Bottle of Red and Some Ribs

By March 17, 2016 ,


Two years ago, for St. Patricks, I made the most delicious Lavender Matcha Cheesecake, but between the two of us, green food isn't really my thing.

So we're going to try something different; namely Red Wine Braised Short Ribs, which in my opinion sounds like a very good celebratory meal. 

This is one of my go-to recipes whenever I'm entertaining. 

It's presentable, but also easy to prepare and make ahead of time - giving me moments to socialize with my guests when they arrive. It's also a richer twist on the french beef stew (which is also absolutely divine) and you pretty much can't go wrong with anything french.

There's essentially three components to this dish; the braising liquid, the vegetables, and the meat.

Choosing a few of our favorite veggies, we coarsely chop everything up into smaller pieces to set aside for later use.

Once your vegetables are prepped and ready to go, it's time to flash sear the short ribs to impart some flavor to the meat through caramelization, and also to lock in moisture.

A quick sizzle on each side and they come out looking like this. 

It's quite tempting to grab a plate and forgo the braising time to eat it as it right then and there, but you must resist! 

Trust me, it's worth it.

The seared short ribs leave behind the juiciest oils which are perfect for sauteing the vegetables which we prepped earlier. 

We throw the ribs on top of the vegetables and mix in a few of my favorite spices; a dab of tomato paste, a sprinkle of rosemary, a light spray of thyme, and a spot of peppercorns.

Of course, salt and pepper is a must.

We give all the components a gentle stir and make sure everything is incorporated, then fill the pot halfway to the top with unsalted broth (beef, chicken or vegetable!). 

Lastly, we take the fruitiest red wine we can get our hands on, and generously douse everything in it. 

The more wine the better!

After you've tweaked the broth to perfection, we set the oven to 325 F and gently place our entire pot inside. 

This is when all the magic happens.

For dramatic purposes, we have a before and after pic - because everyone loves those. 

Above is the dish before it's been subjected to gentle heat for four hours, allowing the meat to slowly soften while soaking up the red and all the other flavors we've added. 

Below is the dish after it's been braised for four hours.

#transformationthursdays anyone?

After removing the pot from the oven, we proceed to set aside the fully cooked short ribs and strain out the vegetables and spices we've added to the braising liquid. 

This leaves behind the most concentrated and intense beef broth ever.

Basically liquid gold.

Because we're greedy and want more flavor, the broth is then reduced for 20 minutes under high heat until all the water evaporates and we are left with the thickest and most decadent gravy that is bound to render your guests speechless.

Taking the short ribs we removed earlier, we gently toss them in the reduced gravy, before serving it on top of a bed of mashed potatoes and vegetables.

Ingredients can be swapped in and out at your convenience. I generally throw out the vegetables that were used to braise the ribs and cook up a new batch to serve to my guests. A full bodied wine generally pairs fairly well, but a light fruity red also helps cut into the richness of the dish. Anything goes, just don't use anything expensive unless you're feeling particularly luxurious.

The potatoes are basically a vehicle for the sauce and a standard garlic paprika mash, but I've included my vegetable medley recipe, which I've tweaked to optimize the pairing with the ribs.

One hour of prep and three hours of braising time later, what you are serving to your guests is a rich 'fall of the bone' rib, smothered in a red wine based gravy. Pair it with fluffy mashed potatoes and a medley of fresh vegetables, and you've got yourself a quick and indulgent meal that's guaranteed to wow your guests, or at the very least put everyone into a food coma. 



On the Menu Tonight

Red Wine Braised Short Ribs

4-5 lbs of Short Ribs
2 Tbs Coconut Oil
3 Stalks of Celery
2 Medium Onions
4 Cloves of Garlic
6 Carrots
2 Cups Chicken Broth
1/2 Bottle of Red Wine
1 Tbs Rosemary
1 Tbs Thyme
2 Tbs Tomato Paste
1/2 Tbs Peppercorn
Pinch of Salt and Pepper

Vegetable Medley

2 Zucchinis
3 Carrots
2 Sweet Onions
1 Bunch of Kale
1 Cup of Braising Liquid (before reduction)
1 Tbs butter

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