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Braised Beef Short Ribs

Braised Short Ribs

Printed originally in Gourmet Magazine, October, 1995, found on Revised by Crafty Farm Girl, January, 2011.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Assemble your ingredients and then “mise en place”. If I teach you only one thing in my life, this would be the most important thing. Before I start cooking anything, I gather all my ingredients and then measure and prepare them as directed in the recipe (i.e., dice onions). Once you learn to do this your cooking life will be much easier. Go to Home Goods or someplace like that and stock up on small nesting bowls in their cookware section. They’re unbelievably handy for holding those ingredients. You should also have a good set of small to really large nesting stainless steel bowls.


6 pounds beef short ribs, cut into 1-rib pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 medium onions, chopped
4 large garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups dry red wine
a 28- to 32-ounce can whole tomatoes including liquid coarsely puréed in a blender
1 1/2 cups beef broth
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
six 3- by 1-inch strips fresh orange zest removed with a vegetable peeler
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon salt
10 ounces pearl onions (about 2 cups), blanched in boiling water 2 minutes and peeled
a 1-pound bag peeled baby carrots


Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Pat short ribs dry and season with salt and pepper. In a heavy kettle (at least 6 quarts) heat oil over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking and brown ribs in batches, transferring with tongs to a large bowl.

Add chopped onions to kettle and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until golden. Add garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add wine, tomatoes, broth, Worcestershire sauce, zest, rosemary, and salt and bring to a boil. Add ribs including any juices that have accumulated in bowl and simmer, covered, 30 minutes.

And can we just talk about the orange zest here for a minute? Using a regular peeler, peel large strips off of the orange. However, when doing this you will always get some ‘pith’ on the back of the rind – that white stuff under the skin that is bitter. If you take a small paring knife and, holding the rind down on a cutting board, scrape the pith,. You should be able to remove most of it.

Add pearl onions and carrots, stirring and pushing down to make sure they are covered by liquid and cover. Now the original recipe called for it to be simmered on the stovetop for 1 1/2 hours.

I chose to do this in a low oven rather than the stovetop. “Slow and low” is something I was taught a long time ago. Slow cooking at low temperatures provides moister more flavorful meats. This is a good rule to remember for things like pork roasts too — they have so little fat in them these days that a quick browning and then cook it “slow and low” in the oven and you’ll have a much juicier roast.

Cook ribs for about an 1 1/2 hours, or until meat is literally falling-off-the bone tender.

Now the original recipe called to do this: Transfer meat, pearl onions, and carrots with a slotted spoon to a large bowl. Discard zest and boil braising liquid, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened and reduced to about 5 cups. Return meat and vegetables to kettle and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through. Stew may be made 3 days ahead and cooled uncovered before chilling covered. Reheat stew, adding water as necessary to thin sauce.

Now while I love short ribs right out of the pot like this as a stew, I chose to do something a little different because I had plans for the leftovers (to be posted next). I decided to make this more of a pulled beef style short rib. I removed the meat from the pot and put in a bowl, removing the bones as I did so. This wasn’t hard as they had all literally fallen out of the ribs while cooking. Discard the rib bones. Then I took all of the other ingredients left in the pot and, with a very large bowl underneath a large colander I poured the ingredients into the colander and drained the juice, pressing down with a wooden spoon to extract as much juice as possible.

Now once the collected juice has settled there will be a bit of grease on top you’ll want to skim off. I used a turkey baster, but you can use a spoon or one of those grease separator cups if you have one. Once that’s done pour the liquid into a small heavy saucepan and on low-medium heat bring to a slow boil and reduce until thickened, about 10-15 minutes.

Once the ribs have cooled down enough to handle, one at a time I placed them on a clean cutting board and with a fork I just pulled the meat apart, which is does pretty naturally. If I came across fatty sections (which beef short ribs tend to have), I would scrape that away and set it aside. (my dog will love me forever, for this as he has been the recipient of some of these tender morsels.) As you finish pulling each rib apart put in a large bowl. When done you will have a delicious bowl of fairly fat-free shredded short ribs.

Now, take the reduced sauce and pour it over the shredded short ribs and toss to evenly coat. It’s ready to serve, but you may need to re-warm it a bit by this point.

Now wait until you see what I did with the leftovers next!

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