Monday, March 9, 2009

Braised Short Ribs with Horseradish Mashed Potatoes

I love watching Food Network. One of my favorite new shows is Secrets of a Restaurant Chef with Anne Burrell. She makes the most delicious looking and sounding foods. They are restaurant quality meals but she breaks them down so they are easily prepared at home. From the moment I saw her make these braised short ribs, I knew they would be made in my kitchen. I even bought a new enameled cast iron pot with this recipe in mind.

This recipe takes a little time at the start, but once you put it in the oven you can just let it cook away. I would say you could forget about it until the timer goes off, but with the wonderful smell that will come from your oven there is no way you can forget about it.

I decided to pair the beef ribs with horseradish mashed potatoes. The peppery horseradish did a great job to help cut the richness of the beef ribs. If you haven't given beef short ribs a try, you should. It was wonderfully warming on a cold winter night.

Braised Short Ribs

Recipe courtesy Anne Burrell

Prep Time: 25 min
Cook Time: 3 hr 30 min
Level: Easy
Serves: 8 servings


* 6 bone-in short ribs (about 5 3/4 pounds)
* Kosher salt
* Extra-virgin olive oil
* 1 large Spanish onion, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
* 2 ribs celery, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
* 2 carrots, peeled, cut in 1/2 lengthwise, then cut into 1/2-inch pieces
* 2 cloves garlic, smashed
* 1 1/2 cups tomato paste
* 2 to 3 cups hearty red wine *
* 2 cups water
* 1 bunch fresh thyme, tied with kitchen string
* 2 bay leaves

* I used beef stock with balsamic vinegar added for the acid because I do not cook with wine


Season each short rib generously with salt. Coat a pot large enough to accommodate all the meat and vegetables with olive oil and bring to a high heat. Add the short ribs to the pan and brown very well, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Do not overcrowd pan. Cook in batches, if necessary.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

While the short ribs are browning, puree all the vegetables and garlic in the food processor until it forms a coarse paste. When the short ribs are very brown on all sides, remove them from the pan. Drain the fat, coat the bottom of same pan with fresh oil and add the pureed vegetables. Season the vegetables generously with salt and brown until they are very dark and a crud has formed on the bottom of the pan, approximately 5 to 7 minutes. Scrape the crud and let it reform. Scrape the crud again and add the tomato paste. Brown the tomato paste for 4 to 5 minutes. Add the wine and scrape the bottom of the pan. Lower the heat if things start to burn. Reduce the mixture by half.

Return the short ribs to the pan and add 2 cups water or until the water has just about covered the meat. Add the thyme bundle and bay leaves. Cover the pan and place in the preheated oven for 3 hours. Check periodically during the cooking process and add more water, if needed. Turn the ribs over halfway through the cooking time. Remove the lid during the last 20 minutes of cooking to let things get nice and brown and to let the sauce reduce. When done the meat should be very tender but not falling apart. Serve with the braising liquid.

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