These braised drunken beef short ribs have a crispy exterior that yields to a tender wine-braised centre.
Texture is a big deal when it comes to food. Take brisket, for example. We all seek to achieve that crusty exterior bark as a contrast to the impossibly soft flesh within. The same holds true for braised meats like these beef short ribs. It’s wonderful if you can cook them to extreme tenderness, but even better if you can get a little crunch to the same bite. The trick to making this happen is cooking them twice. Once for the soft and gentle braise, then a blast under the broiler to shock the outsides into a crustified state.
As for the drunken part? When brainstorming this recipe, I considered that most beef short rib recipes used either red wine or sugary soda as the braising liquid. You were forced to make a choice between sweetness or a richer depth of flavor. Until now! I found a way to harness the pleasant sweet notes AND the wine at the same time… and the answer is Manischewitz. If you’re not familiar, this difficult-to-spell cheap red wine is outrageously sweet. By wine standards, it’s not exactly taken seriously, but by cooking standards, it comes in really handy. I actually used it to create “drunken apples” to go along with this Crown Roast of Pork.
If you prefer, you can substitute the bone-in short ribs with boneless chuck ribs. You’ll find the cook time will be a little quicker. Effectively, boneless chuck ribs behave in much the same way – a tougher cut requiring gentle long cooking to get it to break down and transform in tenderness.
The most crucial step of this whole process is the browning phase. Patience is mandatory. Make sure you allow the ribs to brown in the pot at least 10-15 minutes per side to develop proper color and flavor. Any shorter and you’ll be doing yourself a disservice.Print