Wednesday, January 14, 2015

one-pot red wine braised short ribs

Imagine sitting in front of you is a bowl of rich meaty short ribs atop a mound of buttery mashed potatoes sitting in a velvety pool of red wine jus. Well stop imagining cause we've got pictures! Just look at it. So good! You can do this too, and all in one pot!

Recently, I've been watching a lot of Julia Child. I've been inspired by the Beef Bourguignon, Coq Au Vin, you name it I've watched it, read it, and lived it. Yes, you can live food. And if you asked me, I wouldn't mind living in a pan of this red wine braised short ribs (he said proud of his transitional skills). Believe it or not, that was one of my better transitions on this site. If you've got a pot and you've got meat (it doesn't have to be short ribs), you can implement this easy technique/recipe to make really delicious braised beef. You're family will thank you for it, and so will your taste buds. 

1. The first step towards melty beef red wine heaven is to brown the ribs. Lay the ribs down in a single layer on a cutting board. Season the ribs with salt and pepper and rub the meat in the seasoning until evenly coated. 

2. Place a heavy bottomed pan, something that can go into the oven, on high with a couple tablespoons of olive oil. When it's very hot sear the meat. If you cannot fit all the meat in a single layer, sear the meat in two batches. You want it so seared and browned that the meat should almost be crispy. Don't take any short cuts...even though these are short ribs! Haha. Browning the meat first develops that delicious meaty flavor that'll be so good in the final product. When all of the meat is browned, put them in a bowl and pour out all but three tablespoons of fat from the pan. Do not clean the pan. All those brown bits, called fond, are delicious and should not be wasted! I'm serious. (don't test him. he's serious about his fond.)

3. Add the vegetables which you roughly chopped. They shouldn't be too small because this is a hearty dish, but size doesn't matter so much as you pick a size and stick with it. Brown the vegetables for 5 minutes or until the onions are translucent and brown. 

4. Add the tomato paste and the flour. Cook it while stirring until the mixture turns a deep red color and the raw flour flavor has cooked out. It'll take about 5-10 minutes. 

5. Once you've finished the previous step we can talk wine. I'm no expert on wine (although I like to pretend to be at restaurants), but use a wine that is hearty and has body. These red wines include Bordeaux and Burgundy, although you could also use a Merlot or a Cabernet Sauvignon. The rule of thumb is that it should match the flavor profile of the dish. Look for wines that compliment rich and hearty braised meats. I used a cheap Cabernet. You don't want to use a really expensive wine, just one that will add the acidity and body that the dish needs. Add the wine and stir while scraping up the brown bits from the bottom. This is called deglazing the pan. Once most of the fond is off the bottom we can add back the meat and bring the stew to a boil. Cook with the lid open for 20 minutes, or until the wine has reduced by half. Don't forget to stir every 5 minutes. 

6. Once everything is smelling really nice and the wine has reduced, preheat the oven to 350F. Add the water and the herbs and the garlic and bring back to a boil. Turn off the heat and transfer it to the oven where it'll cook for 2-2 1/2 hours. I know. That's a long time. But don't worry, you're done. Go relax and finish that bottle of red cause you're in the home stretch. Check back when the timer goes off, but in the meantime watch some TV. You deserve it. 

7. After two hours, the kitchen should be smelling just incredibly. Stick a knife into the meat and if slides in without effort, you should try one and throw away the evidence. Take the pan out of the oven and separate the meat and the large pieces of carrot (the celery and onions will have pretty much dissolved) that are still intact. Strain, skim, and season. Strain the sauce making sure to press all of the liquid out of the vegetables. Skim the fat off. If you like it a little thicker or thinner reduce it on the stove or add some more water. Just for the record my sauce was perfect. Stir in a tablespoon or so of butter to make the sauce satiny and shiny. This technique is called monter au beurre, finishing a sauce with butter. I'm sure you can guess which country developed it, China...yeah no France did. Season with salt and pepper. Don't forget to make final seasonings! Add the meat and carrots back in. 

8. Reheat it on the stove and serve in warm bowls atop some creamy mashed potatoes with a drizzle of that amazing sauce!

And there you have it guys!!! I hope you guys can feel the excitement, that I literally cannot contain, for this dish. There is just so much that is going right for these short ribs. That sweet, satiny, rich, winey, meaty, amazeballs sauce is the perfect conduit for these melt in your mouth short ribs. Oh and those were kobe beef short ribs, just to lay another level of mouth watering jealousy on you. Your welcome. But I really hope you all give this one a try. There are a couple steps, but I assure you if you follow all the steps you will be sitting in front of one the most classic, delicious dishes in the entire world. Please comment, share, and follow if you liked this. I really appreciate reading everything you guys have to say. And as always, 



3 pounds bone in beef short rib
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 1/2 medium carrot, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 tablespoon flour
1 1/2 tablespoon tomato paste
2 1/4 cup red wine
2 cup water
6 cloves of garlic
1 bay leaf, but I accidently threw in two
1 sprig of rosemary
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried parsley

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