Even though there's quite a time lapse between browning and serving short ribs, very little of it involves work. This version fills your house with especially enticing smells. Serve the ribs with creamy mashed potatoes or polenta and crusty bread. Notes: Browning meat in a mix of olive oil and butter lets you use a higher temperature, for better color and texture, without scorching. Prep and Cook Time: 2 3/4 hours.
Sunset DECEMBER 2005
1. Rinse ribs and pat dry. In a paper bag, combine flour with 1 tablespoon each salt and pepper. Drop ribs into bag and shake to coat. Lift ribs out, shaking off excess flour mixture.
2. In a heavy 6-quart pan over medium-high heat, melt butter with olive oil. Working in batches, add ribs in a single layer and turn to brown on all sides, about 5 minutes total per batch. With tongs, transfer ribs to a bowl. Discard all but about 2 tablespoons fat in pan.
3. Reduce heat to medium and add onions and garlic to pan; stir often until onions are limp, about 6 minutes. Stir in wine, mustard, and apricots, then return short ribs to pan. Cover and bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to maintain a low simmer and cook, turning ribs once or twice to submerge meat, until very tender when pierced, 2 to 2 1/2 hours.
4. With tongs or a slotted spoon, transfer short ribs to individual wide, shallow bowls or a serving bowl. Skim off and discard any fat from pan juices. Boil juices over high heat until reduced to about 3 cups. Season to taste with more salt and pepper. Pour juices over ribs.
Wine Pairing: A hearty Cabernet Sauvignon with meaty tannins matches the richness of the dish and brings the sauce's flavors to life.
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