Scott Dolich, the chef and owner of Portland, Oregon's Park Kitchen restaurant and an F&W Best New Chef 2004, loves beef short ribs for their versatility. "It's a great cut for dinner parties," he says. "You can braise the short ribs a day or two in advance and warm them in the oven when you need them." Dolich simmers the short ribs in an aromatic sherry-infused broth, then pairs the meltingly tender meat with an ersatz risotto, replacing the rice with diced potatoes and apples.
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8 meaty beef short ribs (6 pounds)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
2 Granny Smith apples, cored and coarsely chopped
1 head of garlic, cloves peeled and smashed
1 carrot, coarsely chopped
1 celery rib, coarsely chopped
1 cup dry sherry
1 cup tomato puree
4 dried bay leaves
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
Freshly ground pepper
Potato-Apple "Risotto", for serving
How to Make It
Generously season the short ribs with salt, cover with plastic and refrigerate overnight. Bring the ribs to room temperature before cooking.
Preheat the oven to 325°. In a large skillet, heat the oil until shimmering. Add 4 of the short ribs and cook over moderately high heat until browned on all sides, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a roasting pan. Repeat with the remaining short ribs.
Add the onions, apples, garlic, carrot and celery to the skillet and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 8 minutes. Scrape the vegetables into the roasting pan. Add the sherry to the skillet and bring to a boil over high heat, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Add the tomato puree, bay leaves and chicken broth and bring to a boil. Pour the mixture over the short ribs. Cover the roasting pan with foil and bake for about 1 hour and 45 minutes, until the meat is very tender.
Transfer the short ribs to a platter and cover with foil. Strain the cooking liquid through a coarse sieve set over a large saucepan, pressing on the solids and pushing the vegetables through as much as possible. Skim off the fat with a ladle. Boil the sauce over high heat until reduced to 3 cups, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Set 2 short ribs on each plate and coat with sauce. Serve the Potato-Apple "Risotto" alongside.
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