This classic recipe is one, that even as a Chef, eluded me for a long time! I had rarely eaten them and never had the chance to work with them in any restaurant that I worked in. To be honest they kind of intimidated me. But now that I have made these Red Wine Braised Short Ribs a few times, it is a recipe that will live in my repertoire as an all-time favorite.
While there are many variations for short ribs these days, I am a fan of simple and classic. It is just who I am. I have always been a purest, and I find nothing wrong with that.
Preparing your Short Ribs
Short Ribs come from the plate of the cow. They are a somewhat tough piece of meat attached to the rib bone and the kind you see here are known as an "English Cut" of rib, versus a "Flanken" cut.
They consist of what remains of the rib in this area after the rib chop is removed. Due to the thinness of the serratus ventralis here, the meat on these ribs is generally intercostal muscle, the muscle between each rib.
Because of this short ribs are best stewed for an extended period of time. Braising is often the preferred method, and this can be done on the stove-top or in the oven. The method I am sharing today is all done on the stove-top.
One thing that I conder key is bringing the meat to room temperature before cooking and seasoning it at least 30 minutes before cooking. Season the ribs and allow them to sit so the salt can penetrate the meat to the core. I take my ribs out about 60-90 minutes before cooking and seasoning as soon as I remove them from the refrigerator.
Braising the Short Ribs
The secret to decadent and flavor filled short ribs is building in layers of flavor that compliment the stewed meat. Begin with a traditional mirepoix. After searing off the short ribs, cook the vegetables down in all the delicious fat that is released from them.
Stew the vegetables down over high heat for a short time, I don't even peel anything, it will all be strained out later to make the sauce. Then deglaze the pot with the wine, reduce it for a few minutes at a rapid boil, then add the tomato paste for richness, and stock that will cover the ribs when returned to the pot.
Return the ribs to the pot and stew them for a few hours. I bring the mixture to a boil, add the ribs to the pot, put on the lid and reduce the heat to the lowest setting and allow them to simmer for 3-4 hours. Cook them until the ribs become fall off the bone tender.
Finishing the Short Ribs
After the short ribs have cooked for about 3 and a half to 4 hours, remove the cooked ribs from the pan and strain the sauce to remove the stewed vegetables. Do this into a bowl or into a large measuring cup. Allow the sauce to settle for a few minutes, then skim the fat off the top.
Return the sauce to the pot and reduce it by half until thick. It will get very rich and turn into the most luxurious and thick sauce you have ever enjoyed. Taste the sauce and add more salt and pepper if needed.
Serve the Red Wine Braised Short Ribs over mashed potatoes with a generous pour of the sauce with your favorite green vegetable on the side. I share my quick preparation of my favorite way to enjoy asparagus in the notes of the recipe.