Sunday, October 4, 2009

Red Wine Braised Beef Short Ribs

Okay, let's get one thing straight, I love summer. Warm weather (as long as it's not too hot), sunny skies, gardening, swimming in the lake, Caprese salads.

But as temperatures get colder, food gets slower, more complex. There is something magical about a meal that cooks for hours. The transformation of the meat and the broth. The smell wafting from the kitchen. It's reason to be thankful for fall.

Here's the ingredients:

4 meaty beef short ribs
3 Tablespoon flour seasoned with salt and pepper
4 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 tomatoes, peeled, seeds removed and chopped
6 clove garlic, minced
2 cups red wine
4 sprig fresh thyme
1 sprig fresh sage

To start, I turned the oven on to 350 degrees, then set out to find my dutch oven (I haven't used it in months, what with it being summer and all, and I couldn't remember where I had put it). Once I found it, I set it on the stove top added about a tablespoon of oil and set the burner to high. Meanwhile, I dusted the short ribs on all sides with 2 tablespoons of the seasoned flour then added them to the now warm pan.

I cooked them until they were nicely browned on both sides.

And the edges.

Then I removed the short ribs from the pan and added the carrots and onions (p.s. the oil is really hot at this point, so be careful adding the veggies because it might splash up and hit your arm, and that will hurt) sprinkling them with just a little salt.

After the veggies had softened a little, I added the garlic and tomatoes.

Then after 30 seconds or so, I sprinkled on the remaining Tablespoon of seasoned flour.

Then let that cook, stirring the whole time, for another minute.

Then I added the red wine (stirring to make sure to get all the browned bits off the bottom of the pan), the herbs ...

... and the browned short ribs.

I brought this to a boil then put the lid on the pan.

And put the pan in the oven.

I let this cook for two hours, then took it out of the oven to rest. While the meat rested, I made some garlic mashed potatoes and red cabbage braised in apple juice and balsamic vinegar. Then it was time to eat.

Yum! The meat was literally falling off the bones, tender and succulent. The gravy was so good, just lightly herbaceous. Carrots were a little soft, but not enough to be a deal breaker (and really what can you expect from carrots that have been cooking for two hours).

Welcome fall, I look forward to many more slow-cooked Sunday meals.

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