My family is from Southern Italy so braising is not a technique I grew up with, but rather I stumbled upon it accidentally when I was making brasciole once. After I browned the meat, I stuck the whole pot in the oven at a low heat and let it cook because I went to sleep! In the morning I had the most delicious thick ragu that I could ever imagine possible, but the meat itself was dry as a bone-the best parts of it came out into the sauce. What I realized later was that I actually braised the brasciole, only I let it go way too long in the oven!
This inspired me to try a dish more typical of Piemonte, Italia- Braised Short Ribs. It turned out to be the easiest dish I have made in a long while and was more delicious than I could ever imagine. Here’s the recipe and what I did:
Braised Short Ribs
- 2 tablespoons EVOO
- 2 racks of short ribs (with 4 ribs on each strip)
- 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
- 1 celery stalk, cleaned and chopped
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 cup chopped tomatoes or tomato sauce
- 1 cup red wine
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano or marjoram
- 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 1/4 cup freshly chopped basil
- Salt and Pepper
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Brown the ribs in the EVOO over medium-high heat in a dutch oven pot like this one:
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You can get Rachael’s Cast Iron Dutch Oven here-I highly recommend it!
Make sure to brown ribs on all sides then remove the ribs and put aside on a plate. Salt and pepper the ribs once on the plate.
Add the carrot, celery, onion, and garlic and saute until translucent, for about 5 minutes. Clear a spot and add the tomato paste and stir it on the bottom of the pan so it toasts up. Mix it together with the veggies and then add the sauce, wine, stock, bay leaf and the herbs. Stir it all together, add the ribs back, cover it with the lid and stick it in the oven for 2 hours. Stir things up about every 45 minutes.
About 20 minutes before the 2 hours is up, you can make polenta or risotto, or you can go carb-free but that’s no fun and you really don’t want to lose any of these juices, trust me. Place a dollop of the polenta or risotto in a bowl and then place one rib on top and cover with the sauce. Serve with a crusty bread and red wine.
This is insanely good!