I was sent home yesterday at 11:30am, due to the impending snow storm. I stopped by Whole Foods for some provisions and in the meat case were these big, beautiful short ribs, well marbled with fatty goodness. I couldn’t resist, after all, a hearty short rib is a perfect “trapped in the house,” dish.
Short ribs are a tough cut of meat and benefit from “low and slow” cooking, like braising. Braising is cooking with moist heat, typically in a covered pot with any liquid. Braising relies on heat, time, and moisture to successfully break down tough connective tissue and collagens in the meat.
There are a few simple steps in braising.
1) Season and brown the meat on all sides in an oven safe Dutch oven, or large pot This develops an attractive brown crust, and good flavor.
2) Remove the meat and toss in your aromatics (onions, celery, garlic or whatever else you would like). Cook till softened.
3) Add your liquid (broth, wine, even water) and scrap up all the fond (the brown bits on the bottom) and add your seasonings (salt, pepper, whatever herbs and spices you like). Boil.
4) Toss meat back in, cover tightly. Move to a low oven (300 degrees is what I use) and cook till tender. Chicken will cook quicker; big cuts of beef will take longer.
Last night, I used 3 lbs of short ribs, onions, a combo of red wine and chicken stock and lots of thyme (mostly because I had some leftover in the fridge). 2 hours later, the meat was falling of the bones tender and delicious. Just what I needed after 3 hours of shoveling (R, brilliant man, had to be in