Winter-Braised Warmth .
At the first hint of snow in October, I declare the official start of winter in Michigan. Solstice is just a formality. Winter cooking means comfort food in the way of robust meats and root vegetables. The meat-on-the-bone marrowy flavor and the balance between lean and fat in this dish makes it a fall favorite. As a big steak-lover, this is the ONLY dish that trumps a bone-in ribeye in my mind.
Winter Short Ribs
Serves 4 // Prep Time: :30 // Total Cook Time: 5:00
+ 4 lbs. short rib meat, bone in
+ bag baby carrots
+ 3 cups sweet red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon)
+ 2 fresh bay leaves
+ 10 sprigs fresh thyme
+ one handful fresh parsley
+ kosher salt
+ 2 cups beef stock
+ vegetable oil
+ 1 head of garlic
+ medium onion
+ 2 stalks celery
+ stock pot with lid
- 1) Preheat oven to 325°. (Remember to move oven rack down far enough to accommodate a Dutch oven / stockpot.)
- Remove short ribs from packaging, salt generously to season and tenderize, and let sit until it reaches room temperature (about an hour).
- Pour enough oil into a Dutch oven or stockpot to coat the bottom about ⅛ inch.
- Heat oil on medium-high so that when the meat touches oil, it whistles and sizzles immediately.
- Sear the short ribs about 30 seconds on each side. Doing this seals in the juices and will result in a more tender inner meat.
- Once you've rotated and braised all sides, set aside in a bowl with foil to keep warm.
- I never understand why a recipe calls for cloves of garlic. To me, garlic always implies the whole head. No exception in this case. Separate out and peel each clove, then chop each clove coarsely (divide into half or thirds, no smaller than that). Then, take a large knife and crush each garlic piece with the side of the knife. Crushing garlic, rather than mincing it, releases its aromatic juices. Add to pan.
- Add the coarsely chopped celery, onion, and carrots. Cook for approximately 15 minutes until vegetables are softened.
- Add the wine. Allow to simmer with the lid off for 15-20 minutes, until the wine reduces a bit and thickness.
- Add the herbs, beef stock, and meat. Close lid and place in oven for approximately three hours, turning meat in liquid from time to time to ensure it remains submerged. The meat is done when bones slide out easily. REMEMBER STOCK POT HANDLES WILL BE HOT. (Ouch!)
- Spoon meat over mashed potatoes or into a bowl alone. Salt and pepper to taste.