Photos by Greg Nesbit Photography
We make braised short ribs year-round here at the restaurant. We have to; people just love them. With olives and peppers in the summer, with Ponzu Sauce in the fall, it doesn’t matter what the temperature is outside, short ribs never seem to lose their appeal.
With our seasonal menu, we get to play on themes and variations constantly. In the winter, a classic preparation of short ribs in red wine, similar to a Boeuf Bourguignon, is usually the way to go. Hearty and luscious, the tender short ribs and their rich red wine sauce goes a long way towards warming up a long, cold winter night. Getting a good sear on the meat (hot pan, don’t crowd it too much, then remove the meat and much of the fat before continuing with the recipe) contributes so much to their flavor. A splash of deep red-wine reduction finishes the sauce.
Braised Beef Short Ribs in Red Wine
4X 14 oz piece short ribs of beef (cut with 3 bones in each)
1-2 qt stock (we use house-made veal demi-glaze)
4 T canola, or other plain, oil
-Season shortribs with salt and pepper. Heat oil in large, shallow pan and sear over high heat to brown on all sides. Make sure that you get a nice brown color everywhere; this is key to the flavor of the final dish. Don’t put too many pieces in at once or they will steam instead of brown. When browned, remove the meat, remove the excess fat (pour off into a cup) then sauté the following vegetables in the same pan:
1 stick celery
4 cloves garlic
2 juniper berry, crushed
1 bay leaf
1 branch thyme
1 branch rosemary
splash of cognac or brandy
-When the vegetables are nicely browned, deglaze with 1 750 ml bottle red wine. Return beef to pan and flambe with the spash of brandy,and then add the stock. Make sure that the meat is completely covered with liquid, and cover it well by either cooking in a dutch oven or using a sheet of cooking parchment pressed down over the top of the beef to keep it submerged. Slowly simmer over low heat or in a low oven until meat is tender, about 2 hrs. Finish with red wine reduction to taste and some seasonal vegetables.
To make red wine reduction, reduce to syrup:
1 750 ml bottle red wine
2 c port
1 c sugar
Winter vegetables: Caramelized pearl onion, carrot, mushroom, celery, rutabega