Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Comfort Food - Cabernet-Braised Short Ribs

It's not that I haven't been cooking lately, I have. I've been cooking for five actually, which is a huge accomplishment for a girl used to cooking for one or two. Making sure you have enough for everyone and that it all works out mathematically, well, that's not exactly my strong suit.

Earmarking a good recipe, that I can do. Pulling it all together and whipping up a Cabernet reduction, I can do that as well. Math, however...that's another story. Thank god for conversion calculators.

But the point is, I'm here. I've been cooking. I just haven't been getting good pictures. It seems night falls around 3pm here in Portland, and the food never seems to last long enough to get a decent picture. So I can't exactly show you how good the Cabernet-Braised Short Ribs were over Gorgonzola Polenta with a Mixed Herb Gremolata. You'll just have to take my word for it. And, I mean really, doesn't that sound pretty good? Serious winter comfort food. Perfect for when there's freezing fog outside and the rain continues for days on end. Thanks Portland, you really know how to welcome a Californian!

Anyway, it was good. Damn good. And can I tell you something else, something kind of shocking? I'd never made polenta before. Well, not the kind that you add broth to and stir. The "cut a slice off from a tube" Trader Joe's kind I've done. This new-to-me stuff is far superior. Add cheese and cream to it and it was gone in seconds flat. It's a keeper.

Well done self. Family approved meal. Even the 6 year old and the toddler liked it.

Recipes for the Gorgonzola Polenta and Mixed Herb Gremolata meant to be served with this dish will follow this week. No pictures of the final plating, but really, you can't go wrong.

Cabernet-Braised Short Ribs
from Bon Appetit
serves 8

8 lbs short ribs
2 tbs fresh rosemary, chopped
2 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
1 tbsp kosher salt
1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 750ml bottles Cabernet Sauvignon
2 tbsp butter, room temp
2 tbsp flour

Season the meat with the salt, pepper, rosemary and thyme overnight before cooking.

Arrange the ribs in a single layer in a 15x10 baking dish. Season with the salt, pepper, rosemary and thyme. Cover and let sit in the refrigerator overnight. Let stand at room temp for 1 hour before continuing.

Preheat the oven to 375. Heat 2 tbsp of vegetable oil in a heavy, wide ovenproof pot over medium-high heat. Working in batches, brown the meat on all sides, about 8 minutes per batch, adding more oil to the pot if needed. Transfer the ribs to a plate, and pour out the drippings in the pan, discard. Add the wine to the pot and bring to a simmer, scrapping up all the brown bits. Return the ribs to the pot; bring to a boil. Cover; transfer to the oven and braise until the meat is very tender, about 2 hours.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the ribs to a large bowl; cover tightly to keep warm. Skim any fat from the top of the braising liquid. Boil until the liquid is reduced to 2 generous cups. About 20 minutes.

Mix 2 tbsp butter and 2 tbsp flour with a fork in a small bowl until well blended, whisk into the reduced braising liquid over medium-high heat until the sauce thickens, about 2 minutes.

Serve over Gorgonzola Polenta and garnish with Mixed Herb Gremolata.


  1. Um, hello delicious! How about recipes for the polenta and gremolata? This sounds amazing.

    I thought of you when our train stopped (briefly) in Portland last week on our way up to Olympia. Let's get together soon!