January 16, 2010

Sure-Fire Short Ribs

I had this recipe in my DVR for months, but did not yet a own Dutch Oven or any other cookware I could take from stovetop to oven. Then I got THIS beautiful baby (super on-sale and bought with a birthday gift card-WIN!) and it was ON. My friends at FreshDirect.com put short ribs on sale, and it was as if the whole world was telling me 'make the dish, already!' Okay, okay!

This recipe really is super simple, though it might seem like a lot of steps. The first step is to season the short ribs with salt and freshly-cracked black pepper. I put them in the dutch oven (which had a thin layer of olive oil coating the bottom) and browned them on all sides. This took 8-10 minutes--watch out for spitting oil, and keep those tongs at the ready!

Once the meat browned, I set it aside and add the chopped onions and garlic to the dish (I was out of garlic the first time so I used shallots--just as delicious!) You don't need to worry about a uniform chop, either-this is all going in a blender soon. Use a non-abrasive tong or wooden spoon to scrape up those yummy brown bits stuck to the bottom. This part smells SO GOOD!!

Once I sweated the onions and garlic, I added the whole canned tomatoes (Giada says to cut them--I didn't even bother, just breaking them apart a bit with my tongs) and 2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard. I think I might go with 3 next time, FYI. I swirled it all together and added the red wine, bringing it all to a boil. Once I reached the boil, I carefully added the short ribs and tucked them all neatly in the pot.

This goes into the oven for about 2 1/2 hours. When the meat falls off the bone, it's done. Your whole house will smell quite scrumptious. I removed the meat, shredded it, and set it aside. I took about half of the sauce/stew mixture and puréed it in my mini-prep processor. Then I put everything back in the pot and let it simmer a few minutes more.

I boiled some whole-wheat penna pasta, and topped it with generous portions of this dish, added a dusting of finely shredded Parmesan cheese, and a sprinkling of fresh, chopped parsley. Add a simple green salad and some homemade garlic bread (made with day-old bread I got at the bakery next-door!) and you're good to go. This. Meal. Rocks. I've already made it three times in the past 2 months---and it feeds Kel & me for dinner, then I get at least two more servings after that, all for less than 15 bucks! I also find it very soothing to set about cleaning my kitchen, folding laundry, or catching up on the phone with friends while this tender dish comes to be in my oven. Now that I'm comfortable making it, I think I will start mixing up the herbage and whatnot--this definitely goes in the 'favorites' pile!

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