Last Friday evening, my husband and I had a “date night” at home. After a long, hectic week, we wanted to spend quiet time together but had neither the energy nor the desire to go out. Since we wanted to make our evening special and not seem like an ordinary evening, I thought I’d prepare a special dinner and eat by candlelight in our dining room.
Our “date night” menu consisted of a creamy and savory Champagne Risotto and succulent Braised Short Ribs. My goodness, if you’ve never made braised short ribs, you are truly missing out on the most flavorful and “fall-off-the-bone” tender ribs ever. The ribs slow-cook in the oven for a couple of hours and fill the house with a mouthwatering aroma.
Braising is a technique which combines both moist and dry heat. The main ingredient, meat in this case, is first browned or seared, then simmered in liquid in either the oven or the stove. Its a great way to prepare less expensive cuts of meat because the slow cooking tenderizes the meat.
We enjoyed our dinner with a very nice Pinot Noir.
Braised Short Ribs With Carrots And Fennel
- 5-5 1/2 lb bone-in beef short ribs
- salt and pepper (to taste)
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 yellow onion , finely chopped
- 1 cup baby carrots
- 1 inch medium fennel bulb , sliced into 1/2- pieces
- 2 cloves garlic , minced
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 3 cups beef or chicken stock
- 2 large fresh thyme sprigs
- 1 bay leaf
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Generously season the short ribs with salt and pepper.
- Put the flour in a wide, shallow bowl and dredge the ribs, coating each side evenly; shake off the excess flour.
- Put the oil into a large, heavy oven-proof pot or Dutch oven and heat on medium high heat.
- Place the ribs into the pot and brown all sides of the meat.
- Transfer the meat to a plate.
- Add the onions, carrots and fennel to the pot and season with salt and pepper and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook for another minute.
- Pour in the wine and the tomato paste, bring to a boil and cook over medium high heat for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the beef short ribs back to the pot.
- Pour in the stock.
- Add the thyme and bay leaf.
- Bring to a boil; cover the pot with the lid, remove the pot from the stove and transfer the pot to the oven.
- Bake for 2 hours or until the meat is very tender.
- Carefully remove the short ribs from the pot and set aside. Discard the herbs and skim the excess fat. Simmer the sauce until thickened, 8-10 minutes.
- Spoon some of the sauce over the ribs and serve with the vegetables.