Beef short ribs warm up long, cold days

(QMI Agency files)

(QMI Agency files)

ELIZABETH BAIRD, Special to QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:16 PM ET

The meat next to the bone is the sweetest. With the sweetest of all — beef short ribs. It seems that saucy, cooked-until-falling-off-the-bone beef short ribs are the “It” dish this winter, a dish perfect for family and friends and for all kinds of occasions.

And no wonder. Short ribs shine in lovingly braised dishes, dishes that blend their flavours in a low oven. The kind of dishes we hanker after in dark cold days. Here are two recipes to temp your taste buds, each serving 8 very generously. I’ve added polenta, the ultimate creamy pillow on which to rest chunks of lusty Red-Wine Braised Short Ribs.

Red Wine Braised Short Ribs

Try the recipe below, or embellish the ribs with mushrooms and/or pearl onions. Serve with Creamy Polenta (below).

Ingredients:

  • 6 lb. (2.75 kg) beef short ribs
  • 1/2 tsp. (2 ml) each sea salt and coarsely ground pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) canola oil, approximate
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 6 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small carrot, diced
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) dried thyme
  • 2 cups (500 ml) dry red wine
  • 2 cups(500 ml) beef or chicken broth
  • 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) each butter and all-purpose flour

Gremolata:

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup (75 ml) minced flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) thinly sliced chives or green onion
  • 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) grated lemon rind

Directions:

Cut ribs into individual pieces or in half, if necessary. Rub well with salt and pepper. In large heavy Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. In batches to prevent crowding, brown ribs well on all sides, about 15 minutes, adjusting heat to avoid burning and adding a little more oil if needed. As you work, transfer ribs to platter; drain off all but 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) of fat. Add onions, garlic, carrot, bay leaves and thyme. Fry over medium heat, stirring often and scraping up any brown bits from bottom of pan, until onions are tender, about 5 minutes,

Stir in wine and broth; return ribs to pan. Turn to coat ribs with sauce. Bring to boil. Cover and braise in 350F. (180C.) oven until meat is fork tender and threatens to leave bone, about 2 1/2 to 3 hours. With a slotted spatula, transfer ribs to deep platter. Cover and keep warm.

Discard bay leaves and skim fat from pan juice. Blend together butter and flour; whisk into pan juices. Bring to boil over high heat; boil until thickened to gravy consistency. Spoon over ribs.

Gremolata: Meanwhile combine parsley, chives and lemon rind. Sprinkle over ribs. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Short Ribs with Porcini Mushrooms

Increase broth to 2 1/2 cups (625 ml) Before browning short ribs, heat 1 cup (250 ml) of beef broth until steaming; stir in 1 oz. (28g) dried porcini mushrooms. Let steep for 10 minutes; reserving broth, drain mushrooms and chop. Cook mushrooms with onions; add mushroom-flavoured broth with remaining beef broth.

Creamy Polenta

You can enrich cooked polenta just before serving with butter, and/or a generous dollop of sour cream.

Ingredients:

6 cups (1.5 L) water, approximate

1/2 tsp. (2 ml) salt

1 1/2 cups (375 ml) fine cornmeal (or polenta)

Directions:

In large covered saucepan, bring water to boil over high heat. Add salt. Reduce heat to low. Gradually whisk in cornmeal, whisking until smooth. Simmer, stirring with wooden spoon, until thick enough to mound on spoon, about 20 to 25minutes, adding a little more water if necessary to keep polenta soft. Spoon into warm bowls and top with ribs and sauce.

Makes 8 servings.

The meat next to the bone is the sweetest. With the sweetest of all — beef short ribs. It seems that saucy, cooked-until-falling-off-the-bone beef short ribs are the “It” dish this winter, a dish perfect for family and friends and for all kinds of occasions.

And no wonder. Short ribs shine in lovingly braised dishes, dishes that blend their flavours in a low oven. The kind of dishes we hanker after in dark cold days. Here are two recipes to temp your taste buds, each serving 8 very generously. I’ve added polenta, the ultimate creamy pillow on which to rest chunks of lusty Red-Wine Braised Short Ribs.


Photos