Last winter, I was on the hunt for the perfect short rib dish. One of the cooking magazines lead me to the idea of Provencal Short Ribs, and I have been making my own version of this dish ever since. Recently though, I had an open bottle of Rioja leftover from a dinner party begging to be used. I decided to make these short ribs again with a little Basque-ish flare--pimenton, red bell pepper, and this wine. The combination is pretty versatile, and you can even go for something more fusion-y, adding herbs de Provence, and nicoise olives instead of Spanish (I prefer black to green anyway). - BigGirlPhoebz —PhoebeLapine
Test Kitchen Notes
Such a luscious dinner for two, BigGirlPhoebz's recipe for braised Basque ribs is both sophisticated in its balance of flavors, and comforting in its rich heartiness. It would be just perfect for a candlelight dinner in your favorite pajamas, with your friend or love, on a cold winter's weekend night. We loved the earthiness of the smoked paprika, and found that the addition of olives to the end of the recipe added just the right amount of saltiness to the dish, no more was needed from the shaker. —Jennifer Ann
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound beef short ribs (about 2 ribs--ask the butcher to cut in half)
Position a rack in the center of oven and preheat to 300°F. Heat olive oil in a medium Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed saucepan over high heat. Brown short ribs on all sides, about 2 minutes per side. Remove to plate.
Reduce heat to medium. Add onions and carrots. Sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the peppers, garlic and paprika, and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in red wine, stock, tomatoes, salt, and bay leaf and return heat to high. Bring to simmer, cover, and bake in oven about 2 1/2 hours, until very tender, turning short ribs over halfway through cooking.
Remove pot from oven and spoon off excess fat from surface. Carefully remove short ribs to plate. Discard bay leaf and bring sauce to a boil over high heat. Reduce until liquids thicken and reduce by one third, about 8 minutes. Off heat, stir in olives and taste for seasoning. Return short ribs to pot and heat through. To serve, divide the short ribs between two plates, ladle sauce over top, garnish with parsley, and serve with crusty French bread.
Phoebe is a writer, gluten-free chef, culinary instructor, award-winning blogger, and author of The Wellness Project. You can find her healthy comfort food and gluten-free finds on www.FeedMePhoebe.com