So in all the years I’ve been cooking, I’ve never made short ribs. I know, right? But on a trip to NYC, I dined at Via Carota in the West Village and ate their short rib pappardelle. Wow, just wow! What an amazing dish with great depth of flavor. I was instantly a short ribs fan and I knew I had to make short ribs at home!
While looking over recipes, Gordon Ramsey’s video on Slow-cooked Beef Short Ribs caught my eye and it seemed simple enough so I gave it a try. I made the recipe without changes and only one substitution – bacon for pancetta. It’s what I had on hand.
As with any recipe, read it first, have your ingredients and equipment prepped and ready to go – especially if you don’t have a sous chef. It will make the process smoother.
I set the meat out about 20 minutes before I started cooking to get the chill out. It cooks more even this way. I generously seasoned with kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper. When the pan was hot and the olive oil sizzled, I added the ribs. You want to sear the beef on all sides, about 10-15 minutes or a few Frank Sinatra songs and a glass of wine.
When all sides are browned (and don’t rush this process), add the garlic, cut side down, in the pan and move them around the pan so it flavors the oil. Add the tomato puree and cook the puree out for a minute or so in the oil, stirring the paste around in the pan. Pour a bottle of red wine to deglaze the pan and scrape down all the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring to a boil and cook for 15 minutes until wine is reduced by half. Add beef broth to nearly cover the ribs. Bring to a boil again and baste the ribs with the liquid before preparing them for the oven.
Cover the roasting pan with foil and cook in a 350° preheated oven for 3-4 hours. Baste every hour or so. Depending on the size of your pan, you may need more liquid. Almost three hours into the cooking process, I had to add more beef broth – about half a container of beef broth. My roasting pan was probably too big to begin with. Next time I’ll use a dutch oven. At this time I also reduced my oven temperature to 330°.
Since I didn’t have pancetta, I used bacon. I cooked my bacon and mushrooms accordingly, minced the parsley garnish and set it aside.
After 3 hours and 45 minutes, the meat was falling off the bone. I removed the pan from the oven, transferred the short ribs onto a plate and covered it with foil while I finished up the sauce.
I removed the garlic from the liquid and skimmed off the excess fat from before straining the liquid through a sieve into a sauce pan. I then place the garlic head (skin and all) in a sieve and using the back of a spoon, I pushed out the garlic goodness, leaving the skin in the sieve. Add the garlic to the sauce. The garlic truly makes the sauce! It gave it a great, rich flavor that wasn’t overpowering. It’s amazing how mild garlic gets when roasted.
I served the short ribs as the recipes instructs – topped with bacon, mushrooms, I poured some sauce over the ribs and a garnish of green parsley. I also made mashed potatoes to accompany the ribs.
My family devoured the ribs and mashed potatoes. It was delicious, but if I make this recipe again, I would infuse herbs and vegetables in the braising process for added flavor and try to make it in a crock pot. It would be great to prepare in the morning, go shopping in the afternoon and come home to an amazing dinner!
How do you make short ribs? My next attempt will be Short Rib Pappardelle! Chefs Jody Williams and Rita Sodi have nothing to worry about. Ha!
Slow-cooked Beef Short Ribs
Here’s Gordon’s Ramsey rich and flavorful slow-cooked braised short-ribs. Nestle them over a pillow of mashed potatoes for an amazing and satisfying meal.
- olive oil for frying
- 6 thick cut beef short ribs
- 1 large head of garlic, cut in half
- 1 Tablespoon tomato puree
- 1 750ml bottle of red wine
- 4 1/4 cups beef stock
- 5 ounces pancetta
- 8 ounces mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
- salt and pepper
- flat leaf parsley
Preheat oven to 350°.
Heat a deep sided roasting tray on the stove top and add some olive oil on the tray. Season the short ribs with salt and pepper and fry them for 10-15 minutes until they are brown on all sides.
Add the halved garlic head, cut side down, pushing it to the bottom of the pan. Add the tomato puree and heat for a minute or two to cook it out. Pour the wine to deglaze the pan, scraping up the bits at the bottom. Bring to a boil and cook for 10-15 minutes until the liquid is reduced by half. Add the stock to nearly cover the ribs (you’ll need less stock if your roasting tray isn’t very large). Bring to a boil again, basting the ribs with the juices.
Cover the roasting tray with foil and cook in the oven for 3-4 hour, basting now and then until the meat is tender and falling away from the bone.
About 10 minutes before the short ribs are ready to come out, fry the pancetta for 2-3 minutes until crisp and golden. Add the mushrooms and cook for 4-5 minutes until tender. Drain off any excess fat.
When the ribs are ready, remove from the oven and transfer to a serving dish. Squeeze the garlic cloves out of their skins and pass through a sieve. Spoon off any excess fat from the beef cooking liquid, then strain it through the sieve and mix with the garlic. If the sauce is too thin, reduce the cooking liquid by heating it for 10-15 minutes more after straining.
Serve the short ribs topped with the pancetta and mushrooms and the sauce poured around. Garnish with chopped flat leaf parsley.