This is a wonderful main dish to serve at a dinner party because most of the prep happens well before the gathering. Short Ribs tend to be on the fattier side, but do try to get the leanest ones possible. For this particular meal, I doubled the recipe as I was hosting a dinner party for 8 – giving each person the opportunity to have two short ribs each. I needed two large, 6-7 qt., Dutch Ovens to accommodate the number of short ribs and doubled the recipe below. A side dish I enjoy serving with this is Parmesan Polenta. I find the texture of the polenta holds up nicely to the rich sauce of the short ribs. Complete the meal with a tossed green salad – which can be prepared ahead of time by chopping all of the ingredients a couple hours before one’s guests arrive, storing in ziplock bags in the refrigerator and combined and tossed with the dressing of your choice at meal time.
Braised Short Ribs recipe – serves 6-8
3 T all-purpose flour
Salt and black pepper
8 beef short ribs
1/4 cup olive oil
2 oz. pancetta, chopped
2 yellow onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 t red pepper flakes
2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
2 T tomato paste
1 T sugar
1 cup (8 fl. oz.) dry red wine (I use Meomi Pinot Noir)
1 – 14.5 oz. can no salt added diced tomatoes
1 cup (8 fl. oz.) unsalted beef broth
1/4 cup (2 fl. oz.) balsamic vinegar
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs each fresh rosemary and thyme
1 T dried oregano
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine flour, 1 t salt and 3/4 t pepper. Turn the ribs in the flour mixture, coating thoroughly and shaking off excess.
In a large, heavy Dutch Oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Sear the ribs, turning occasionally, until evenly browned on all sides. Transfer to a plate.
Add the pancetta to the pot and sauté until crisp.
Add the onions and sauté until beginning to soften.
Stir in the garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add the carrots, tomato paste and sugar and cook, stirring often, until well blended. Add the wine and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan.
Stir in the tomatoes and their juices, broth and vinegar and bring to a boil.
Return the ribs to the pot with the tomato mixture.
Add the bay leaves, rosemary and thyme sprigs and oregano. Cover with lid, place in oven on lower rack and cook until the ribs are very tender, about 2 hours.
Skim as much fat as possible from the cooking liquid, discard the bay leaves and serve.