First off, happy new year — hope that your 2012 is filled with laughter!
Now, let’s talk about the weather. It currently feels like 20 degrees in New York City, and I’ve been forced to bring out both the puffy jacket and fur hat. (Let me tell you, it is not a good look.) In case you couldn’t tell already, I’m co-o-o-old, at least everywhere that isn’t my apartment, which has been blasting so much heat into my little bedroom that I’m forced to turn on the fan every night.
In need of a hearty dish that would keep me warm while bracing frigid winds, I of course turned to short ribs. Lord knows how much I love them, especially when braised slowly until they fall to shreds. I’ve already found the perfect recipe, what with its wine and root vegetables and thyme. But I was intrigued by the idea of cooking short ribs entirely on the stove, in almost a stew of sorts.*
The recipe, from Food & Wine, is easy and requires only a few minutes of effort. The payoff? Pillow-soft pieces of meat entrenched in a broth fragrant with thyme, carrots, celery and wine. Don’t make these on an empty stomach — the aroma may literally drive you to madness. But best of all, these stovetop braised short ribs fill you with enough warmth to brave the coldest of nights, much needed in the frosty days to come.
*I shredded the short ribs in the leftovers so that it would become more of a stew, since there were such copious amounts of sauce.
Stovetop Braised Short Ribs
Adapted from Food & Wine
– 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
– 1 medium onion, chopped
– 2 large celery ribs, chopped
– 2 large carrots, chopped
– 2 tablespoons tomato paste
– 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
– 1 bottle dry red wine (I used Cabernet Sauvignon)
– 3 cups beef or chicken stock
– 2 tablespoons olive oil
– 6 2-inch-thick short ribs with bone (about 3 pounds)
– Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1) In a large wide and heavy-bottomed pot, melt the butter. Add the onion, celery and carrots, and cook over moderate heat, covered, for 5 minutes, until the vegetables are softened slightly. Uncover and cook an additional 3 minutes, until the vegetables are slightly browned.
2) Stir in the tomato paste, then add the flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring. Add the wine and stock and bring to a simmer.
3) As the vegetables are cooking, heat the olive oil in a large skillet until shimmering. Season the ribs with salt and pepper on all sides, then add them to the pan and cook over high heat, turning, until each side is browned, about 15 minutes. (Brown the ribs in batches if your skillet, like mine, isn’t large enough for all 6 at once.)
4) Transfer the short ribs to the pot. Cover and cook over medium low heat until the ribs are very tender, about 2 hours.
5) Transfer the ribs to a plate and remove the bones. Skim off fat from the top of the casserole. Boil until reduced to 2 cups, about 10 minutes. Return the meat to the sauce and simmer over low heat until heated through.
Note: You can make the recipe ahead of time, up to step 4. After the short ribs are tender, cover and refrigerate for up to a day. The next day, skim off the fat, remove the meat, and finish up.