Braised Short Ribs in a Red Wine Reduction

I haven’t posted a “fancy schmancy” meal in a while and on a whim I decided to make some braised short ribs.  Not just any short ribs though, but short ribs from Von Geertsem’s Butcher Shoppe. That’s right folks, I get my meats from a personal butcher.  Greg does not charge extra for his artistic meat cutting skills nor do his prices make your wallet hurt.  They’ve actually been the same for the past 3 years.

There’s something special about this place you see, it makes you feel important.  After meeting Greg only one time, the next time I came in he greeted me with a huge smile and a “Hey Joy how are you doing?” How did he remember my name?? But that’s the cool thing about Greg, he remembers everyone’s name — “I have the best customers in the whole world.” he’d tell me and since I am now one of them, I say I’d have to agree! :)

Okay with jokes aside, I’ve found that butcher shoppes in America are quickly dwindling down to extinction.  With large chain stores mass producing our meats at a cheaper cost, quality is always the first thing that goes out the window.  Aside from the unsanitary conditions the animals are raised in, many meat producers now pump CO2 gas and Nitrogen to keep their meats nice and pink  for up to 6 weeks.  Ever buy a pack of those steaks that looks nice and rosy on the outside but once you cut into it, it’s a dull and lifeless brown?  That’s why.  You’re buying rotten meat.

That probably makes your stomach churn, because let’s be honest we’ve all seen it and I’m sure most of us probably have eaten it whether you know it or not.  Save yourself.  Find your local butcher.  Strive to find quality products when you cook.  Yes it makes all the difference in the world.  Turning a blind eye to the unsanitary and unethical practicies of mass meat production facilities does not fix the problem — go ahead, explore! If your city does not have a local butcher, buy your meats direct from a livestock farmer.

For this recipe, I originally wanted to make a polenta cake to go along with it — unfortunately I recently transferred a bunch of flours into large UNLABELED containers and instead of using coarse corn meal I believe I used chickpea flour.  Poop. HOWEVER, the ribs were tender and rich and paired perfectly with the lemon thyme corn and vegetable ragout.  A good sign that you’ve made an amazing meal?  All plates are returned polished clean :) . I adapted this short rib recipe from Epicurious, it was apparently Daniel Boulud’s recipe which explains the excellent results.  Bon Apetit folks and have a great weekend!

Ingredients for Braised Short Ribs: (serves 4)

  • 3 bottles dry red wine
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 8 short ribs, trimmed of excess fat
  • Salt and crushed black peppercorns
  • Flour, for dredging
  • 8 large shallots, peeled, trimmed, split, rinsed and dried
  • 2 medium-sized carrots, peeled, trimmed and cut into 1-inch lengths
  • 2 ribs of celery, peeled, trimmed and cut into 1-inch lengths
  • 1 medium-sized leek (white and light-green parts), coarsely chopped, washed and dried
  • 10 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 6 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 bay leaves and 2 thyme sprigs
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 quarts unsalted beef broth
  • Freshly ground white pepper
  • Pour the wine into a large saucepan set over medium heat. When the wine is hot, carefully set it aflame. Let the flames die out, then increase the heat so that the wine boils; allow it to boil until it cooks down by half. Remove from the heat.

     Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 350°F.

    Warm the oil in a large, heavy, ovenproof pot over medium-high heat. Season the ribs all over with salt and the crushed pepper. Dust half of the ribs with about 1 tablespoon flour. Then, when the oil is hot, slip the ribs into the pot and sear 4 to 5 minutes on each side, until well-browned. Transfer the ribs to a plate. Repeat with remaining ribs. Remove all but 1 tablespoon of the fat from the pot, lower the heat under the pot to medium and toss in the vegetables and herbs. Brown the vegetables lightly, 5 to 7 minutes, then stir in the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute.

    Add the wine, ribs and broth to the pot. Bring to a boil, cover tightly and place in the oven to braise for 2 1/2 hours or until the ribs are very tender. Every 30 minutes, skim and discard fat from the surface. (It’s best to make the recipe to this point, cool and chill the ribs and broth in the pan overnight; scrape off the fat the next day. Rewarm before continuing.)

    Carefully transfer the meat to a platter; keep warm. Boil the pan liquid until it has reduced to 1 quart. Season with salt and white pepper and pass through a fine strainer; discard the solids. (The ribs and sauce can be combined and kept covered in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days. Reheat gently, basting frequently, on top of the stove or in a 350°F oven.)

    ** For the red wine reduction I tasted the meat juices and felt it needed a little bit of sugar.  I added 1/4 cup of brown sugar and allowed the liquids to reduce into a syrupy consistency, about 15 minutes on high heat.  To serve, plate the sides of your choice (I’ve chosen corn and vegetable ragout), place the meat on top and drizzle with the reduction.




    1. Posted 12 Aug ’10 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

      I love all the pics. Your dinner looks like a masterpiece! I love it!

