Meals for the beginner cook – Part 2: Braised Short Ribs

Braising is a great technique for infusing big flavors into meat while also making it so tender it will melt in your mouth.

One of my all-time favorite dishes is braised beef short ribs in a red wine sauce.  Its a pretty fancy dish, but its really quite easy to do.

What you need

For this dish we are using:

2lbs of beef short ribs

1lb of tomatoes

1/4 lb of baby carrots

1 cup of chopped baby-bella mushrooms

3 celery stalks

4 green onions

2 cans of beef broth

1 cup of red wine

2-3 sprigs of rosemary

1 cup (give or take) of flour

2 tbsp olive oil

salt & pepper

Preparation

Start by chopping up all your vegetables.  We want them chopped so their flavors will be released into our sauce better.

Coat all your ribs in flour.  This will help keep the juices in the meat when we sear it and will soak up the flavors of our sauce as it braises.

Sear your ribs

Pour your olive oil into a large pot or dutch oven and turn the heat to high.  Use the wooden spoon/chopstick trick to test when the oil is hot enough to fry with, then add your ribs.

Make sure you don’t overfill the pot.  Cook the ribs in separate batches if you need to, but make sure they get seared on all 4 sides.  We don’t want that nice,juicy center to dry out!

When your ribs are cooked, take them out of the pot and set them aside on a plate, but don’t turn the heat off.

Toss in your chopped vegetables and stir them occasionally until the white parts of the onions start turning brown. Don’t overcook the veggies or your whole meal will end up tasting burnt.

Put your ribs on top of your veggies, then pour in your cup of red wine.  The alcohol in the wine will boil out rather quickly, so try not to inhale the fumes; they can be a bit abrasive.

When the alcohol smell starts to go away, pour in your 2 cans of beef broth.  Next, mix about 2 tablespoons of flour with about 1 cup of cold water and pour it into your pot.  The flour will help your sauce to thicken up almost to a gravy consistency.  Make sure to stir it evenly or it will just turn into a lumpy mess.

Finally, add a few sprigs of fresh rosemary (or 2 teaspoons of dried rosemary, but you can never really beat fresh herbs)

Preheat your oven to 350 F, and bring the whole pot to a boil on the stove top.  As soon as it starts boiling, turn the heat down to a simmer. If you don’t know what a simmer is, turn your oven to LOW or to #1 if you have a numeric dial.

As soon as your oven is pre-heated, put the entire pot inside and set your timer for 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

When everything is all done cooking, pull out the ribs and put them on a platter.  Put a strainer in a large bowl, then carefully empty the rest of the pot into the strainer.  You want to remove all the herbs and vegetables from your sauce.

Serve the ribs on a bed of mashed potatoes and cover them with your sauce.

Bon Appetite!

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