Louisiana chef John Besh is known for his acclaimed restaurants. But when it comes to home cooking, he ensures his family is fed as well as his customers. Hearty short ribs is one of the few dishes in his new cookbook, My Family Table, that he cooks both at the restaurant and at home, and--since his restaurants don't braise short ribs to order--the process is the same. The slow-cooking process yields meat that collapses to create a dish that's rife with rich juices. Besh suggests following his restaurants' example and cooking the dish ahead of time, which allows the flavors to intensify and further simplifies a make-ahead dish.
Braised Short Ribs
Recipe adapted from John Besh, My Family Table (Andrews McMeel)
Yield: 8 servings
Cook Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
5 pounds beef short ribs, cut into individual ribs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons dried thyme
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cups dry red wine
6 cups beef broth
½ pound pearl onions, peeled and left whole
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 bay leaf
1. Season the short ribs with salt, pepper and the thyme. In a large cast-iron pot set over high heat, heat the olive oil. Add the ribs in batches and cook until each is browned, about 2 to 3 minutes. Turn the ribs over and brown an additional 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the ribs to a platter and set aside.
2. Lower the heat to medium-high and add the onions and carrots. Cook until soft, about 7 to 10 minutes, then add the celery and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables have turned deep brown, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and, continuing to stir frequently, cook another 3 minutes.
3. Return the ribs to the pot along with the wine, beef broth, pearl onions, rosemary and bay leaf. Raise the heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a low simmer, cover the pot and cook until the meat is tender and falls off the bone easily, about 2 to 3 hours. Discard the rosemary spring and bay leaf and serve warm.