When winter comes around, I always seem to have a craving for meals of substance. Stews, casseroles, braised meat. It doesn’t even matter that this is Texas and winter sometimes means it is 75 degrees outside. I think it must be some throwback survival instinct. The need to bulk up to survive the winter, only…I so don’t need to bulk up. Lately I have been craving braised short ribs. Slow cooked all day, rich beefy sauce, mashed potatoes and rolls. I saw three different recipes that I wanted to try. One was from Pioneer woman, one from David Lebovitz and one from Tom Colicchio. I went to the store and purchased the ingredients to make all three, but instead, combined elements from each. The result was just what I craved.
Braised Short Ribs
- 4 pounds beef short ribs
- 3 strips of peppered bacon, cut into small strips
- kosher salt
- freshly ground pepper
- 10 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 can of Guinness beer
- 3 tbsps rice vinegar
- 1.5 ounces bittersweet chocolate
- 2 carrots, finely chopped
- 1 bag of frozen pearl onions
- 1 tsp red chili powder
- beef broth
- 1 cup hoisin sauce
Generously salt and pepper the ribs.
In a large dutch oven or oven safe covered pot (I used a 7 quart Le Creuset), cook bacon to render fat over medium-high heat. Once all the fat has been rendered, remove the bacon and set it aside, place the ribs in the pan, meatiest side down (with the bone facing up).
Sear the meat (resisting the urge to turn the meat) until it is very thoroughly browned. Turn the ribs to brown each side, again, you want them good and browned. If you can’t fit them all in, do them in batches. Once they are seared on all sides, remove them from the pot.
Turn off the heat and deglaze the pan with a can of Guinness beer, be sure to scrape up all the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Breathe in the delicious smell!
Add the garlic, stirring to cook it in the residual heat.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
Add the ribs and bacon back to the pan and mix in the vinegar, chocolate (no seriously, put chocolate in it), and chili powder.
Cover and place in the oven for three hours. Check the pot every hour and add beef broth as needed to keep the liquid from completely evaporating. Turn the ribs over each hour so that the opposite side gets a chance to soak in the braising liquid.
Meanwhile, dice up the carrots and add them and the frozen pearl onions to the sauce at the second hour check (does that make sense? I suck at writing recipes).
After the three hour mark, add 1 cup of hoisin sauce. Cook for another hour.
Remove the meat from the sauce and place on a sheet pan and broil in the oven until crisp on top. Remove and set aside. Meanwhile, skim the fat off the sauce in the pan. Add the ribs back in and serve with mashed potatoes and dinner rolls. The meat is so tender, by now I’m sure you’ve noticed that the bones fell out. you could cut the meat with a spoon! Oh, I wanna make this again!