Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Cabernet Braised Short Ribs

A few weeks ago, Mike and I celebrated the big one-year anniversary.  Sure, one-year may not seem like the biggest accomplishment, but since i've forced poor Mike to celebrate our anniversary on a monthly basis since we've been together, graduating to annual increments is pretty significant! Since our actual anniversary was January 20, a mere 3 days after my birthday, I decided to give him a free pass on my usual fancy date requirement and make us a nice dinner at home.

I absolutely love short ribs, and I'm not sure if Mike knew before our date, but he loves short ribs too.  They may not look like much in the package, but once you braise them low and slow they become this rich, fork tender, fall off the bone, melt in your mouth deliciousness; almost like a gourmet pot roast.  The key is not to rush it - perfect for a sunday project and lovely for a special occasion! Start a day early with the dry rub for extra flavor.

Ingredients (serves 2):
* 8 bone-in short ribs
* 3 tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary
* 3 tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
* 1 tbsp. salt
* 2 tsp. pepper
* 1 bottle cabernet sauvignon (chianti also works well)
* 1 c. beef broth
* 3 tbsp. vegetable oil
* 2 tbsp. butter
* 2 tbsp. flour

Prepare the dry rub by combining rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper in a bowl.  Pat the short-ribs dry with a paper towel and place in a casserole dish.  Rub all sides of the short ribs with the spice mixture.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.  When it's time to cook the short ribs, let them come to room temperature for an hour. Preheat the oven to 375.  Meanwhile, add vegetable oil to a large, oven proof pan or dutch-oven that has a well fitted lid.  Heat on the stove over medium high heat.  Working in batches, brown the meat on all sides. When all the meat is browned, return to the pan, add wine and beef stock, and bring to a boil over high heat.  Once the  mixture is boiling, cover with lid and transfer to the oven.  Braise until the meat is fork tender, between 2-3 hours, depending on the size of your pan.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine flour and butter into a paste. Once the ribs are done, remove them from the pan using a slotted spoon, place in a bowl, and cover tightly with foil.  To prepare the sauce, skim any excess fat off the top and bring the wine mixture to a boil for twenty minutes or so, until the liquid is reduced by half.  Once the sauce is reduced, reduce heat to medium and whisk in butter and flour mixture until the sauce is thickened.  Return the short ribs to the sauce and serve.  ** I served mine with blue cheese grits- I prepared the grits as the package directed, then added a splash of cream and a few tablepoons of blue cheese crumbles.  Yum!

Happy One Year to My Pooch! 

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