We won’t be using the pork ribs that you’ll find when you eat St. Louis or Baby Back ribs, instead, we’ll be using beef ribs for dinner tonight. You will find that these are meatier, larger and more tender than their pork counterparts. You will want beef short ribs that are “English Cut” which means that they are about two to four inches long containing an entire bone segment. You don’t want something like Korean short ribs for this recipe – you need something much larger than those thin slices for this recipe. We’ll be using a cooking technique called braising today (a more in-depth post is coming) but in the meantime, braising is essentially a multi-staged cooking process that starts with searing and ends with submerging your food in a concentrated liquid and cooking at relatively low temperatures to give you juicy, tender and delicious meals. Beef short ribs are the quintessential braising dish so let’s turn our attention towards them.
As an extremely type-A person, mise-en-place (pronounced: meez-in-plas) and I just get each other. Mise-en-place means, in French of course, putting in place. In the kitchen, this means measuring, weighing, washing, slicing, dicing and setting aside all your ingredients before you start cooking. When making a dish with this many steps and ingredients, it’s a great idea to get everything arranged prior to cooking because once it starts you are not going to have time to chop up or assemble any more ingredients. Let’s dive in to what is needed to get everything ready for our braised short ribs.
Alright, You Ready to Cook?
Now that you’ve got everything put in its place, it’s actually time to start cooking.
Now, We Wait
Braising requires a longer cook time to make sure all the connective tissue and fat are rendered down and to give the bones time to give up their tastiness. The total cook time for this dish is 2 and 1/2 hours. What should you do while you wait? Well you could make a side dish, do the dishes, go workout, write the next great American novel or hang out in front of the TV. Whatever your choice, be patient and no peeking in the oven!!
Lessons Learned: Or What I’d Do Differently Next Time
I’ve been on a roll lately as I’m not sure I would change a thing about this meal. It came out moist, tender and absolutely succulent. About the only thing I would change is to get the beef short ribs from somewhere other than Safeway. #1 they were more expensive than I expected coming from Safeway. #2 if I’m going to spend as much as I did, I might as well go to speciality butcher and get a higher quality cut of meat. Other than that, I give this dish a solid A.
What if you have leftovers? Well, lucky you! First off, keep some of the braising liquid to go with your ribs. I warmed these leftovers up by setting them out for about 30 minutes before putting back into a 250° oven. At this point, I also took a spoon and skimmed off some of the fat that has solidified on top of the braising liquid. Next, get out a sheet of aluminum foil and put your ribs and liquid in the middle and form a packet with an opening at the top and put in the oven until hot. I started checking on it after 25 minutes and it was all done in about 40 minutes or so. Best part? They tasted better on the 2nd day than they did the 1st!
Yeah buddy, I’d Cook That!
- 8 whole Beef Short Ribs
- Kosher salt and pepper
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 6 pieces pancetta, diced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 whole carrots, diced
- 2 whole shallots, finely minced
- 2 cups red wine (pinot noir works well)
- 2 cups beef broth
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- Salt and pepper your ribs, dredge in flour and then set aside.
- In a large dutch oven, cook pancetta over medium heat until crispy and all fat is rendered. Remove pancetta and set aside. Do not discard grease.
- Add olive oil to pan and raise heat to high. Brown ribs on all sides, roughly 45 seconds per side. Remove ribs and set aside. Turn heat back to medium.
- Add onions, carrots, and shallots to pan and cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes or until translucent, you don't want to see any browning in this step.
- Pour in wine and scrape the bottom of pan. Bring to a boil and cook 2 minutes.
- Add broth, salt and pepper to taste. Taste and add more salt if needed.
- Add the ribs and pancetta back to the pot.
- Add thyme and rosemary sprigs (whole) to the liquid.
- Put on the lid and place into the oven. Cook at 350 for 2 hours, then reduce heat to 325 and cook for an additional 30 to 45 minutes.
- Remove pan from oven and allow to sit for 10 - 20 minutes, lid on, before serving.