    2. Posted 12 Aug ’10 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

      How awesome is it that you’ve not only got a butcher, but you’ve actually got one you’re on a first-name basis with? Love it.
      Your braised ribs look great. I’ve been craving long-simmered stewy stuff lately – I think it means I’m tired of summer and ready for cool fall weather to come. :) Our local butcher supplies beautiful beef ribs, so I think I’ll drop by his shop to say hello sometime soon, so’s I can make these for myself.

    3. Posted 12 Aug ’10 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

      This meal looks so good! I have never visited Von Geertsem’s but after your little meat anecdote and realizing that I’ve definitely been a victim of grey meat, I’m going to have to pay them a vist. I’ll tell ‘em, “Joy sent me.” :)

    4. Posted 12 Aug ’10 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

      Looks like a delicious fancy meal :) I love mixing those into the regular routine every now and then.

    5. Posted 12 Aug ’10 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

      indulgence! lovely dish :)

    6. Posted 12 Aug ’10 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

      looks fantastic ,joy,wonderful post and recipe!

    7. Posted 13 Aug ’10 at 12:05 am | Permalink

      After having grass fed and pastured meats there is no way I can ever go back. I know where my meat comes from, I know what they eat, and I know the people who raise the animals. It makes for better everything! Joy, as always, great post!

    8. Posted 13 Aug ’10 at 9:22 am | Permalink

      Beautiful, I have short ribs in the fridge for tonight’s dinner, so happy to find your recipe and photos for inspiration, thanks!

    9. Posted 13 Aug ’10 at 9:58 am | Permalink

      That looks so good. I love a good braised short ribs.

    10. Posted 13 Aug ’10 at 10:59 am | Permalink

      It is excellent that you have found a professional, local butcher. It is sadly true that this profession is a dying consumer resource. Great pictures and with 3 bottles of red wine…decadent short ribs!

    11. Posted 13 Aug ’10 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

      I don’t care what time of year it is you can rarely go wrong with a braised dish done this well.

    12. Posted 13 Aug ’10 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

      That’s great that you are on a first name basis with your butcher. I learned today that there is a new bill threatening small farmers. Check out the Food Safety Modernization Act, and write your representatives to voice your opinions.

    13. Posted 13 Aug ’10 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

      What a fantastic dish, and gorgeous presentation…Lovely :)

    14. Posted 14 Aug ’10 at 4:31 am | Permalink

      Oh my, how cool is him to remember all his customers’ name! Not esy at all, you know! I bet he’s a great guy. And the presentation looks stunning. I’m sure it taste as fabulous, Joy! Have fun and enjoy your weekend.
      Cheers, kristy

    15. Posted 14 Aug ’10 at 5:00 am | Permalink

      The dish looks scrumptious, ribs with red wine, yummy!!

    16. Posted 15 Aug ’10 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

      I totally agree; I would much rather buy the meat from a butcher I know than some supermarket chain, even if the cost is more. This meal is splendid! I am so hungry just looking at the ingredients and the photo!

    17. Posted 17 Aug ’10 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

      Simple beautiful, Joy! I love going to the butcher over a supermarket. I love the taste and quality of the meat and also I’m more certain that it comes from a small farm rather than a large slaughterhouse.

      This meal looks so fantastic and the photos are so gorgeous that I can almost taste it. :)

    18. Posted 19 Aug ’10 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

      I’m really shocked i wasn’t invited for this dinner! Did i miss the phone call? :)
      Wow, that looks extremely delicious. Short ribs is one of my favorite thing to cook/eat. Now keep that in mind. :P

    19. Posted 20 Aug ’10 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

      This definitely beats the meals I had while dining out on vacation. Wish I could have had this short rib plate instead of the flops I had in Maui. Beautiful once again!

    20. Posted 6 Oct ’10 at 8:04 am | Permalink

      I just found your site on Foodbuzz, I followed a link for “Poached Eggs with Smoked Provolone and Pistu”, then I saw the link to this page, and ironically I just made Braised Beef Short Ribs about a month ago.

      I learned some interesting facts when doing so. I discovered that not all short ribs are created equally. There are actually quite a few different ways to cut short ribs. The ribs can be separated and cut into short lengths, about 2 inches long, called an “English cut” or they can be cut across the bones, about 1/2 inch thick, called a “flanken cut”. They can also be boneless, or butterflied.

      Not knowing this, I had a recipe for Braised Short Ribs, and I went to about three different butcher shops in my area before I found them. I was expecting the English cut, that are so popular for this recipe, but I ended up with Flanken cut. Not a huge problem, they tasted great, but didn’t quite have the “look” of a short rib. So make sure to specify which style of cut you’d like.

      I also discovered that Braised Short Ribs taste even better the next day. After they cool in the pan, place them in a glass or plastic container, cover and put in the refrigerator. The next day, place back in a pan on the stove-top and reheat. In fact, get the pan nice and hot, and put a little sear on them. It creates a nice crust on the outside. Talk about heaven on a plate!


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