Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Short Ribs Were Nestled All Snug in Their Sauce

Busy, busy weekend here in Sautoir Land.  Was in the Great White North yesterday.  Well, just Connecticut, but it was north of here.  The cold rain and wind today did not make heading outside to visit mom and run errands a pleasant diversion.  I'm typing this while I'm getting ready to go a Holiday Party here in the building.  I think it would be tacky to where slippers, but I am tempted.  While all this is going on, I have my favorite dish bubbling away in the oven, zinfandel braised short ribs.

There is just something about this dish that I, and everyone I served it to, just love.  It may be the fruity but spicy flavor of the zinfandel, the meatiness of the short ribs, or just the plain heaping load of comfort you get from a braised dish.  Best of all, it usually tastes better the next day, so it's a perfect make ahead dinner.

I like to use Rosenblum or Rancho Zabaco zins to make this dish.  They are both really nice wines are great prices.  I picked up a Rosenblum for under $10 today at my normal wine store, so you can probably get it cheaper at Costco or some other bulk retailer.

Anyone angling for a Christmas gift of a Le Creuset dutch oven, this is the perfect way to plant the idea.  "If I had that La Creuest dutch oven, I could make this all the time and it would taste so much better."  I can't guarantee success their, but I can insure that you will not get coal in your stocking if you prepare this.

2 tablespoons of canola oil
2 pounds bone in beef short ribs
2 medium onions
3 medium carrots
2 cloves of garlic
1 750ml bottle of Zinfandel
2 cups of beef, chicken or veal stock
Fresh or dried thyme
2 Fresh or dried bay leaves


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Pour bottle of wine into a sauce pan and reduce by half over high heat
  3. Heat oil in dutch oven or other large, heavy pot with a lid
  4. Season short ribs with salt and pepper.  
  5. Brown short ribs on all sides
  6. Slice onions into 1/4 inch slices
  7. Cut carrots into 1/2 inch slices
  8. Peel and crush garlic cloves
  9. Remove ribs to platter.  Pour out all oil except for about 1 teaspoon
  10. Sweat onions and carrots
  11. When onions have softened add the garlic cloves, cook for about 1 minute
  12. Add back ribs
  13. Add reduced wine to dutch oven
  14. Add stock to ribs are covered
  15. Add thyme and bay leaves.  Several sprigs of thyme if fresh, 1 teaspoon if dried.
  16. Bring to boil
  17. Cover dutch oven and place in oven
  18. Cook until ribs are exceedingly tender, about 2 1/2 hours
  19. Remove ribs
  20. Strain and defat cooking liquid
  21. Boil until sauce reduces and thickens a bit, about 10 minutes
  22. Put ribs back in sauce
  23. Eat, drink and be merry.  Or let ribs sit over night, then eat, drink and be merry.


Fresh Local and Best said...

John, I like your strategy of dropping Christmas gift hints. I adore slow cooked meats, and I agree a fruity zinfandel finishes the sauce well.

kathyvegas said...

These classic, comforting recipes are my favorite! Great post!

Cleo Coyle said...

Oh, I haven't had short ribs in a while - such a great winter meal. I'm looking forward to trying yours. Thank you, John!

~ Cleo Coyle
author of The Coffeehouse Mysteries