We may be in the middle of summer here in Florida, but from time to time I crave a nice piece of perfectly and patiently braised beef. The only downfall of making beef short ribs is that they take some time to prepare. The dish is perfect for a weekend or for special occasions.
The last time I prepared them, I did it the traditional way seared and braised on really low flame for several hours. The side item that I chose was a savory and sweet butternut squash polenta and the sauce to top the short ribs was a port wine and orange-infused demi-glace, which made for a pefect sweet and savory dish combination. I hope you like this recipe as much as I did.
Braised beef short ribs
2 ounces olive oil
3 pounds trimmed and boneless beef short ribs
Salt to taste
Black pepper to taste
Season the short ribs with salt and pepper and let rest for about 10-15 minutes at room temperature heat the oil in a skillet then once very hot place the short ribs in skillet and sear the meat on all sides should not be on the heat for longer than 5 minutes (you only need a nice sear on the meat)
Brown Sauce (simmering liquid)
8 ounces yellow onion, medium diced
5 ounces carrots, medium diced
5 ounces celery, medium diced
5 ounces butter
6 ounces flour
3.5 quarts beef stock (reserve 1/2 quart on side; store brought beef broth will work perfect as well)
3 ounces tomato paste
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoons thyme
6 sprigs parsley
1- 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
Saute vegetables until browned, moving
constantly then add the flour to form a roux. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. Add the tomato puree, bay leaves, thyme and celery until well mixed, then add just a small portion of the beef stock to help break any lumps of flour.
Add the remaining stock. Let simmer at low heat for about 20-25 minutes. Mix liquid sporadically to ensure it is not scorching the bottom of the pot; once it's done it should have the consistency of a light gravy, not to thin or runny.
Strain liquid through a fine mesh strainer, reserving all the liquid and discarding all the solids. Reserve 1/2 quart of the brown sauce and set aside. Then return the rest of the sauce to the pot and bring back to a low simmer; place the seared short ribs in simmering liquid then bring to a very low simmer and cover.
Let cook for 2-3 hours occasionally, stirring to ensure meat is not sticking to the bottom of the pot. When they are finished they should be fork tender.
Orange and Port wine infused Demi-Glace
1/2 quart of brown sauce
1/2 quart beef stock/broth
2 cups port wine
1- 1/2 cups orange juice (pulp free)
Place the beef stock and the brown sauce in a soup pot and simmer at very low heat for at least 1 hour until liquid is reduced by half. In a separate pot you will place the port wine and let reduce at medium heat (it might flame briefly), then add the orange juice and simmer for 5 minutes, then incorporate this mixture into the demi-glace that has come close to finish; simmer the mixture for 5 more minutes and it should be done
For plating, place the braised short ribs on a nice helping of yellow rice or garlic mashed potatoes and drizzle the demi-glace on top of the short rib.
Rov Avila, a native of Honduras, is executive chef at YachtSea Grille and a culinary arts instructor at MTI Culinary Arts.