I’m going to share one of the secrets of marriage. Well, my marriage. Braised short ribs.
Short ribs were always one of those great unknowns to me that I had never touched. I didn’t grow up eating them, dear husband didn’t either. Our first year as parents to two, we were staying in for New Years, but wanted to have a special meal and I recalled a conversation I had had with my friend C a year or two earlier. She had called me in a panic on New Year’s Eve because she was making short ribs but didn’t have enough time, was still waiting on ingredients, should she use a nonstick pan, etc. And I thought, huh, maybe I should try making short ribs.
I did some internet scouring. I’m not sure if anyone is the same way, but I tend to look for recipes that have techniques and ingredients I’m familiar with using. The one I found comes from the Pioneer Woman – Braised Short Ribs. Her pictures are downright gorgeous, while mine was not staged properly – we were too into eating it, then I remembered I wanted to take a picture. You don’t get the fall off the bone tenderness of this beauty, but we sure tasted it!
This recipe stretched me a little with the use of shallots, but I’m very happy to discover that sweet little onion as now I stock it regularly in my pantry. I also exchanged the pancetta for bacon because I always have bacon!
This recipe also works well under the Barefoot Contessa entertaining philosophy of making food in advance. I always make the day before serving. The flavors taste soooo good once they have had the chance to meld together even more. And it is easy to scrape the fat off the top before serving.
And, lest you think I’ve forgotten, this recipe works deliciously with bone broth. I ended up substituting the wine and chicken/beef broth for bone broth, and I don’t regret it.
Whenever I buy short ribs, it is always with the intention of putting some in the freezer for another meal, and most times, I’m not able to. But this time, I snuck a solid portion in the freezer for a future meal of delectability.
Here is The Pioneer Woman’s recipe for Braised Short Ribs with my substitutions:
- 8 whole Beef Short Ribs (2 per person)
- Kosher Salt and Pepper To Taste
- 1/4 cup All-purpose Flour
- 4 pieces Bacon, Diced (she uses 6 pieces of Pancetta)
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 whole Medium Onion, Diced
- 3 whole Carrots, Diced
- 2 whole Shallots, Peeled And Finely Minced
- 4 cups Bone Broth (she uses 2 cups Red Or White Wine and 2 cups Beef Or Chicken Broth)
- 2 sprigs Thyme
- 2 sprigs Rosemary
Salt and pepper ribs, then dredge in flour. Set aside.
In a large dutch oven, cook bacon over medium heat until complete crispy and all fat is rendered. Remove all the bacon (even just a little piece will burn and smoke until Mini-ion #2 wakes up to the smoke detector going off) and set aside. Do not discard grease.
Add olive oil to pan with the bacon grease, and raise heat to high. Brown ribs on all sides, about 45 seconds per side. Remove ribs and set aside. Turn heat to medium.
Add onions, carrots, and shallots to pan and cook for 2 minutes. Pour in wine and scrape bottom of pan to release all the flavorful bits of glory. Bring to a boil and cook 2 minutes.
Add broth, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Taste and add more salt if needed. Add ribs to the liquid; they should be almost completely submerged. Add thyme and rosemary sprigs (whole) to the liquid. Add cooked bacon.
Put on the lid and place into the oven. Cook at 350 for 2 hours, then reduce heat to 325 and cook for an additional 30 to 45 minutes. Ribs should be fork-tender and falling off the bone. Let cool to room temperature and refrigerate.
I always make the day before. Before I’m ready to re-heat, I scrape the fat off the top, heat to bubbling on the stove and serve 2 ribs on top of something yummy (polenta, mashed potatoes, gemelli pasta)