This dish is not unlike luxurious beef bourguignon, or beef Burgundy but is better as the meat is better. Dried porcini are available in many supermarkets, but don’t worry if you can’t find them. Many recipes use tomato paste in lieu of tomatoes. Gordon Ramsey tops his version with cremini mushrooms sautéed with wonderful crispy pancetta which is splendid idea. Julia Child and the French use baby pearl onions in the stew which further enhances the appearance of the final product. Go ahead, and try it, just do not use frozen onions as that have the wrong character producing the wrong mouth feel. The only laborious thing about this dish is that it requires time and attention but anyone with patience can pull off a fabulous result worthy of the finest French restaurant.
Olive oil, for frying
8 Large beef short ribs
4 Cloves garlic, chopped
32 Ounces diced tomatoes
1 bottle of burgundy (Pinot Noir), Chianti, merlot or zinfandel wine
1 cup chopped salted pork
Beef stock as required
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped carrots
1 Vidalia onion chopped
10 bay leaves
Fresh rosemary, chopped
Good pinch of crushed red pepper
10 Dried porcini mushrooms
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Balsamic vinegar, to taste at the end
1 Tablespoon of sugar, to taste at the end
Thicken sauce with wonder flour a little at a time, at the end of the cooking cycle. Chopped Italian parsley and chopped scallion greens to garnish
Preheat the oven to 360 F
Heat a Dutch oven adding a 1/3 cup olive oil when hot. Brown short ribs on all sides really then remove to a plate. Pour off all but four tablespoons of the oil. Add the mirepoix (celery, carrots, and onion) and salted pork cooking on medium until onions begin to clear. Add all the spices (except Bay leaves which are added later whole), salt1 and pepper and garlic. Cook one minute while stirring. Add diced tomatoes, dried mushrooms and all of the wine. Deglaze the pan, scraping up the bits at the bottom. Cook on low until the wine is reduced by half 10-20 minutes. Add in the meat, bone side down. Pour in beef stock so meat is covered to a depth of an inch or so but not so the meat is covered. Tuck in the bay leaves careful not to break as these will be removed at the end of cooking as inedible) Place tight fitting lid on Dutch oven making a good seal (use tin foil if necessary.)
Braise short ribs in preheated oven for 2 ½ - 3 ½ hours, basting now and then until the meat is fork tender and falling away from the bone. During the basting, check the stock level, replenish with added beef stock as indicated.
Remove and discard bay leaves. Thicken sauce a bit with flour. Correct the seasoning as required adding a bit of balsamic and sugar, salt to taste. When the short ribs are ready, gently serve over buttered wide egg noodles topped with spoonfuls of the sauce and garnished with parsley and chopped scallion greens.
- Initially, use less salt than you might be inclined, as the salt pork is quiet salty. At the end, you will correct, as necessary.
- For variations, add port, brandy, scotch, Madeira to the wine reduction stage to bolden the flavors.
- Additional garnish might include a sauté of wild mushrooms.