Braised Short Ribs


Oh boy. If you haven't ever experienced the pure bliss that is short ribs, do it now. I made them for the first time on Sunday night, and now I'm having an affair. Cheating on my husband with short ribs...is that allowed? I can't stop thinking about them. And all they did was slow roast down into a tender, flavorful, melt-in-your-mouth meat...how is that for courtship? I think John tried a lot harder.

The funny thing about short ribs is the price. Have you ever ordered them in a restaurant? They're not cheap. But in a grocery store, they're one of the cheapest things in the meat case. What a pleasant surprise.

Recipe:
Here they are, the new loves of my life:
Amazing, cute little fat short ribs. About to rock your world. Just kidding, that was weird. Let's get to the point...

Start with the bacon. Cook the bacon in a dutch oven over medium heat until very crisp.
I used this very heavy cast iron pot that seals very tightly - it was perfect for this. Plus it looks good.
You'll notice my oven is pulled away from the wall. It broke. I don't know what happened but I think I made it work a little too hard. So, I ended up having to make these stovetop, but normally I would do the long slow-roasting part in the oven.  Anyway, back to the bacon.  Cook the bacon until very crisp, to render all the fat. Meanwhile, salt, pepper, and flour the short ribs (skip this if cooking GF). Transfer the bacon to a plate, and turn the heat to med-high. Place the floured short ribs in the hot pan to brown all sides....about 45 seconds on each side. Add a little olive oil if there is not enough fat in the pan from the bacon. That's a gross sentence. But do it, add more fat. We all know this dinner isn't on the Weight Watchers meal plan.
Once the meat is browned on all sides, transfer to a plate and reduce the heat to medium.
Add the carrots and onions to the pot, cooking for about 15 minutes.
 Keep stirring...
Reduce the heat to medium-low. Now it gets fun. Take out a bottle of wine.
And start pouring, about 2.5 cups.
Pour yourself a glass, preferably by a fireplace.
Those are both for me.

Continue cooking and stirring, bringing to a boil and then reducing it down...about 5 minutes.  Add an equal amount of beef broth, about 2 cups. Stir and cook for a couple minutes.  Add the meat back in the pot.

Then I picked some fresh thyme and rosemary from my herb garden.
And threw them in...
 Then the magic begins. Cover the pot, turn the heat to low, and simmer for a solid 2 1/2 hours. Or, you can put the pot in the oven at 350 degrees for 2 1/2 hours. That is probably easier, and the method I would have used had my oven not protested. Walk away, and leave it alone. The smell will make you want to sing from the rooftop, if you're into that.

2 1/2 hours later...
Tender, fall-off-the-bone deliciousness....some of them will come right of the bone, by the way. That's a good thing. Remove the meat to a plate. You'll want to let it sit for about 15-20 minutes before serving, to let it settle.
Place the pot on the stove top and turn the heat up to medium-high to boil and thicken. Ladle out any fat that rises to the top. Mix the corn starch with about 1/4 cup water, and add to the gravy. It should really start to thicken up. If not, you can add more corn starch (always mixing with water first to avoid lumps).

Finally, it's time. These should be served over something like mashed potatoes, to soak up the gravy and make this the best meal you ever had.
Get ready to eat your face off.

PS...these might even be better the next day, so if you need to make ahead, do it.

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