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Twice-Cooked Drunken Beef Short Ribs
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.
Twice-Cooked Drunken Beef Short Ribs
- 4-5 lb bone in short rib pieces
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 large carrots, diced
- 3 cups Manischewitz or sweet red wine
- 3 cups beef stock
- 1/4 cup Worcestershiore sauce
- bunch of thyme
- salt to taste
- Preheat an oven to 320f.
- Season the short ribs well on all sides with a generous amount of kosher salt.
- Place a dutch oven over high heat and add the olive oil. Working in batches, brown the short ribs, taking time to develop the crust. Set aside once browned.
- Add the onion and carrot to the pot the ribs were browned in, and reduce the heat to medium. Cook until vegetables have softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add wine, Worcestershire and thyme, and scrape up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pot. Bring to vigorous simmer and reduce liquid by half.
- Once liquid is reduced, add the stock and bring to the boil. Add in ribs in a single layer, cover and place in the oven for 2-3 hours, until the meat is tender and a knife can be pushed through without any resistance.
- Remove pot from oven, and turn on broiler to high. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper, then carefully remove ribs from pot and place onto tray, making sure there are no vegetables stuck to the surface of the meat.
- Place tray under broiler and brown for 7-10 minutes to create a dark and crusty exterior. Check the ribs every few minutes to ensure they do not burn. If they are burning on the edges without coloring, move to a lower rack or change broiler setting to low.
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