Sunday, March 6, 2011

Braised Short Ribs

Braised Short Ribs
serves 4

8 Whole Beef Short Ribs
Salt and Pepper To Taste
1/4 Cup All-Purpose Flour
1/2 Pound Turkey Bacon
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Whole Medium Onion, Diced
3 Whole Carrots, Diced (Or Half A Bag Of Baby Carrots)
2 Whole Shallots, Peeled And Finely Minced
2 Cups Red or White Wine (I used Chardonnay)
1 Can Beef Or Chicken Broth
1 Teaspoon Dried Thyme
1 Teaspoon Dried Rosemary

Salt and pepper the ribs, then dredge in flour.  Set aside.  In a large dutch oven, cook bacon over medium heat until crispy and the fat is rendered.  Remove bacon and set aside.  Do not remove grease.  Add olive oil to pan with grease and raise heat to high.  Brown ribs on all sides, about 45 seconds per side.  Remove ribs and set aside, turn heat to medium.  Add carrots, onions, and shallots to pan and cook for 2 minutes.  Pour in wine and scrape bottom of pan.  Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes.  Add broth, 1 teaspoon salt, and a generous amount of pepper.  Add ribs to liquid (they should be almost completely submerged).  Add rosemary and thyme to to liquid.  Put on the lid and place in the oven.  Cook at 350 degrees for 2 hours, then reduce the heat to 325 and cook an additional 30-45 minutes.  Ribs should be fork tender and falling off the bone.  Remove pan from oven and allow to sit for at least 20 minutes, lid on, before serving. 

These ribs are not low-maintenance.  They require patience and a lot of time.  But they are so deliciously savory.  The original recipe uses pancetta instead of bacon.  I actually used turkey bacon, which I wouldn't recommend.  First of all, I burned the turkey bacon and in the final product the bacon seamed fairly rubbery.  I'd suggest regular bacon or omitting it all together... the ribs really didn't need it.  The original recipe also suggests serving the ribs on mashed potatoes, which to me mashed potatoes seem like a lot of work (I've never attempted them).  So I diced some red potatoes and drizzled them with olive oil and salt and pepper and dried onion soup mix and stuck them in the oven.  I realized later that I could have just thrown the potatoes in the pot with everything else and saved a dish.  Maybe next time I'll attempt the mashed potatoes because you NEED something to soak up all the succulent juices and a bun didn't really cut it.  This was my first time trying a recipe that requires a dutch oven, and overall it was a huge success!  (Although my arteries might not agree)

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