Monday, January 15, 2018

Braised Short Ribs

Short ribs on a bed of polenta and mashed potatoes with pan juices in lieu of gravy

Growing up, we used to have pot roast regularly (at least twice a month).  I know, I know, this post is about short ribs, not pot roast.

I only mention pot roast because I think of this recipe as pot roast for grown ups.  If you don't have short ribs available you can easily substitute a good chuck roast in place of the short ribs and the taste will be nearly identical.  I have done that on many occasions, based on what I have in the freezer, or what's on sale, when the mood strikes me.  In the accompanying pictures, you will see some with short ribs and some with chuck roast.  Again, the reason for that is to drive home the point that they can be used interchangeably (at least in this recipe).  

So, let me state upfront that this is NOT your mother's (or in my case, my grandfather's) short ribs/pot roast.  Well, not unless they cooked with plenty of wine (which was unheard of in my family).  The flavor is very rich and complex.

The comment I hear most often when I make this for company is, "I can't believe short ribs/pot roast can taste this good!  I never really liked it before."

You can serve this with the pan juices or turn them into gravy.  I've done both, but we're a gravy kind of household, so that's what we generally do here.  Directions for how to make the gravy are listed below as well.

I'll let you be the judge.  Give it a try and see what you think.

Short ribs
Chuck roast

  • 5 lb short ribs (or chuck roast)
  • two onions
  • 6-8 carrots
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 4 sprigs rosemary
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • flour (enough to cover the short ribs/roast, about a half cup)
  • salt & pepper 
  • 2 quarts beef broth
  • 1-2 cups wine (depending upon taste - I always use the larger amount)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (for browning beef)
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 2 pkg Lipton Beefy Onion Soup Mix
       Gravy (optional  - Well, unless you're in my family, then it's a necessity.)
  • 1 stick butter (4 oz)
  • 1/2 cup flour (4 oz)

  1. Preheat oven to 275
  2. Salt and pepper all sides of short ribs/roast

  3. Thoroughly cover all sides of short ribs/roast with flour

  4. Peel and cut two onions in half
  5. Peel third onion and cut into slices
  6. Tie rosemary and thyme into bundle and set aside

    I also have started wrapping the herbs in cheesecloth simply to make it easier to remove later

  7. Put olive oil in pan with medium heat, brown the onion on both sides, remove to a plate

  8. Brown the carrots (not cooking thoroughly, just browning) and remove to plate

  9. Cook the garlic  - it only takes 30-60 seconds

  10. Add more oil if necessary, then brown all sides of short ribs/roast and remove

    Chuck roast browned
    Short ribs browned

  11. Add wine to pan to deglaze. Cook until reduced by half

  12. Add broth to pan
  13. Stir in ONE package onion soup mix
  14. Add short ribs/roast back to pan, followed by garlic, carrots and onion
  15. Sprinkle second package of onion soup mix over top of short ribs/roast, then lay sliced onions on top. If it all won’t fit, just put the rest in the broth (With a roast, I find that it generally will fit on top. With short ribs, I just stir the onion soup mix into the broth since they are usually submerged.)
  16. Add tied bundle of rosemary and thyme to broth
  17. Add bay leaves to broth

  18. Cover and put in 275 degree oven for about 3 1/2 to 4 hours
  19. Don’t open the lid to check until the 3 1/2 hour mark. It may be done or it may need a bit more time, but when done you will literally be able to be shred with a fork and it's very tender.
  20. The carrots that you started cooking with the roast will be VERY done by the time the roast is ready.  If you'd like additional carrots done a bit less (or simply a few more carrots), you can add them along with potatoes at the 2 1/2 hour mark if desired.
  21. If you want gravy, remove the roast (and potatoes/carrots if you used them) and put under foil to keep warm.  Remove the rosemary/thyme bundle and the bay leaves.

    The next steps are specifically for gravy.  If you don't want to make gravy you are finished at this point and can skip the additional steps.
  1. There are two different ways to do the next step.  I’ll list both (first is much simpler but the second has a much better, more complex flavor)
    1. This step requires a simple flour/water mixture (about one third flour, two thirds water)

      Bring remaining broth to a boil and slowly add a flour/water mixture , stirring constantly until it reaches the desired thickness

    2. This step requires one stick butter and one half cup flour.

      Heat remaining broth but don’t bring to a boil yet.  While doing that, melt a stick of butter and then add a half cup (4 oz) of flour to make a roux.

      Mix together well and keep stirring until it starts to turn light brown/tan color.  When it changes color, take a ladle full of the hot broth and put it in the roux. It will make lots of noise and steam so be careful.  Stir until it thickens up again. 

      Continue adding a ladle of broth at a time until it thins just a bit. I generally use about four or five ladles.  Once the broth and roux have been mixed together, add the mixture back into the heated broth.  Heat the broth to boiling and add a flour/water mixture (or cornstarch/water if you prefer) to the broth slowly until it reaches the thickness you’d like. 

      If you want it a deeper brown, add a bit of Kitchen Bouquet (or Gravy Master) until it’s the color you want.
  2. Serve and enjoy!
This is the chuck roast with potatoes and gravy. See top picture for short ribs.

1 comment:

  1. Just put mine in oven. I’ll tell you how it turned out tomorrow.