Executive chef Jeff Armstrong's braised short ribs are a big seller at 17 at the Sam Houston Hotel in Houston. That's good news for the restaurant—short ribs are an inexpensive cut, so profit margins are high—and good news for anyone interested in trying Marcia Kiesel's adaptation. We braise the meat until it's fork-tender and succulent, then pair it with crisp celery-root pancakes and soft, buttery cipollini onions.
Affordable Meat Recipes
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
5 1/2 pounds beef short ribs (8 ribs), trimmed of excess fat
Salt and freshly ground pepper
8 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 medium carrot, thinly sliced
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 medium celery rib, thinly sliced crosswise
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup dry red wine
1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
1 bay leaf
5 cups water
3/4 pound cipollini onions (about 20), peeled
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 325°. In a medium roasting pan, heat the vegetable oil. Season the ribs with salt and pepper and cook over moderately high heat until browned on both sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer the ribs to a large bowl. Add the garlic, carrot, onion and celery to the roasting pan and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 8 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, until glossy, about 1 minute. Add the red wine and boil over high heat until reduced by half, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan, about 4 minutes. Add the cloves, cinnamon stick, bay leaf and water and bring to a boil. Return the ribs to the pan and simmer for 1 minute. Remove from the heat.
Cover the ribs with a sheet of parchment paper, then cover with foil. Bake until the short ribs are very tender, about 2 hours. Let the ribs cool slightly.
Skim the fat from the surface of the ribs, then transfer the ribs to a large bowl. Strain the pan sauce into a medium saucepan and skim off the fat. Boil the pan sauce over high heat until reduced to 1 1/2 cups, about 12 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Return the ribs to the roasting pan, pour the sauce on top and keep hot over low heat.
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the cipollini until just tender, about 10 minutes; drain well.
In a medium skillet, melt the butter. Add the cipollini, season with salt and pepper and cook over moderate heat until nicely browned, about 8 minutes.
Transfer the short ribs to plates and spoon the cipollini alongside. Spoon the sauce over the ribs and serve, passing the Celery-Root Pancakes at the table.
Look to France's Rhône region for a Gigondas.
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