Winter just calls for slow cooked, heart-warming meals – it’s how it goes. I suggest you pour yourself a glass of wine, get this recipe into the oven, and then repeat with more wine. Just a suggestion – it’s too cold to go outside anyway…
Let’s talk about braising for a moment. There are a few key steps, in my opinion, to mastering this method.
First, you want to get a good sear on your meat. This is the opportunity to really develop some deep flavours in your dish by getting a nice browning on your meat and allowing those nice little bits leftover on the bottom of the pot to create a base for your sauce.
Next, you want to focus on your braising liquid. My preference for beef is a nice red wine – something a bit deeper, fuller bodied and richer. But this is completely up to you! Go with a wine you enjoy drinking.
Next, build up flavours with different herbs, zests, or fresh juices – anything goes! You want to slowly cook the meat at a low temperature until it is fall off the bone.
Depending on what flavour profile you decide to go with, the garnish can really add a nice finishing touch. Look to brighten up the dish with fresh parsley and citrus zest, or even the addition of fennel or a squeeze of fresh juice.
Once you master the gist of the process, the recipe is yours to experiment with! As always, that’s what I find to be the joy of cooking – being able to take an idea and make it your own.
6-8 short ribs
1 large onion, diced
1 large carrot, diced
3-4 garlic cloves, diced
1 bottle red wine
A few sprigs of thyme
A few sprigs of rosemary
1 cup beef stock
Salt and pepper, to taste
Handful of parsley, chopped
1 Tbsp orange zest
Preheat the oven to 300° F. In a large Dutch oven, or an oven-safe lidded pot, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Season your short ribs generously with salt and pepper. Sear your short ribs on each side until nicely browned. Be sure to not crowd the pot, so you may have to do this step working in batches.
Remove the short ribs from the pot. There may be excess fat rendered from the short ribs, so drain all but a few tablespoons. Add in your diced onion and carrot and sauté for a few minutes, and then add the garlic and stir. Deglaze the pot by adding in the bottle of red wine and scraping any browned bits of flavor off the bottom of the pot. Add back in your short ribs, herbs and season with salt and pepper. Lastly, add enough beef stock until the ribs are just covered.
Cover and place in oven for 2 to 2.5 hours. Remove short ribs and set aside. Now, there will be a layer of fat on top of the sauce. Skim off the fat or if time permits you can chill the sauce and the fat will separate and harden to make it easy to remove. You may reduce the sauce by bringing it to a simmer. Re-add the short ribs, sautéed mushrooms and pearl onions and heat through before serving.
Serve over mashed potatoes and garnish with a mixture of chopped parsley and orange zest! Enjoy!
Recipe by Jenelle McCulloch reprinted with her permission.