Monday, February 9, 2009

Braised short ribs

Last night B and I decided to make a hearty dinner in, and boy did we pick the right recipe. We've never made short ribs at home, though we've had them a few times when out to dinner. This recipe was excellent and would make a great Valentines dinner or dinner party meal. Most of it can be prepared up to 2 days in advance and then just heated up prior to eating. If you are searching for a recipe that will impress guests, family, or that special someone, this is it!!

Braised Beef Short Ribs with Coriander and Cardamom

1/4 c canola oil
4 lbs beef short ribs
4 lg carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 lg onion, chopped
1 lg leek (white and pale green parts only), chopped
1 whole head of garlic, halved crosswise
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tbsp ground cardamom
2 tbsps flour
1 bottle dry, fruity red wine (we used a Zinfandel)
2 c chicken broth

Preheat oven to 325. Heat canola oil in heavy, large ovenproof pot over high heat (used the Le Crueset). Sprinkle short ribs with salt and pepper. Working in batches, add ribs to pot and cook until brown on all sides, about 6 min per batch. Transfer ribs to large plate or bowl. Add carrots, onion, leek, and garlic to pot. Cook until vegetables are brown, stirring often (about 12 min). Add coriander and cardamom, then flour; stir to coat vegetables. Add wine and bring sauce to a boil. Return ribs and any accumulated juices from bowl to pot. Add chicken broth. Bring to boil, cover, and transfer pot to onion.

Braise ribs until tender, about 2 hrs. (if making ahead, take out after 2 hrs, cool slightly. Chill uncovered until cool, then cover and keep chilled). Transfer ribs to large platter. Spoon fat from surface of sauce in pot. Strain sauce into large saucepan, discarding the solids in the strainer. Bring the sauce to a boil (can add cornstarch to thicken). Pour sauce over ribs and serve.

A few additional notes:
1. I was really confused about adding a whole garlic head with the skins on. Don't worry. Since the solids get skimmed out in the last step, it doesn't matter if the paper cooks in their- it all comes out in the long run.
2. I bought short ribs with and without the bone to see if one was better. Honestly, both were good so buy whichever is cheaper. The ones off the bone may be a little leaner.
3. I served it with mashed potatoes, cooked carrots, and green beans. They say to discard the carrots that the roast is braised with. I tasted them, and they were yummy. You could easily spoon them out and serve with the meat.
4. It is time intesive in the beginning but then it ends up just making the house smell good for two hours. While it may take forethought, it really isn't a difficult recipe at all!

Recipe from Bon Appetit 4/2007

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