Short Ribs Braised with Aromatic Vegetables and Red Wine
3 Tbs Olive Oil
1/4 c. flour
Salt and pepper to taste
4 lbs beef short ribs (ask your butcher to trim them into 2-inch sections)
2 large shallots, sliced
1 medium fennel bulb, sliced thin
2 carrots, cut into medium cubes
4 garlic cloves, smashed
2 sprigs rosemary
2 Tbs tomato paste
2 cups beef stock
2 c. red wine (use a good quality bottle)
Preheat the oven to 350°. Pat the ribs dry with a paper towel and dust them with flour. Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large, oven-proof dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid. Add the ribs and brown them in the olive oil in a single layer. Cook them in two batches if necessary depending on the size of the pot. Remove once brown and set aside.
Lower the heat to medium and add the vegetables. Brown them slowly until they caramelize, stirring frequently. (About 15-20 minutes.) Add the tomato paste and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the wine and stock, scraping the bottom of the pan to release any brown, flavorful bits. Return the ribs to the pot along with the rosemary. Bring to a boil and then remove from the heat, put the lid on the pot, and place in the oven. Cook for 90 minutes, checking once or twice to make sure the liquid hasn’t boiled away. If the pan is dry or starting to burn, add more stock. Once the meat is starting to pull away from the bone and is extremely tender, remove from the oven.
Remove the ribs and strain the braising liquid, pressing the vegetables. Skim the fat from the liquid. If the liquid is thin, return it to the pot and cook over high heat until it is reduced. The finished sauce should coat a spoon.
Serve ribs and sauce over mashed potatoes or polenta.