Weekly Recipe: Beef Short Ribs
Corey Kahler is a professional cook, writer and editorial intern at City Arts. In these weekly blog posts, he combines his two loves: food and words to contribute to a more practical and open-minded food public.
Though the weather has been quite warm in Seattle these past couple weeks, it doesn’t mean the nights still aren’t cold. Braised beef short ribs are one of the sturdiest dishes you can make year round.
A short rib is a thick cut of meat usually 2 to 4 inches wide, cut across ribcage of the cow. They are often used as a part of Korean barbecue (galbi) as well as a central cut in the French pot-au-feu. The ribs in these dishes are typically butterflied or come in small chunks. Our recipe is a braised dish (which means you sear your meat then cook in a liquid afterwards) and is all about big pieces of short rib with the rib bone still attached. Many people are uncomfortable around bones, but they are easy to trim away when you are eating. Plus, they create a flavorful base and thicken the eventual sauce.
This recipe is extremely simple, avoids using flour (a cheater’s way to brown the ribs, and adds a bad flavor), and it keeps everything in one pot. The ribs can be made ahead of time or served immediately. If you want to prepare in advance: pull the ribs out of the final sauce and cool the meat and sauce separately. Once you are ready to serve, spoon a big chunk of sauce (it should be slightly gelatinous) into a sauté pan along with a few short ribs. Place in a 450-degree oven and heat until the ribs are soft.
- 6 to 10 beef short ribs, bone-in, about 2-inches thick
- 2 Tb Olive oil
- 1/2 sweet yellow onion, diced
- 2 celery sticks, chopped
- 3 oz red wine, a deeper rather than fruitier flavor, steer towards Cabernet Sauvignon, Chianti, or Malbec
- 2 cups homemade tomato sauce (or one 14-oz can plain tomato sauce)
- Water to cover (parlance for adding water until the ingredients are completely covered or the pot is filled)
- (optional) Radishes, julienned, or green onions, sliced lengthwise and chilled in ice water, for garnish
These ribs are almost done
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F for 30 minutes before you begin.
2. Season the short ribs with salt and pepper to your taste.
3. In a deep, wide pot that will hold everything, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Once the oil is about to smoke, put the ribs in, fat side down, and brown on all sides. Remove and set aside.
4. Drop the heat in the pan to medium; add the onion and celery and let sweat in the released fat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent and a sweet smell develops.
5. Add the wine and, using a wooden spoon, scrape up the brown bits from the base of the pan, allowing them to mix with the liquid (deglazing).
6. Place the ribs back in the pot, add the tomato sauce and water until the meat is covered. Cover with a lid and place in the oven.
7. Cook for about two hours, or until the meat is practically falling apart. Check every 30 minutes or so to make sure the liquid doesn’t reduce too far, adding additional water as needed.
8. Serve with a good heap of mashed potatoes (mix in some goat cheese). Place the ribs on the potatoes and spoon sauce over the top. If the sauce is too watery, thicken it by reducing on the stovetop (heat portions in a pan rather than doing it all at once). If it’s syrupy, add a little water. Garnish the ribs with radishes or green onions for a nice crunch.
Thanks to Andrew Gribas, chef de cuisine at Volterra, for the recipe and cooking instructions.
Photography by Rachelle Longé.
More recipes next week that feed your body and your culinary knowledge.