(Above: There is a variety of complex flavors in this dish.)
Sometimes you find an amazing recipe: one that outdoes all others for the same dish. This is that recipe for short ribs.
The recipe is time consuming but it’s well worth the wait. I found it on Epicurious. Cookbook author Rick Rodgers said the editors of Bon Appétit magazine asked him to create the ultimate version of braised short ribs and this is what he came up with, based on elements of various short rib dishes he enjoyed at several restaurants. He did this some 15 years ago in 2003, and having made this recently I can say it stands the test of time.
I took it a step further by using short ribs I got at a local Massachusetts farm. I also had a pound of bacon and a chicken sausage I needed to cook, so I cooked them in the dutch oven before I cooked the short ribs. Before adding the ribs, I took out all of the oil left from the bacon and sausage except for about two tablespoons. I don’t think cooking bacon and sausage is necessary but I do believe it added even more depth to the wonderful flavors found in this dish.
I didn’t have any black olives so I used what I had on hand: olives stuffed with blue cheese. I also served the short ribs over mashed potatoes and covered it all in a blanket of the delicious sauce. Here’s the recipe. Bon appetite!
Short Ribs Provencale (From Rick Rodgers)
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 6 pounds individual short ribs (not cross-cut flanken)
- 3/4 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1 medium carrot, finely chopped
- 1 celery rib, finely chopped
- 12 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 tablespoon herbes de Provence
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups hearty red wine, such as Zinfandel or Shiraz
- 1 3/4 cups beef stock, preferably homemade, or reduced-sodium chicken broth
- One 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice, drained
- 1 bay leaf
- 8 ounces baby-cut carrots
- 1/2 cup Mediterranean black olives, such as Niçoise, pitted
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley for garnish
- Step 1 Preheat oven to 300°F.
- Step 2 Heat the oil in a large (at least 6-quart) Dutch oven or flameproof casserole over medium-high heat. Season the short ribs with the salt and pepper. In batches, without crowding, add the short ribs to the pot and cook, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, about 8 minutes. Using tongs, transfer the ribs to a platter.
- Step 3 Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat from the pot. Add the onion, chopped carrot, and celery to the pot and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, herbes de Provence, and flour and stir until the garlic gives off its aroma, about 1 minute. Stir in the wine and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Add the broth, tomatoes, and bay leaf. Return the short ribs, and any juices, to the pot. Add cold water as needed to barely reach the top of the ribs and bring to a boil over high heat.
- Step 4 Cover tightly, transfer to the oven, and bake, stirring occasionally to change the position of the ribs, until the meat is falling-off-the-bone tender, about 2 1/2 hours. During the last 15 minutes, add the baby carrots.
- Step 5 Transfer the short ribs to a deep serving platter and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm. Skim off the fat from the surface of the cooking liquid, and discard the bay leaf. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until the liquid is reduced to a sauce consistency, about 10 minutes (the exact time depends on the size of the pot). Add the olives and cook to heat them through, about 3 minutes. Season the sauce with salt and pepper.
- Step 6 Spoon the sauce with the carrots over the ribs, sprinkle with the parsley, and serve hot, preferably over mashed potatoes.