February 27, 2012

Forget the Texas 'Winter,' I'm Making Braised Beef Short Ribs (Take 2)

It's February and a humid 70 degrees outside. I think the lowest temp this winter (or whatever Texas winter we get) has been high 30's for oh, a few days? When I think (and feel) winter, I crave hearty soups, roasted and braised meats, chili, bread pudding.... These past few months, I think I have made one each of the above when I normally make them several times. 

Well, forget the weather. I saw these beautiful short ribs in the store and bam! instant craving. Tomato-y braised meat with white rice. Perfect meal. I've made this once before. Working off the same recipe, I adjusted based on what I had in the fridge/pantry and if you scroll through the below pictures, you may notice a new pot - a fiery red dutch oven thanks to my awesome brother and sister in law! 

Braised Short Ribs
Recipe adapted from Ina Garten

3 beef short ribs
3-4 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 small yellow potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tsp of dried thyme (if you have fresh, even better)
2 tsp of dried basil
Dashes of garlic powder
2 cans of chicken stock
1 can of whole tomatoes
1 can of tomato paste
Dash of sherry
1 tsp of brown sugar

1. Preheat oven 400 degrees.

2. Make sure your short ribs are nice and dry. Sprinkle both sides with S&P as well as garlic powder.
3. With a hot dutch oven, add olive oil and sear the short ribs on all sides. I do my ribs one by one and it's quick. A few minutes on each side until you get a nice light brown sear.
4. Put the seared ribs on a plate and set aside. Add the onions and garlic to the same pot with all the oil and yummy beef goodness.

5. Once the onions start to get glossy, add in the carrots and potatoes. Keep stirring. Add in the thyme and basil.  Add in the sherry.  Stir, cook for a minute. Ddd in the canned tomatoes, paste, chicken stock and sugar. Give this a good stir.
6. Give the sauce a quick taste to see if it needs S&P, garlic powder, more herbs, etc. Once you are happy with the flavor, add the ribs back to the pot. Cover and put in the oven for 1-1.25 hours.
7. Make some white rice and wait patiently. The below is a beauty, huh? So, the meat falls off the bone, taste is there but it falls off in one entire piece. I still think it could be just a tad more tender (enough to break apart with fork) so next time, I'll probably try to simmer the meat in water for an hour or two before starting this process - like what my brother in law, Eric, does with the pork ribs for his pork sinagong. I know, that means the dish prep goes up to 4-5 hours... Worth it? 

Also, you'll have quite a bit of sauce left over, which I pureed with my immersion blender and added it to some pasta with some Parmesan cheese. Two meals in one! 

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