, reduce it considerably until it achieves the right consistency. Add some butter or cream at the end and stir. Season with salt and pepper as needed. If desired, serve over piped mashed potatoes and garnish with sauteed chantarelle mushrooms and a sprig of fresh thyme.
*Use a good wine! Something you would serve at the table. I’ve tried it with Cabernet and Pinot Noir and in my opinion the Pinot Noir is more flavorful.