Last week was Boyfriend's 31st birthday! He came home to cupcakes and beer glasses...
...and he asked me to make him a special dinner.
I do believe I delivered.
With the help of Roommate/Beyestfreyend, I made my first attempt at braising.
It went well.
(Adapted from Anne Burrell)
- 6 bone-in short ribs (about 5 pounds)
- Kosher salt
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 2 ribs celery, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 2 carrots, peeled, cut in 1/2 lengthwise, then cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed
- 3/4 cups tomato paste
- 2 to 3 cups hearty red wine
- 2 cups water
- 1 bunch fresh thyme, tied with kitchen string
- 2 bay leaves
- Season each short ribs with salt. Coat a pot large enough to accommodate all the meat and vegetables with olive oil and bring to a high heat. Add the short ribs to the pan and brown very well, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Do not overcrowd pan. Cook in batches, if necessary.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- While the short ribs are browning, puree all the vegetables and garlic in the food processor until it forms a coarse paste. (We were using a mini food processor, and it took several batches. If your ribs get done browning before your paste is ready, they're totally fine to sit for a few minutes!)
- When the short ribs are very brown on all sides, remove them from the pan.
- Drain the fat, coat the bottom of same pan with fresh oil and add the pureed vegetables.
- Season the vegetables generously with salt and brown until they are very dark and a crud has formed on the bottom of the pan, approximately 5 to 7 minutes (Don't stir too much or it won't form the "crud"). Scrape the crud and let it reform. Scrape the crud again and add the tomato paste.
- Brown the tomato paste for 4 to 5 minutes.
- Add the wine and scrape the bottom of the pan. Lower the heat if things start to burn. Reduce the mixture by half.
- Return the short ribs to the pan and add 2 cups water or until the water has just about covered the meat.
- Add the thyme bundle and bay leaves.
- Cover the pan and place in the preheated oven for 3 hours. Check periodically during the cooking process and add more water, if needed. Turn the ribs over halfway through the cooking time.
- Remove the lid during the last 20 minutes of cooking to let things get nice and brown and to let the sauce reduce.
- When done the meat should be very tender but not falling apart.
- Serve with the braising liquid and Perfect Mashed Potatoes!