Zinfandel-Braised Short Ribs
Back when I made -- er, attempted to make -- those ricotta gnocchi, I also made these short ribs. Unlike the gnocchi, the short ribs came out wonderfully -- tender, flavorful, delicious.
When I saw that this month's Daring Cooks' Challenge was ricotta gnocchi and that we had the option to sauce it however we wanted, I started going through old magazines, looking for ideas. I didn't want to do a pesto or a tomato sauce; I wanted something heartier, something to create a whole meal. I decided on this recipe from Bon Appetit because I thought the sauce from the ribs would complement the gnocchi. I even thought about shredding the rib meat into the sauce and making a sort of ragu. Of course, this whole concept fell through since the gnocchi were not servable, but the ribs, with some fresh bread, made a satisfying meal.
Due to my original plan, I opted not to make the parsnip mashed potatoes that accompany the ribs, and I cut the recipe down to serve just two of us (with a little leftover). Below is my version of the recipe, borrowed heavily from Bon Appetit.
Zinfandel-Braised Beef Short Ribs (adapted from Bon Appetit, May 2009)
2 tablespoons room-temperature butter, divided
6 3- to 4-inch-long beef short ribs
Coarse kosher salt
1 cup chopped red onions
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 750-ml bottle Zinfandel (I used Ravenswood -- perfect for drinking with the meal too)
1 cup low-salt beef broth
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
Preheat oven to 325°F. Season ribs with coarse salt and pepper. Set aside.
Melt 1 tablespoon butter in cast iron dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add ribs and sauté, tossing to brown on all sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer ribs to a plate or bowl.
Add 1 tablespoon butter to pot. Add onions and sauté until brown, about 6 minutes. Mix in garlic and then rosemary. Add wine and broth and bring to a boil, scraping up browned bits.
Return ribs and their juices to pan, arranging in single layer. Bring to a simmer, and then cover and place in oven. Braise until ribs are very tender, about 2 1/2 hours.
Transfer ribs to a clean plate or bowl. Spoon fat from pan juices (there wasn't anything noticeable to skim off when I made them). Bring juices to a boil and let thicken slightly, about 10 minutes.
In a small bowl, mix 1 tablespoon butter and flour until smooth (I found it was easiest to use a fork for this). Whisk the mixture into pan gravy; simmer until thickened enough to coat spoon. (BA recommends 5 minutes, but as I left out the parsnips, I simmered the mixture even longer.) Season with coarse salt and pepper. Return ribs to pot; spoon gravy over.
I made another short rib recipe a while ago that was pretty good -- the tomatoes in it were a plus -- but I liked these a lot better. They're a little more hands-on, as the other recipe is designed for the slow cooker, but they're definitely worth the extra time and attention. Reward yourself for that initial effort with a glass of zinfandel and this warm, comforting dinner.
Leftovers were great with some mashed potatoes the following night. Just rewarm the ribs right in the dutch oven with their juices.
Labels: Main Courses - meats