Braised Beef Short Rib

Braised Beef Short Rib

6 lbs. beef short ribs, cut 2″ thick — (6 to 7)
salt and pepper
3 large yellow onions, roughly chopped
olive oil
2 leeks, white and pale green only
washed and rough chopped
1 carrot peeled and roughly chopped
2 plum tomatoes, peeled and rough chopped
6 cloves garlic, smashed
6 sprigs thyme
8 sprigs parsley
3 bay leaves
1 1/2 cups red wine
3 cups beef stock, hot — (3 to 5)
1/4 cup chopped parsley
zest of 1/2 lemon, finely chopped
1 large clove garlic, finely chopped

Cut short ribs into smaller pieces, roughly square, so that each piece includes a bone. Trim excess fat if necessary. Season generously with salt and pepper and refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours or overnight. Preheat oven to 475?F. Arrange short ribs bone side down in a roasting pan and roast until lightly browned, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, saute onions in a little olive oil in a large skillet until lightly colored. Add leeks and carrot and cook until slightly softened. Add tomatoes, garlic, thyme, parsley and bay and saute a few minutes more.

Spread vegetables in an earthenware baking dish large enough to hold short ribs. Arrange ribs on top of vegetables, bone side up. Pour in wine, and add enough hot stock to barely cover the ribs. Cover dish tightly with foil and place in hot oven. When the ribs begin to simmer, after about 20 minutes, loosen foil and lower heat to 350ºF. Begin to test for doneness after 1 1/2 hours. A skewer or paring knife inserted into meat should encounter no resistance, and meat should be nearly falling from bone. When they are tender, uncover ribs and turn again so bone side is down.

Pour off and reserve braising juices. Raise heat to 450ºF and return ribs to oven for final browning. When they are beautifully glazed, after about 10 minutes, remove from oven. Strain braising liquid into bowl, pressing solids to extract all juices. Allow liquid to settle, then degrease. Pour liquid back over short ribs and reheat if serving immediately or cool, refrigerate and serve next day. To make gremolata, mix parsley, lemon zest and garlic (these ingredients should be chopped at the last minute) and scatter over short ribs just before serving.

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