To know me is to know that I am extremely technical, to the point of utterly annoying those around me. I simply cannot move past certain comments people make without either correcting or clarifying what they’ve said. Usually it’s good natured (being a very literal and gullible person, I simply like to confirm my understanding), but occasionally I do it with an extra little glint in my eye. I rarely – if ever – try to make somebody feel stupid when I correct them, instead simply hoping we can all laugh together at their oversight.
I know how it makes me come off. It looks as though I always need to be right, and that I love pointing out when others are wrong. It’s unfortunate that it manifests itself that way, because it’s not entirely true. I mean, it’s mostly true…but I don’t mean for it to be a bad thing. I’m a big fan of logic and correctness; I simply want to both understand others, and be understood myself. I also believe it’s better to embarrass somebody once (“Hey, you’ve got spinach in your teeth”) than for them to realize later that something’s amiss (“I just saw my face in the mirror – why didn’t you tell me about the schmutz on my face?”). I do that by correcting people’s use of the somehow confusing homonyms “their”, “there”, and “they’re”, for example.
When around people with an acute sense for my obsessive – some might say “compulsive” – need to correct and clarify (essentially, those who’ve spent more than a few hours with me), I honestly attempt to reign it in. In fact, I still have a co-worker who perpetually uses “fustrated”, a “word” that auto-correct didn’t allow me to keep the first time I typed it out. Unfortunately, the only way to show those around me that I’m working on curbing this trait is by pointing out the issues and errors that I’m being so good about not pointing out. Gah!
So why am I saying all this? Well, technically the pictures in this post are from two different attempts at perfecting this recipe. The ribs on the blue plate (included because I prefer the pictures) are from the first attempt and include rosemary, chopped carrots, a little addition of brown sugar, and pureeing of the sauce with an immersion blender. The ribs on the white plate reflect the recipe below, meaning thyme over rosemary, shredded carrots over chopped, and no brown sugar or pureeing. I also adapted the cooking time and temp. the second go around, which was definitely an improvement. Both recipes were delicious, but the one I’ve posted is just a little bit more so.
Red Wine Braised Short Ribs
- 6 short ribs (approx. 1 kg.)
- 3 tbsp. olive oil, divided
- 1 1/2 tsp. sea salt
- 1 tsp. ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups low sodium beef broth
- 1 cup dry red wine
- 2-3 carrots, finely grated
- 1 tbsp. corn starch
- 1 tbsp. water
- Place a Dutch oven over medium heat and add 2 tbsp. of the olive oil. Allow the oil to heat up while you prep the ribs.
- Combine together the salt, pepper and thyme, and sprinkle over all sides of your ribs, lightly rubbing the seasoning in as you go.
- Toss the ribs into the Dutch oven to sear. Turning every 20-30 seconds, sear all sides of the ribs, then remove and set aside for later.
- Carefully pour out the majority of liquid from the Dutch oven (save about a tbsp.), then return to heat and add the last tbsp. of olive oil.
- Turn down the heat slightly (low-medium) and add the onion, sautéing until near translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cook another 1-2 minutes, stirring often.
- Add in the beef broth and wine, toss in the grated carrots, then return the heat to medium and give it a good stir.
- Once everything has come to a boil, nestle the ribs back into the Dutch oven, throw the lid on, and toss in the oven – preheated to 300°F – and cook for 2 1/2 hours.
- Once the ribs are done, remove from the oven and carefully transfer the ribs to a plate to rest. In the meantime, dissolve your corn starch in a tbsp. of water, then add to your sauce.
- Stirring often, bring the sauce to a simmer over medium heat. Cook for a few minutes, until the sauce thickens slightly (keeping in mind that it will continue to thicken when removed from heat and allowed to cool slightly).
- During this thickening time, taste and season with additional salt and pepper if desired.
- Optional: While the sauce is simmering, consider pureeing it with an immersion blender.
- Serve over mashed/whipped potatoes, risotto, or creamy polenta, with plenty of sauce ladled overtop.