Fall-off-the-Bone Short Ribs
3-4 pounds bone-in or boneless beef short ribs, cut into 4 pieces (may substitute boneless “flap steak” if available)
1 bottles red wine, (½ for marinade) (that you would drink)
2 onions, rough chop
2 carrots, peeled, rough chop
2-3 cloves garlic, smashed
2-3 celery stalks
Sprinkling of flour (1 T+)
1 T tomato Paste (optional) (may substitute ketchup, in a pinch)
¼ cup soy sauce (optional)
½ cup flavorful fruit juice (apple, pomegranate or pineapple; not citrus) (optional)
Fresh herbs: thyme, oregano, rosemary, parsley
Dry herbs/spices: bay leaf, peppercorns, red pepper flakes (optional)
2-3 cups Beef broth (or demi-glace, if lucky to have)
1. Salt and pepper meat and cover with dry herbs, peppercorns, and ½ bottle of red wine. Let marinate overnight, or for 2-3 hours.
2. Remove meat and DRY WELL with paper towels. Heat vegetable oil in pot with lid which can be transferred to oven and sear meat on all sides. Remove.
3. In same pot with meat drippings, sauté: onions, carrots, celery and garlic until begin to soften and edges brown.
4. Sprinkle bit of flour over veg and add tomato paste (ketchup in a pinch) to pot. Stir to coat flour with fat and darken tomato paste. Preheat oven to 350˚
5. Return short ribs to pot with any accumulated juice, unused wine, fruit juice (if using), soy sauce (if using)–enough to cover short ribs completely. Add marinade wine and/or beef broth to cover short ribs by inch or so. Bring to boil.
6. Lower temp and simmer (bubbles around edge) UNCOVERED until liquid is reduced about 1/3-1/2.
7. Add additional beef broth or demi-glace, fresh herbs and cover tightly.
8. Transfer to preheated oven, reduce temperature to 325 degrees and cook 1 ½ hours (until very tender with fork or falling off bones)
9. Remove from oven; strain liquid; discard herbs and vegetables; skim fat. Taste for salt/pepper. If you have time, return sauce to stove and reduce until syrupy (optional)
10. While beef is braising, make buttery mashed potatoes (with added horseradish, fresh herbs or celeriac, if you are adventurous; but plain potatoes with cream and butter are fine). Serve beef in warm large flat soup plates over mashed potatoes with root vegetables, roasted separately. Pass sauce on side.
Susan Delbert joined The Fourth Estate Restaurant at the National Press Club as Executive Chef after working at The Old Ebbitt Grill in Washington, D.C. as Sous Chef for several years. Delbert has worked in several Washington restaurants, including The Oval Room, BeDuCi in Dupont Circle and Gerard’s Place. She started her culinary career as a Front of the House Maitre d’ in Clyde’s of Chevy Chase. She trained at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., where she graduated at the top of her class. She was an invited participant in an Italian regional cooking program sponsored by the Italian Trade Commission.
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