If you are going to make or eat short ribs, you might as well go all the way. So even though I have tried many different recipes for this dish and have even gone off the cuff and improvised a few times. I always come back to this one. It takes some prep work, but the reward is the rich layered flavors that are the result of the prep. When you want a Sunday meal that says I love you so much I made you this. Try it.
8 short ribs (bone-in)
Flour for dusting
4 bay leaves
4 carrots sliced
1 large onion diced
1 leek sliced thin
1 bottle of dry red wine (one glass reserved for the cook)
5 garlic cloves smashed
one handful of thyme leaves
one small handful of Italian parsley
2 T tomato paste
1 quart of beef broth (homemade or high quality bone broth recommended)
3 celery stalks strings removed and sliced
Heat the oven to 300. I once read somewhere that recipe temperatures are never correct and I do find that to be true, so do yourself a favor and get to know your oven. The Thomas Keller recipes calls for cooking at a higher temp for a shorter amount of time but I prefer the slower lower method and in part because I like cooking things with the bone in tact. 300 on my oven is somewhere in the medium low range. Its like a slow-ish cook method.
Pull the meat out and bring it to room temp while you work on the other stuff. You are going to need to start the braise in the pot you plan to cook the short ribs, and you will brown the meat in another. I use my largest dutch oven for the braise. In that pot add half of all the vegetables and half of all the herbs plus the peppercorns and a sprinkling of salt. Cook over medium high heat to reduce the wine a bit. Reduce for 20 minutes or so, while you start the meat. Heat another dutch oven with about 3 T of grapeseed oil over medium high heat. Season the beef with plenty of salt and pepper and dust in the flour. Shake off the excess and working in batches, brown the meat on all sides until each side has a nice brown crust. Adjust the heat as needed. You don’t want the oil too hot. If the bit of flour in the pan start to burn they will impart a bitter flavor to the meat. Make sure everything is staying brown, not black. Meanwhile through the remaining herbs and vegetables into the braise and stir. Add another sprinkling of salt and the beef stock. Put a doubled up layer of cheesecloth down over the vegetables and make sure that the cloth is only over hanging the sides of the pot by about two inches. This step is pretty unnecessary, but like I said…when you are going to do it…you may as well do it. It just keeps the veg off the meat. That way you can add a spoonful of gravy later with or without the veg. Its just a style thing. Cook the short ribs for 2.5 hours and let rest for another hour before serving. I like serving these with creamy polenta or mashed potatoes.