Italian Braised Short Ribs

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I like meat, but not huge portions of it.  I’m not excited by going to a steakhouse where you can get a 24 ounce slab of beef (or something equally large!).  As Ed can attest, I’ve been to many a steakhouse where I’ve ordered fish or seafood.

I think that’s why I like recipes like these short ribs – I can have a relatively small quanity of meat that is packed with good flavor.

And, who would I be kidding by not admitting that these ribs provide a great “excuse” to add potatoes to a meal.

This recipe takes some prep time before it goes into the oven or slow cooker, but it’s definitely worth it.  I think you’ll find that it’s one of the best slow cooker recipes out there.

Italian Braised Short Ribs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Italian Braised Short Ribs
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Recipe type: Main Dish
Author:
Serves: Makes 6-8 servings.
Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 5-6 pounds beef short ribs, English cut
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 ounces pancetta, chopped
  • 2 yellow onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 tablspoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 springs fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
Instructions
  1. On a plate, stir together flour, 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper. Turn the ribs in the seasoned flour, shaking off any excess. In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Working in batches, if necessary, cook the ribs, turning occasionally, until evenly browned, about 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  2. Add the pancetta to the pan and sauté, stirring often, until the fat is rendered, about 5 minutes. Add the onions and sauté until beginning to soften, about 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic and pepper flakes and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the carrots, tomato paste, and sugar and cook, stirring frequently, until well blended, about 1 minute. Add the wine and deglaze the pan, stirring and scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Bring the wine to a boil; stir in the tomatoes, broth, and vinegar; return to a boil.
  3. Oven: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Transfer the ribs to a large Dutch oven. Add the tomato-broth mixture and the bay leaves, rosemary and thyme sprigs, and oregano. Cover and cook until the short ribs are very tender, about 2 hours (the meat should fall off the bones).
  4. Slow Cooker: Transfer the ribs to a slow cooker. Add the tomato-broth mixture and the bay leaves, rosemary and thyme sprigs, and oregano. Cover and cook until the short ribs are very tender, 3 hours on the high-heat setting or 6 hours on the low-heat setting (the meat should fall off the bones).
  5. When the ribs are done, use a large, shallow spoon or laddle to skim off as much fat as possible from the surface of the cooking liquid (be patient and try to get as much of the fat as you can). Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer the ribs to individual plates, spoon the cooking juices over and around them, and serve at once.
Notes
- I like the short ribs from Worrell’s Butcher shop in Malvern, PA (a great “old fashioned” butcher shop) – they don’t have too much fat on them. - Serve with mashed or boiled potatoes to soak up more of the good juices. - Sometimes I cut the amount of meat in half (3 pounds), but I always make a full portion of the sauce.

 

Source:  Adapted from Williams-Sonoma’s Essentials of Slow Cooking (2008)

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Comments

  1. Susie McCawley says:

    I made these fabulous short ribs in the crock pot this weekend. I had to improvise a little. We have a good butcher here in CT, but I find the “lingo” is always different than what I was used to in PA. He didn’t know what “English” cut was, and he only had boneless short ribs. So, my point is, it doesn’t matter what you use–the sauce makes them delicious! I might cut down on the oregano for may taste, but otherwise a perfect recipe!