Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Dan Barber's Braised Short Ribs

Wanna know what the absolute perfect dinner party dish is? Well, it's right here. Braised short ribs, made even better because the recipe comes from Dan Barber himself, via Food 52. You'll have a bit of work to do in the afternoon before your guests arrive (start a good 5 hours before anyone is expected), but then you'll be left with approximately four glorious hours of time in which you can prep the salad, run out and get wine, walk the dog, get a mani/pedi (seriously, you've got time), put on a face mask, catch up on a couple of episodes of Scandal, and generally go about your normal weekend relaxation routine, while this delightful set of ribs braises itself right into the comfort-food-starved hearts of your future guests.

By the time everyone is ringing the doorbell brandishing bottles of red, you will be so thoroughly relaxed and rejuvenated, everyone will look at your glowing visage and think "How the hell did she do that?!" Which is what all of us secretly want when having people over for dinner. Voilà. I give you Dan Barber's amazing short ribs. xo

Braised Short Ribs
Serves 4-6 
5 pounds beef short ribs, bone on
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 celery rib, chopped
2 garlic cloves, skin left on
1 1/2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 tablespoon Worchestershire sauce (I used HP Sauce)
1 tablespoon tamarind concentrate (I used Umami paste)
2 fresh (or dry) bay leaves
1/2 cup Madeira
1 cup red wine
2 to 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth

Heat the oven to 225 degrees. Season the short ribs with salt and pepper. Heat a large heavy Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the oil, then the short ribs (add them in batches, if necessary) and brown on all sides. Transfer the ribs to a plate as they finish browning. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat.

Add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic to the pot, reduce the heat to medium, and cook until the vegetables are soft and all the browned bits in the base of the pot have been loosened. Put the short ribs (and any juices that have collected on the plate) back in the pot.

Add the light brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, tamarind paste, and bay leaves. Pour in the Madeira and red wine. Add enough chicken broth to just cover the ribs. Bring the liquid to a boil, then cover the pot and transfer to the oven.

Braise the shortribs until they are very tender when pierced with a fork, about 4 hours (longer if the short ribs are big). Using a slotted spoon, transfer the shortribs to a plate. Let the cooking liquid settle; spoon off as much fat as possible (ideally, you'd do this over the course of two days and would, at this point, put the liquid in the fridge overnight and peel off the layer of fat in the morning). Set the pot on the stove over medium high heat. Bring the cooking liquid to a boil and reduce to a syrupy consistency.

Lay a short rib or two in each of 4 wide shallow bowls. Spoon over a little sauce. Serve proudly.


  1. Perfect. Love the 225 for 4 hours

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