Braised Beef Short Ribs

I’ve been in flu-induced hell for a while, and I’m finally starting to surface. Last night was the first night in a week and a half that I didn’t have a fever. I’m not constantly exhausted and I have the energy to cook, which means we aren’t subsisting on frozen pizza and fast food. Hallelujah!

Anyway, I want to share this special-occasion recipe with you that I made a few weeks ago. It takes some time, but it’s not difficult. You roast beef short ribs just until they brown, then braise in a flavorful broth that includes an entire bottle of wine. That’s my kind of recipe. I pureed the braising liquid at the end to make a sauce, but you don’t have to. Serve with rice and sauteed vegetables for easy sides that let the beef shine.

Have a happy Valentine’s Day!

Braised Beef Short Ribs (adapted from Ina Garten)

6 beef short ribs, trimmed
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
1 fennel bulb, chopped
1 leek, cleaned and chopped, white part only
1 1/2 cups chopped onion (2 onions)
4 cups large-diced celery (6 large stalks)
2 carrots, peeled and large-diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 (750-ml) bottle Cotes du Rhone or other dry red wine
Fresh rosemary sprigs
Fresh thyme sprigs
1 tablespoon brown sugar
6 cups beef stock

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the short ribs on a sheet pan, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven. Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven and add the fennel, leek, onion, celery and carrots and cook over medium-low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste and wine, bring to a boil and cook over high heat until the liquid is reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Tie the rosemary and thyme together with kitchen twine and add to the pot.

Place the roasted ribs on top of the vegetables in the Dutch oven and add the brown sugar and beef stock. Bring to a simmer over high heat. Cover the Dutch oven and bake for 2 hours or until the meat is very tender.

Carefully remove the short ribs from the pot and set aside. Discard the herbs and skim the excess fat. Cook the vegetables and sauce over medium heat for 20 minutes, until reduced. (Optional: Using an immersion blender or a regular blender, puree the sauce until smooth.) Put the ribs back into the pot and heat through. Serve with the vegetables and sauce.

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