Short Ribs

My first experience with Short Ribs was a couple of years ago…. you see… my real day job… when I’m working, is as a consultant testing computer systems… and as with many a consulting job… travel is part of the deal… now I have traveled to many a place I would not have ordinarily have chosen to go to… but I got relatively lucky on one of my assignments… I worked in Providence, Rhode Island. I loved the city and its friendly people… and the restaurants were absolutely terrific… when the weather warmed up a bit… I sampled many of the cities terrific restaurants.

My assignment started in the middle of February… a cold time of year for Providence…. the wind coming off the ocean is bitter and biting… so for the first month or so… I stayed close to my hotel… just glad to get there after work and curl up in a warm room. The hotel, as it turned out, had an excellent chain restaurant on the main floor… Shula’s… a really great steakhouse…yep.. that’s Don Shula of Miami Dolphins fame.

The service was excellent and the food was… also excellent… albeit… I did get a bit tired of beef.. but what they had… and believe me over the months I worked my way through the menu… was all good. .. but I loved… absolutely loved… the short ribs. The meat was so tender it just melted in my mouth… just wonderful.

So when I finished the assignment… I decided to find myself a short rib recipe that would be close to theirs. I found it about a year later.. while watching the Neely’s on the Food Network.. I watched the episode where they made their short ribs… as I sat there watching I realized it sounded like it would be very close to what I had in Providence… so I tried it… and while not exactly the same as I remembered, it was very close to Shula’s.

It is extremely easy… one pot… a little prep work.. a lot of time in the oven.


The Neely’s recipe lists the short ribs as about 6 pounds… I made just under two pounds … I know it looks like a lot of meat when raw… but remember the weight includes the bones…. so it really isn’t a lot…

Even though I cut back on the amount of meat.. I kept ingredient quantities the same from their recipe… except I used a little more chopped carrots… I used about a cup of chopped carrots… their recipe called for only 1 carrot, which I didn’t think was enough…. we like them and I wanted a little more vegetables…

I also cut back the amount of oil I used. I also used only two tablespoons of oil to sear the ribs… the oil plus the amount of fat that came off the meat was more than enough for all the ribs and sautéing the vegetables.

If you don’t want that many servings, you can do as I did and have a lot of leftover vegetables and gravy… which was fine by us… I will use it with another meat … probably pork chops and get another meal out of it… it is delicious… too delicious not to use in another recipe…or… you can cut the recipe back…

Instead of fresh thyme, I used dried thyme.

I used extra virgin olive oil because it can handle high heat better than regular olive oil.

This recipe was very easy to put together… I do recommend that you prep everything first… because the steps go very quickly.

For the wine, I used Cabernet Sauvignon.

I served the spare ribs with Creamy Mashed Potatoes or you can do as the Neely’s suggest… serve them with stone ground grits.

This is a truly wonderful recipe… I hope you try it!

Recipe: Short Ribs

All you need:

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
6 pounds of beef short ribs (see tips above)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
About 1 cup chopped carrots
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cups dry red wine
3 cups low-sodium beef stock
1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes
About ½ teaspoon thyme
1 bay leaf
Zest of 1 orange
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley (for garnish)

All you need to do:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large Dutch oven over high heat.

Season the short ribs with salt and freshly ground pepper.

Reduce the heat to medium and brown the ribs for about 6 minutes a side. You will need to do this in batches… even though I used less meat than called for in the recipe… I still had to do it in batches.

Remove the short ribs to a plate.

Add the onions, garlic, carrots and celery. Season with salt and pepper. Saute the vegetables until the onions are softened, stirring often (about 5 minutes).

Add the tomato paste and wine and stir well. Cook for about a minute.

Add the stock, diced tomatoes, dried thyme and bay leaf.

Add the short ribs and any juices that are on the plate back into the Dutch oven.

Add the orange zest.

Cover with a heavy lid and place in the preheated oven.

Braise for 3 hours or until the meat is very tender.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve the ribs on top of the mashed potatoes and spoon the vegetables and sauce over it.

Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.

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