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Braised Beef Short Ribs

Photo: Douglas Merriam
Yield 4 servings (serving size: 2 ribs and 2 tablespoons cooking liquid)
Serve this hearty winter dish over mashed potatoes. You can prepare the braised short ribs and reheat just before serving. Reheat the beef on the grill to give a hint of smoky flavor, if you like. Veal demi-glace—veal stock reduced to a concentrated gelatin—adds depth and richness to the sauce. Our favorite brand is Bonewerks Culinarte, which is available at lobels.com under the pantry section. Williams-Sonoma also carries a store brand.

Ingredients

  • 1.1 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1/4 cup)
  • 8 (2 1/2-ounce) beef short ribs, trimmed
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 cup diced onion
  • 1/3 cup diced celery
  • 1/3 cup diced carrot
  • 1/4 cup chopped leek
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 10 whole black peppercorns
  • 5 juniper berries
  • 3 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup veal demi-glace
  • 3/4 cup hot water
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • Thyme sprigs (optional)

Nutrition Information

  • calories 224
  • fat 13.7 g
  • satfat 3.9 g
  • monofat 7.9 g
  • polyfat 1 g
  • protein 13.4 g
  • carbohydrate 11.5 g
  • fiber 1.3 g
  • cholesterol 34 mg
  • iron 2.1 mg
  • sodium 718 mg
  • calcium 31 mg

How to Make It

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.

  2. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Place flour in a shallow dish. Sprinkle beef evenly on all sides with salt and pepper; dredge in flour. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan, and swirl to coat. Add beef to pan; sauté for 8 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove beef from pan.

  3. Add diced onion, diced celery, diced carrot, and chopped leek to pan; sauté 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute, stirring frequently. Place peppercorns, juniper berries, 3 thyme sprigs, and bay leaves on a double layer of cheesecloth. Gather edges of cheesecloth together; tie securely. Place herb and spice bundle in pan; return beef to pan. Dissolve demi-glace in 3/4 cup hot water, stirring well. Add demi-glace mixture and wine to pan; bring to a boil. Cover and bake at 350° for 2 1/2 hours or until beef is fork tender. Remove beef from pan; strain cooking liquid through a fine-mesh sieve over a bowl. Discard solids. Serve cooking liquid with beef. Garnish with thyme sprigs, if desired.

  4. Wine note: With the richness of short ribs, you need to pull out a cabernet as an accompaniment. (Well-marbled beef loves to tame this grape's tannins.) Slingshot 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon is a Napa bottle that, at $23, won't break the bank. But it offers beautiful nuances of cedar, spice (juniper's a big player), and aromatic dried cherries, with bright acidity. —Sara Schneider