(photo courtesy of All About Braising by Molly Stevens)
I’m too excited to share this recipe, so let’s get a move on it so you can get to your grocery store and get everything to make it yourself!
What you’ll need:
3 1/2 to 4 pounds meaty bone-in short ribs (I used the English cut, not the ones shown above)
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 large yellow onions (about 1 pound total), sliced about 1/2 inch thick
1 carrot, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
1 1/2 cups porter ale, or more if needed (I threw in the whole bottle)
3/4 cup beef, veal, or chicken stock, homemade or store-bought, or water
One 3- to -4-inch leafy fresh rosemary sprig
1 large or 2 small bay leaves
For the glaze:
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
Two 3- to 4-inch leafy rosemary sprigs
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
Working ahead: If you have the time and forethought, beef short ribs benefit greatly from advance salting (see Step 2). This mini-cure will tighten the meat a bit, improving it’s texture, help it brown more readily in the first step of the braise, and deepen its hearty taste. If there’s no time for advance salting, simply skip Step 2 below, seasoning with a bit of salt along with the black pepper as directed.
If you braise the short ribs ahead of time (from a few hours to a full two days) and then glaze them just before serving, the dish will taste even better. The flavors meld and develop as the ribs sit. Simply complete the recipe through Step 9 up to 2 days before you plan to serve them. Pour the strained and reduced braising liquid over the ribs, let cool, cover, and refrigerate. To serve, reheat, covered with foil, in a 350-degree oven until just heated through, about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven, and heat the broiler. Brush on the glaze and proceed as directed in Step 10.
1. Trimming the ribs. Trim any excess fat from the short ribs, but don’t take off any of the silverskin or tough-looking bits that hold the ribs together.
2. Salting the ribs-1 or 2 days before braising (optional). Arrange the short ribs in a loose layer on a tray or in a non-reactive dish. Sprinkle them all over with 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons salt (there’s no need to rub the salt into the meat) and cover loosely with waxed paper or plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 to 2 days.
3. Heat the oven to 300 degrees. Pat the ribs dry with a paper towel, but don’t try to rub off the salt. Season with pepper. (If you didn’t salt the ribs in advance, season them with both salt and pepper.)
4. Browning the ribs. Pour the oil into a Dutch oven or other heavy braising pot (4- to 6-quart) wide enough to accomodate the short ribs in a crowded single layer and heat over medium heat. Add only as many ribs as will fit without touching, and brown them, turning with tongs, until chestnut-brown on all sides, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer the seared ribs to a platter, without stacking, and continue until all the ribs are browned.
5. The aromatics. Pour off and discard all but a tablespoon of fat from the pot. If there are any charred bits in the pot, wipe them out with a damp paper towel, being careful not to remove the precious caramelized drippings. Return the pot to medium-high heat and add the onions and carrot. Season with salt and pepper and saute, stirring a few times, until the vegetables start to brown and soften, about 5 minutes.
6. The braising liquid. Add the ale and bring to a full boil. Boil for 2 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to dislodge and dissolve any tasty bits cooked into it. Pour in the stock, bring to a boil again, and reduce the heat to a simmer. Return the ribs to the pot, along with any juices released as they sat. The ribs should be partially submerged in the liquid. If necessary, add a bit more ale or water.
7. The braise. Cover with a sheet of parchment paper, pressing down so that it nearly touches the ribs and hangs over the edges of the pot by about an inch. Set the lid securely in place. Slide the pot into the oven and braise at a gentle simmer, turning the ribs with tongs so as not to tear up the meat, every 40 to 45 minutes, until fork-tender, about 2 1/2 hours. Check under the lid after the first 10 minutes to see that the liquid isn’t simmering too aggressively; if it is, lower the oven temperature by 10 to 15 degrees.
8. Meanwhile, prepare the glaze. While the ribs are braising, combine the maple syrup with the rosemary sprigs in a small saucepan. Heat to a gentle boil over medium heat. Turn off the heat, cover, and set aside to infuse for 1 hour. (The glaze can be made up to a few days ahead and refrigerated.)
9. Removing the ribs from the braising liquid. When the ribs are tender and the meat is pulling away from the bones, use tongs or a slotted spoon to carefully transfer them to a flameproof gratin dish or shallow baking dish that is large enough to accomodate them in a single layer. Try your best to keep the ribs on the bones and intact, but don’t worry if some bones slip out. Scoop out the vegetables with a slotted spoon and arrange them around the ribs. Cover loosely with foil to keep them warm.
10. Finishing the braising liquid. Tilt the braising liquid pot to collect the juices in one end and skim off as much surface fat as you can with a large spoon. If there is more fat than you care to skim off a spoonful at a time, transfer the braising liquid to a gravy separator and then pour the liquid into a medium saucepan, leaving the fat behind. If the braising liquid exceeds 1/2 cup, bring it to a vigorous simmer over medium-high heat and cook it down to close to 1/2 cup, 10 to 15 minutes; it should have a syrupy consistency. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Keep warm.
11. Glazing the short ribs. Heat the broiler on high. If the glaze has been refrigerated, warm it slightly so that it’s pourable. Remove the rosemary sprigs, lightly running your fingers down the length of the sprigs so you save every drop of glaze. Put the horseradish in a small strainer (a tea strainer works great) or in the palm of your hand and press or squeeze over the sink to eliminate as much liquid as possible, then stir the horseradish into the glaze. Brush the glaze on the tops of the short ribs. Pour the reduced braising liquid around the ribs-don’t pour over the ribs, or you’ll wash off the glaze. Slide the ribs under the broiler and broil until the surface of the ribs develops a shiny, almost caramelized glaze and you can hear them sizzle, about 4 minutes.
12. Serving. Transfer the ribs to serving plates–the number per serving depends on the size of the ribs. Spoon the braising liquid around, not over the ribs, and serve immediately.
MMMMMMMmmMMMMMMM! My mouth is watering just thinking about these! GO EAT SOMETHING!