Wednesday, February 08, 2012

What's for Dinner?



The Noble Pig is a food blog I stumbled upon some years ago. I have tried several of her recipes and loved them all. I had never made short ribs before trying this recipe and I will warn you, this takes a little time.  Oh, but the end result--tender, succulent short ribs, meat falling off the bone and a delicious sauce.  Mashed potatoes would be a wonderful side. Perhaps this is just the ticket for a special Valentine's Day meal. Put the kids to bed early, light a few candles and enjoy a home date.  

Root Beer Short Ribs
Noble Pig

4-1/2 lbs. beef short ribs
salt and pepper
3 T vegetable oil, more as needed
2 medium yellow onions, cut into 1" wedges
3 large celery stalks, cut into 1-1/2" pieces
2 small carrots, cut into 1-1/2" pieces
1 head of garlic, sliced in half crosswise
10 thyme sprigs
2 bay leaves
1 rosemary sprig
1/2 t ground cumin
2 whole star anise
3 1/2 c beef broth
2 c root beer

1.  Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Season the ribs generously with salt and pepper.  In an 8-quart Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat oil on high.  In batches, brown ribs on all sides, about 20 minutes total.  If oil gets too dark during browning, pour off and add more oil but do not wipe pot clean.  Transfer the ribs to a plate and pour off all but 2 T fat from pot.   Add onions, celery, garlic, thyme, bay leaves, rosemary, cumin and star anise. Cook scraping up any browned bits, until onions are soft, 5 minutes.

2.  Return the ribs to the pot and add broth and root beer. Bring to a rapid simmer, cover and place pot in oven. Cook until meat can easily be pierced with the tip of a paring knife, about 3 hours.  (To store, refrigerate up to 4 days.)  With slotted spoon, transfer ribs to large straight sided skillet; discard solids by straining liquid through a fine-mesh sieve.  Skim off fat from cooking liquid.  If you have time, place liquid in the refrigerator for a little while, making it easier to discard the fat.

3.  Boil liquid and ribs over medium-high heat until liquid is reduced by half, about 20-30 minutes.  While boiling, periodically spoon liquid over meat, until ribs are glazed and sauce is thickened.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  (You can cook the short ribs up to four days ahead. Refrigerate, then skim, strain and reduce the cooking liquid before serving.)

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