Author Notes: This is a classic recipe with just a few variations. I use the English cut bone-in short ribs. As much as I love the tender beef I think the vegetables are key to making this dish spectacular. This is a great dish for entertaining because everything can (needs to!) be done in advance. —NWB
pounds beef short ribs (have them cleaned and cut at the butcher)
sprigs fresh thyme (or 1 tsb dried)
cups dry red wine
cups chicken or beef stock
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 300. Take meat out of the fridge and wash and pat dry. Season both sides well with salt and pepper and let sit while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
- Peel and chop fennel, onion, celery, and carrots into one inch chunks. Chop fennel stalks into three inch pieces.
- Heat dutch oven and add meat to brown. Brown all sides for around two minutes, or until you get a nice dark brown crust.
- Remove ribs. Add enough olive oil to coat the pan and add the vegetables. Salt vegetables and add a couple sprigs of thyme. Let cook until softened, around ten minutes.
- Add 1/2 cup of wine and scrap the bottom of the pan.
- Return ribs to pot. Add the rest of the wine and enough beef or chicken stock to cover. Slice lemon into four pieces and add to the liquid. Add the rest of the thyme. Add fennel stalks.
- Bring to a boil. Cover. Put in oven and cook for at least three hours.
- Remove from oven, make sure the meat is falling off the bone, and remove been from pot. Cover meat with foil.
- Strain liquid. Reserve 1/2 cup of the liquid. Put strained liquid in a sauce pot. Discard the lemon slices, fennel stalks, and thyme sprigs.
- Return ribs and vegetables to the dutch oven with the 1/2 cup of reserved liquid, cover, and let sit on top of stove for an hour.
- In sauce pot reduce the braising liquid until it thickens into a nice sauce. Let cool on stove and skim fat, if needed.
- After an hour return the covered dutch oven and sauce to oven until they heat up. This shouldn't take very long as both should still be warm from being covered.
- Serve beef on a platter over the vegetables with mashed potatoes and bread.
- After dinner save the bones for beef stock for the next time you make short ribs.