Short Ribs Braised in Red Wine with Bacon, Parsnips, and Pearl Onions

Short Ribs Braised in Red Wine with Bacon, Parsnips, and Pearl Onions 

Serves 6
If braising and serving the ribs on the same day, bypass cooling the ribs in the braising liquid; instead, remove them from the pot straight out of the oven, strain the liquid, then let it settle so that the fat separates to the top. With a wide shallow spoon, skim off as much fat as possible and continue with the recipe. Though this recipe and the one that follows calls for the widely available English-style short ribs, both recipes will also work with flanken-style short ribs. (We actually prefer flanken-style ribs, but they are more expensive and difficult to find.) We like to serve these short ribs with mashed potatoes (see page 195), but they also taste good over egg noodles. For information about roasting pans, see the Equipment Corner. For information about Dutch ovens, see the Equipment Corner.

Short Ribs
6 pounds bone-in English-style short ribs,
trimmed of excess fat and silver skin, or
bone-in flanken-style short ribs

Salt and ground black pepper
3 cups dry full-bodied red wine
3 large onions, chopped medium
2 medium carrots, chopped medium
1 large celery stalk, chopped medium
9 medium cloves garlic, chopped (about
3 tablespoons)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
11/2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary leaves
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves
3 medium bay leaves
1 teaspoon tomato paste

bacon, pearl onion, and parsnip garnish
6 slices bacon (about 6 ounces), cut into
1/4-inch pieces
8 ounces frozen pearl onions (do not thaw)
4 medium parsnips (about 10 ounces), peeled
and cut diagonally into 3/4-inch pieces
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves

1. for the short ribs: Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Arrange short ribs bone-side down in single layer in large flameproof roasting pan; season with salt and pepper. Roast until meat begins to brown, about 45 minutes; drain off all liquid and fat with bulb baster. Return pan to oven and continue to cook until meat is well browned, 15 to 20 minutes longer. (For flanken-style short ribs, arrange ribs in single layer in large roasting pan; season with salt and pepper. Roast until meat begins to brown, about 45 minutes; drain off all liquid and fat with bulb baster. Return pan to oven and continue to cook until browned, about 8 minutes; using tongs, flip each piece and cook until second side is browned, about 8 minutes longer.) Transfer ribs to large plate; set aside. Drain off fat to small bowl and reserve. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees. Place roasting pan on two stovetop burners set at medium heat; add wine and bring to simmer, scraping up browned bits with wooden spoon. Set roasting pan with wine aside.

2. Heat 2 tablespoons reserved fat in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat; add onions, carrots, and celery. Sautee, stirring occasionally, until vegetables soften, about 12 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in flour until combined, about 45 seconds. Stir in wine from roasting pan, chicken stock, tomatoes, rosemary, thyme, bay leaves, tomato paste, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to boil and add short ribs, completely submerging meat in liquid; return to boil, cover, place in oven, and simmer until ribs are tender, about 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Transfer pot to wire rack and cool, partially covered, until warm, about 2 hours.

3. Transfer ribs from pot to large plate, removing excess vegetables that may cling to meat; discard loose bones that have fallen away from meat. Strain braising liquid into medium bowl, pressing out liquid from solids; discard solids. Cover ribs and liquid separately with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. (Can be refrigerated up to 3 days.)

4. for the garnish and to finish dish: In Dutch oven, cook bacon over medium heat until just crisp, 8 to 10 minutes; remove with slotted spoon to plate lined with paper towel. Add to Dutch oven pearl onions, parsnips, sugar, and salt; increase heat to high and saute, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 5 minutes. Spoon off and discard solidified fat from reserved braising liquid. Add defatted liquid to Dutch oven and bring to simmer, stirring occasionally; adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Submerge ribs in liquid; return to simmer. Reduce heat to medium and cook, partially covered, until ribs are heated through and vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes longer; gently stir in bacon. Divide ribs and sauce among individual bowls, sprinkle each with 1 tablespoon parsley, and serve.

VARIATION
Porter-Braised Short Ribs with Prunes, Brandy, and Lemon Essence
Brandy-soaked prunes take the place of vegetables here, so this version is particularly suited to a mashed root vegetable or potato accompaniment. Use a dark, mildly assertive beer, not a light lager.

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