This was the main course in my dinner for the "Better With You" cast. I have been wanting to make braised short ribs for ages, but most of the time I cook for just me and it seemed ridiculous to make such a large amount of food for one person. This is great for a group and another dish where the flavors get better with time so it's best to prep it early. I'm not a fan of mashed potatoes, but I wanted something interesting for the short ribs to sit on. The root vegetable puree is very simple and sort of luxurious feeling with a healthy pat of butter. The slight sweetness of the puree compliments the sauce of the short ribs well. I was especially excited about this dish because it gave me a chance to use my new dutch oven...it's really the simple things in life that bring me the most pleasure :)
Braised Short Ribs
(Adapted from Gourmet, October 1995)
Makes 12 servings
*Note, I made such a large quantity I used two dutch ovens and split the ingredients evenly between them.
7 pounds beef short ribs, cut into 1-rib pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 medium onions, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 1/4 cups dry red wine
56 ounces canned whole tomatoes, including liquid, coarsely pureed in a blender
2 1/4 cups beef broth
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
Nine 3-by 1-inch strips fresh orange zest
3 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon salt
15 ounces pearl onions, boiled and peeled
2 pounds baby carrots
Freshly chopped parsley for garnish
Season the short ribs with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a dutch oven (or similar heavy kettle, at least 5.5 quarts) over medium heat until the oil is hot, but not smoking. Brown the short ribs in batches then transfer the ribs to a large bowl using tongs.
Add the chopped onions to the pot and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until golden. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add wine, tomatoes, broth, Worcestershire sauce, orange zest, rosemary and salt and bring to a boil. Add the ribs including any juices that have accumulated in the bowl and simmer, covered for 30 minutes.
Add the pearl onions, and carrots, stirring and pushing down to make sure they are covered by liquid. Simmer, covered for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until the meat is tender. Transfer the meat, pearl onions, and carrots to a large bowl using a slotted spoon. Discard the zest and boil the braising liquid, stirring ocassionally until it has reduced to about 5 cups. Return the meat and vegetables to the pot and cook over low heat until heated through.
Serve stew sprinkled with parsley.
Autumn Root Vegetable Puree
(Adapted from Frank Stitt)
Makes 12 servings
6 medium turnips, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
6 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
3 parsnips, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into small chunks
Kosher salt to taste
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
In a large sauce pan or dutch oven, combine the turnips, carrots, parsnips, and sweet potatoes. Add a few good pinches of salt and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook until the vegetables are tender, 30-40 minutes.
Drain the vegetables and return them to the pot to dry out over medium heat for 2 minutes. Transfer to a food processor and puree. Add the butter and salt to taste.