If you haven’t figured out what to cook for your Christmas dinner, run to the store and pick up some short ribs. You and your guests will be very pleased. You need time, about 5 hours or so, as the short ribs need a low and slow cooking method to make them fork tender, falling off the bone delicious. Serve on top of creamy mashed potatoes or cheesy polenta and your holiday is complete. Serve with a robust red, like an earthy Portuguese or Spanish wine, or intense Malbec or Cabernet. Numanthia from Toro, Spain is always a delicious wine, Profundo Malbec blend from Walter Bressia, or a powerful Cabernet, like the impeccable Profile from Merryvale.
From us to you, we hope you have a very Merry Christmas. Cheers!
Red Wine Braised Short Ribs
Ingredients: (for 8)
2 tablespoons olive oil
12 meaty short ribs (sometimes they can be more rib than meat, so just ask your butcher for thick, beefy ones)
1 large white onion, roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 14 ounce can diced tomatoes
2 carrots, roughly chopped
2 ribs celery, roughly chopped
3 stems rosemary
8 stems thyme
2 bay leaves
1 bottle dry red wine, something you would drink but any kind
2 cups low sodium beef or chicken broth
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 tablespoon red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Season the ribs generously with salt and pepper. In a large Dutch oven begin browning the meat in batches over medium heat. For the pan, you need a large one as you will want each short rib to be able to fit in the pan without too much overlapping, to ensure even cooking, so use a large Dutch oven or a pan with a lid that can be transferred to the oven. Brown the meat, very well, on all sides. This should take about 10-15 minutes so don’t rush it.
When the meat can pull away from the pan easily a sufficient amount of fat has been rendered off. If you don’t get a good sear on the meat they won’t cook off as much fat so the final ribs will be very greasy. As each batch browns remove from pan into a separate bowl and continue browning the rest.
Meanwhile pulse the vegetables and red pepper flakes together in a food processor until a paste forms. Use a bit of the stock if you need help getting the chopping started. Set aside. When the meat is browned drain off the accumulated fat in the Dutch oven then place the herbs on the bottom of the pot. Place each rib on top of the herbs, meat side up. Cover with the vegetable mixture.
Gently pour in the red wine and the stock, cover the pot with the lid and place in the oven. Cook for 15 minutes then reduce the heat to 300 degrees. Braise for at least 4-5 hours. The longer the better. After 4 hours remove the pan and see if you can gently pull the rib bones away from the meat. If you can, do so. Let the meat continue to cook in the braising liquid. When ready to serve scoop out about 2 cups of the braising liquid into a sauce pan and let sit for about 10 minutes. If you can skim any fat off the top do so. Add about a tablespoon and a half of balsamic vinegar to the sauce and bring to a boil. Cook to reduce slightly. Serve the meat of about a rib and a half to each guest on top of polenta, and top with a bit of jus.