We may not have won the game, but I won dinner! (Red Wine Braised Short ribs)

I love short ribs.  I have made several variations and they are always delicious.  My sister and I were at Costco a few months ago and split a pack of boneless short ribs.  They were sitting in my freezer and I kept meaning to use them.  I pinned several different variations including bulgogiMexican and fusion.  But I never made them and my short ribs moved from my basement apartment to my old yet new house and then into my current home.Hopefully, they would not descend into the freezer burned frozen tundra. 

I realized I would be home alone for the Alabama game and immediately thought of the ribs.  I always like to watch it at home and alone and cook a hearty meal and have a nice bottle of wine.  It makes me feel better in case we lose and pumps me up to hope for a win.   Short Ribs sounded like a plan!  I wanted to try something different, so I prepared to make Molly Stevens' braised and glazed ones.  

And then I invited friends over to watch the game...and I chickened out about making this recipe.  I decided I wanted to make it more traditional in case the new recipe came out bad.  And c'mon, it's the Alabama game, I have to not do something weird!  I decided instead to make a traditional red wine and tomato braise with veggies.  I made a good decision by adapting this recipe from Chew Nibble Nosh.  My guests loved it, and my tester the next day did too.  You will as well.  The sauce is so rich and you would think they were cooked all day and had bones.  It is not too greasy as there was less fat.  I served them over mashed cauliflower and it was a crowd pleaser!  Full recipe to follow the montage

I feel like no picture could do this meal justice.  But here you go.
The cast.  I would usually use a cab or heavier wine but I had Pinot Noir on hand.
Brown up those short ribs and then remove them to rest.
Cook up some onions to get them nice and caramelized.
I decided to add some celery for flavor too.  
Add some tomato sauce and get it blended well.  Boy that looks delicious!
Add in your whole cloves or garlic.  I have not seen my garlic peeler since this day sadly.

I decided to freeze the leftover paste.  Find my method and other freezer friends here!

Add in your liquids and bring to a simmer.

Add your carrots and thyme.

And then nestle in those chops.  Cover them up and stick them in the oven.

I decided to make mashed cauliflower instead of potatoes for us healthy ladies.
But I cheated and added a small potato.  See it in there peeking out?

You can't even tell which one it is if I didn't tell you!

Looks so good!
Back to the short ribs.  Hello friends!  I even had to add a little water, the sauce was so thick!

This is a bad pic but I was rushing to get it in my tummy and get back to the game!
So as you saw, I added celery to the mix.  I also left out something she does at the end, adding gelatin.  I googled for a good sub and was prepared to make a cornstarch slurry but ended up not needing it, the sauce was just so thick on its own!  I am going to leave that step out, but if you are feeling adventurous, check out her original recipe and try it!

Braised Beef Short Ribs (Adapted from Chew Nibble Nosh)
3½ lbs. boneless short ribs, trimmed of excess fat
kosher salt and pepper
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 large onions, peeled, halved and sliced
1 rib of celery, chopped
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
6 cloves garlic, peeled but kept whole
2 cups red wine (I used a Cabernet Sauvignon)
1 cup beef broth
4 large carrots peeled and cut into 3 inch chunks
4 sprigs fresh thyme

Adjust the oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat your oven to 300*F.  Pat the beef dry with paper towels and sprinkle, generously, with 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Heat 1 Tablespoon of the oil in a large heavy Dutch oven or pot over medium-high heat until the oil is smoking. Add half of the beef and cook, without moving the meat, for 4-6 minutes. Turn the beef over and continue to cook on the second side until well browned, another 4-6 minutes. Transfer the beef to a plate and set aside. Repeat with remaining oil and meat. Reduce the heat to medium and add the sliced onions to the pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and cooked down substantially, about 12-15 minutes. Add your celery and cook for 2-3 minutes to soften.  Add the tomato paste, stir continuously, and cook until the paste browns a bit, about 2 minutes.  Add the garlic, and stir until it's aromatic, about 30 seconds.  Increase the heat to medium-high, add the wine, and simmer, scraping the browned bits from the bottom of the pan, until the wine is reduced by half, about 8-10 minutes.  Add the broth, carrots and thyme. Add the beef and any accumulated juices to the pot. Cover, and bring to a simmer.  Transfer the pot to the oven and cook, using tongs to turn the meat twice during cooking, until a fork slips easily in and out of the meat, about 2 to 2½ hours.  Serve over mashed cauliflower, potatoes, grits or egg noodles.

Happy Cooking!


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