Tuscan Braised Beef Short Ribs

This meal is something you would order in a restaurant and it would come with a hefty price tag. If you make it at home, it’s much less expensive and surprisingly not difficult. The beef short ribs are an inexpensive cut of beef and all you need is time to make it happen! On a snowy Saturday this was a perfect dish to warm us up. Kyle gave this dish rave reviews and said it was in his top 5 meals that I have ever made. The nice thing about this recipe, is if you have leftovers (we did) you can make tacos, grilled cheese, pasta, etc. using the beef and sauce. It’s extremely versatile and downright delicious: the beef falls right off the bone. I served the short ribs over polenta, which I made with salt, fresh cracked pepper and lots of grated parmesan cheese. There’s nothing wrong with that.

Once you get the technique down, you can turn this into a Mexican dish (add chipotle peppers, cilantro, etc) or a sweet/heat Asian dish (fresh ginger, soy sauce, hoison sauce, sriracha, orange zest, scallions, etc.) by mixing up the ingredients.

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Ingredients:

  • 5 pounds bone-in short ribs
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 1 leek, diced (optional, you can use a full onion instead)
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 3 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1-2 pieces of fennel, diced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2-3 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 bottle red wine (I used San Giovese)
  • 1 can fire-roasted tomatoes and juice
  • 3-4 dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • Fresh oregano
  • Fresh parsley
  • 1 bay leaves
  • Beef stock
  • Kosher salt & fresh cracked black pepper

Directions:

Take your beef out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature. Pat them with paper towels until their dry and season with salt & pepper. Set your oven to 350 degrees.

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After all your vegetables are chopped, heat 1 tbsp of oil on high. Once your pan is hot, turn the heat down to medium high and add your meat. Be careful not to add to many ribs at a time as you don’t want to crowd the pan. I seared them in 2 batches. If you crowd the pan and the beef starts steaming you won’t get a nice brown crust. Using tongs, turn them on each side, roughly 3 minutes or so per side, or until they are nice and brown.

Since there is a lot of fat on these ribs, you will start to see lots of oil in the pan. I periodically used tongs and soaked up some of the grease with paper towels. Or you can wait until you are done searing and pour out some of the oil. Reserve about 1 tbsp to saute your veggies.

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When you are done searing all your meat put them to the side.

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Add your veggies into the pan and saute for a few minutes. Then create a little well in the middle. Stir the tomato paste with a whisk vigorously for 30 seconds, then add your flour. Mix all the veggies together. They should have a nice thick coating on them which will help thicken your sauce.

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Add your wine, worcestershire sauce, salt & pepper and bring to a boil. Then let the wine simmer and wait for it to reduce by almost half. The sauce will get nice and thick. Then add your can of tomatoes.

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I chose to use an immersion blender in just half of the pan so the sauce thickened a bit more and that way you don’t have a ton of vegetables on your plate. You can skip this step.

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Add in the beef broth until the ribs are almost covered. Add in whatever herbs you like – I chose 2 twigs of fresh oregano and 1 bay leaf. Bring to a boil, cover tight, and put in the oven.

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After about 3 hours, your pan will look like this! The meat was so tender, it fell completely off some of the bones before I even picked one up.

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Serve over your cheesy polenta or a pasta like paparadelle or egg  noodles. Sprinkle some fresh chopped parsley and dig in.

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Red Wine Beef Stew

With the snow comes my cravings for a soup or hearty stew. Growing up, my mom always made us a delicious beef stew with carrots, celery, onion and served it over egg noodles. It was always so warm and comforting. I can never make it as good as hers but here’s my version.

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lbs beef stew meat (I bought it already cut in cubes)
  • 1/3 bottle Italian red wine (I used a cab)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper (lots of black pepper at the end!)
  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into pieces
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped into pieces
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1 large russet potato cut in cubes (or any kind you prefer)
  • String beans
  • Chicken broth

Directions

1. Place the beef cubes in a dish with smashed garlic gloves, salt & pepper. Pour the wine over the meat and marinate in the refrigerator for as long as you have time- an hour or as long as overnight is fine.

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2. Remove the meat from the wine and pat dry with paper towels. Reserve the wine.

3. In a large Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Season the meat on all sides with salt and pepper. Using tongs, place the meat in the pan and brown on all sides, about 2 minutes each side. You don’t want to overcrowd the pan so you should cook more than one batch separately. Otherwise the meat will steam instead of brown.

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4. If necessary, put more olive oil in the pan and add onions. Stir and add garlic. After about a minute add celery and carrots. Cook for a few minutes. Then add potatoes last.

Season with salt and pepper.

5. Pour the reserved wine in the pot scraping up the brown bits that cling to the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Bring the liquid to a low boil. Then add chicken broth so it just barely covers everything.img_0203-1 img_0204-1Cover the pan and simmer for several hours until the meat is very tender. You can’t over cook it if you’re going low and slow.

Add the string beans a half hour before you are ready to eat. You can add them sooner but I don’t like them mushy. You can also then take the lid off to reduce the liquid down a bit.

Spoon the stew into a bowl on top of your egg noodles and top with fresh grated cheese. This dinner will warm you right up.

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