Monday, February 11, 2013

Nonna's Braised Beef Short Ribs

I'm pretty certain the title of this article says it all. 

It's been cold and the snow's been falling.  There is nothing more comforting than slowly braised short ribs that fall off the bone. Enhancing the pleasure is the ease of preparation.  These cooks in one pot, on the stove top, all day by themselves leaving you free to meander around the house.  Oh, occasionally you'll check back, drawn by the aroma to the kitchen.  A casual stir here, a dunk of some bread there, just enough to make sure nothing is sticking and the sauce is thickening nicely....


Nonna's Braised Beef Short Ribs

3 to 4 Beef Short Ribs
1 carrot diced
2 stalks celery diced
3 garlic cloves diced
1 can crushed tomatoes (28oz)
1/2 Canister Beef Stock
2 salt packed anchovies (cut up)
Salt & Pepper
Olive Oil

In a heavy bottomed stock pot, warm a bit of the olive oil and begin browning the meat.  It is important to brown the meat to a good color. No tan, brown!  This adds both depth of flavor to the meat and the sauce.  Allow the meat to warm before browning by dicing all your veggies and garlic beforehand. 

Here are the fixings before I started dicing the vegetables. I took the meat out of the refrigerator about 45 minutes ahead of time.

Over medium heat, the meat will brown in about 8 minutes, figure 4 minutes per side.  Once the meat is browned, remove from the pot.  

Browning the Ribs - Note the degree of color achieved.

After you remove the meat to set aside, add the vegetables and anchovies to the pot and saute.  Allow them to soften, about 3-4 minutes, while you scrape up the brown bits on the bottom of the pot. Most will automatically attach themselves to the vegetables. However, a splash of white wine will finish the deglazing process.

Carrots, Celery, Garlic, & Anchovies Softening

Once you hit this point, you're basically finished.  Add the crushed tomatoes, add 1/2 the container of beef stock, season with salt and pepper and return the ribs to the pot.  Lower the flame to a gentle simmer and cook uncovered.  How long?  The longer the better.  8 to 10 hours yields the best results. Less than that and the result will be tasty, but you'll likely need a knife to cut the meat, it won't be fork tender.  

This is just the sauce after the crushed tomato has been added.  Note the color.


This is about 30 minutes after returning the meat to the pot


This is after about 8 hours of simmering. Note the change in the color of the sauce.

I served these over simple roasted garlic mashed potatoes that I purposely left a little blander than I would, because the sauce is a wonderful condimento for the potatoes.  You could drink almost any red wine with this dish and not go wrong.  We drank the 2007 Baricci Brunello and it shined.  That picture is below, to illustrate the final plating of this amazing dish.  

Nonna's Braised Short Ribs - Plated with Baricci Brunello 2007

Delizioso!

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