Try to prepare this dish a day in advance. After you trim fat and reheat the ribs, you can carefully lift the meat out of the sauce, discard the bones and brown the meat in the oven for 10 minutes at 400 degrees F to crisp the edges. You can also add about 1/2 pound sliced mushrooms to the juices at that point and cook for 8 minutes.
Yield: 3 to 4 servings
- 3 to 4 T. canola oil
- 6 to 8 short ribs (about 2 per person)
- flour for dredging (optional)
- 1/4 cup cognac or brandy (optional)
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 cup red wine
- 1-plus cup beef broth
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tsp. dried thyme leaves
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup port (optional)
Heat oil in large Dutch oven over high heat. Dredge ribs in flour, if using, and brown well on all sides, working in sections and setting aside as they’re done. If ribs release a great deal of fat, spoon off some of it. Before returning ribs to pot, sauté onions and garlic in remaining fat, until soft. Add cognac if using, and let most of it boil off, or carefully light cognac on fire in pot, and let it burn off. Add wine, broth, bay leaf, thyme, and salt and pepper. Cook 2 to 4 hours on stove top or in 325-degree -F oven. Check ribs from time to time to see if more broth is needed, or add 1/4 cup port toward end of cooking. When meat softens, remove bones. Liquid should be reduced considerably.
Serve with noodles or mashed potatoes. Bitter greens, such as escarole or broccoli rabe, are nice with this dish, as well.
After browning, place ribs, sautéed onion and garlic, bay leaf, 1 tsp. thyme, salt and pepper in slow cooker. Add broth, 1/2 cup wine and 2 T. cognac or brandy. Cook on low for 8 hours, adding more broth during cooking if the dish appears to be drying out. Add port and warm through, about 5 minutes.
Use the leftovers in Ragu!