Saturday, February 7, 2009

Braised Short Ribs

Every time I've opened the freezer door the past 3 weeks, 2 packages of frozen thick short ribs have been staring up at me. They've been begging to be cooked. I originally bought them for Dr. Pepper Pineapple Short Ribs, and since I haven't been in the mood for DPPSR (sounds like some kind of condition), I had to come up with something else since I couldn't bear another weekend of those darn ribs staring at me. Besides, The Mister asked, "What are you going to make me for dinner that's tasty?"

Shaaaa, everything I make is tasty. Well maybe not everything but if he says that again, I'm going to give him something...oh never mind.

The great thing about short ribs is that they can be wonderfully delicious if cooked slowly, creating fall-off-the-bone tender and buttery meat. But since it was a work night, time was not a luxury so I had to work fast.

I dug through various recipes and once again, didn't find one that inspired a whole lot. So I pulled together some ingredients and using some tried-and-true cooking methods, came up with a pretty darn "tasty" dish. (How ya' like them apples, da Mister?? I'll give you something tasty!)

Most braised short ribs recipes called for serving with mashed potatoes or rice. I didn't have any potatoes and wasn't in the mood for rice (What? An Asian not in the mood for rice???) I was actually in the mood for some pasta so decided to serve the braised ribs with elbows. You choose the starch you want, of course.

I only had time to slow cook the short ribs for 2 hours but probably needed another 1/2 hour for the meat to be completely falling apart. But no matter because it was long enough for the meat to become buttery (ah, like butta) and tender enough. The sauce was excellent with Marsala wine and a touch of vinegar, although I couldn't taste the vinegar. Just nice, beefy flavor, good depth. Went nicely with the elbows but would have been great too with rice or mash potatoes.

As The Mister polished off his 4th short ribs, he muttered, "Mmmm, I'll definitely have this again. Delicious, Honey!" Uh, he forgot to say tasty.

I had some Creole-style seasoning already made so I used that as a rub. It consists of Hungarian paprika, kosher salt, garlic powder, onion powder, ground black pepper, cayenne pepper, dried oregano and thyme leaves. But feel free to use whatever seasoning you have around but try to add some Paprika and cayenne pepper on it.

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4-5 pounds short ribs with bone
2 tablespoons seasoning
1 cup chopped onions
2 stalks of celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes (Hunt's recommended)
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1/4 cup rice vinegar (can substitute regular vinegar or red wine vinegar)
1/2 cup Marsala wine
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
3 bay leaves
2 teaspoons black pepper
~2 quarts beef broth
Chopped flat leaf parsley, for garnishing

Heat oil in a Dutch oven or a large, heavy pot over high heat.

Cover short ribs with seasoning, patting seasoning well into the meat.

When pot is nearly smoking, add the ribs and sear on all sides until they form a brown crust. Don't overcrowd the pot so do it in batches if you need to. Remove the browned ribs from the pot.

If there's a lot of oil left after all the ribs have been browned, drain out excess oil, leaving about 2 tablespoon in the pot.

Add onions, celery and carrot; saute about 2 minute to brown lightly. Add in garlic and saute for another minute so the garlic becomes aromatic. Add back the ribs and stir in tomatoes, rice vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, Marsala wine, bay leaves, pepper and enough broth to just cover ribs. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer until very tender, about 2 - 2 1/2 hours.

Serve over your choice of starch. Be sure to spoon some sauce over everything and garnish with a sprinkle of chopped parsley.

Here's a close-up of the final dish. Tasty, indeed!

Hope it's drier for you than it is for me here in San Diego this weekend. Nonetheless, have a good weekend. Now go and eat well.


KirkK said...

"wasn't in the mood for rice" WHAT!!! I think you need to go to the ER immediately. ;o) Looks good, I can almost pick up the frangrance thru the monitor, almost...where's the smell-a-vision they promised me?

Barefoot Plumies said...

Hey Kirk! After a quick intervention and stint in ER, I think my rice barameter has been re-aligned. Whew. :-D

I think if smell-a-vision ever gets invented, I'd never leave my computer.

Sawyer said...

heh bookmarked this to make sometime in the near future. i've never cooked with marsala wine before. is there any specific one you get/can i find this at any supermarket?

Barefoot Plumies said...

Hey Sawyer! How's school?

I used to get only Florio ($11 at Bevmo) but in all honesty, I can't tell the difference between the brands. So now I just buy what's on sale or the cheapest since they're only for cooking.

The one I used in this dish is was Columbo Sweet Marsala on sale for $8. I prefer sweet marsala vs. the dry.

I think you can find sweet Marsala wine in most supermarkets. Madeira wine is another that's good to have around for dishes that needs just a touch of sweetness. I usually keep both in the fridge. Good thing about both wines is that they can pretty much last forever in the fridge.

This dish is really good as a leftover. The good thing about the leftover is that you can remove a good portion of the fat once it's been refrigerated. I believe that's how many of the restaurants de-fat braised short ribs.