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John Besh's Braised Beef Short Ribs


Melt off the bone and in your mouth short ribs.

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  • 4 lbs beef short ribs, cut flanken style (across the bone) or English style (parallel to the
  • bone). Flanken are easier to deal with but slightly more fatty.
  • Coarse salt and black pepper
  • 3 cups zinfandel
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 6 oz canned chopped tomatoes
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme, picked off stem
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 oz canola oil
  • 1 large onion, diced (2 cups)
  • 2 medium carrots, diced (1/2 cup)
  • 2 stalks celery, diced (1/2 cup)
  • 2 oz dried mushrooms, preferably porcini



Step 1

Season short ribs with salt and pepper; be rather generous. In a mixing bowl, whisk together
zinfandel, sugar, tomatoes, beef broth, garlic, thyme, bay leaves, and a pinch of salt. 2. Pour canola
oil into a heavy pot or Dutch oven (at least 5 quarts) and place over high heat. When oil is hot,
working in small batches, brown the meat. Turn each piece to brown on all sides before removing
from the pot. (Tip: A sturdy pot that conducts heat well has a lot to do with the success of this dish.
Get yourself a cast-iron pot. It'll outlast you.) 3. When all beef is browned and removed from pot, add
onion, carrots, and celery, allowing onion to cook until browned, about 10 minutes, stirring
frequently. 4. Return beef to the pot along with wine mixture. Allow wine to come to a boil before
reducing heat, skimming fat from surface. 5. After simmering for several minutes, add mushrooms.
Cover and simmer over very low heat until meat is fork tender and nearly falling off the bone, about 1
1/2 to 2 hours. 6. Once the beef has cooked, remove from pot and keep warm. Turn up heat and
reduce the pot liquids until thickened, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 7.
Transfer ribs to four shallow bowls, spooning liquid over top.


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