Make Ahead

Bowl of Comfort

January  5, 2011
2 Ratings
  • Serves 6
Author Notes

Braised short ribs is one of my ultimate comfort foods, the kind of food that makes you feel like you're wrapped up in a cozy fuzzy blanket when you eat it. And with comfort foods, I tend to like to stick to a basic traditional preparation, an amalgam of what I've learned from a whole stack of cookbooks. I like to switch up the sides I serve it with though, swapping out mashed potatoes for the occasional gnocchi or polenta. My current favorite is a gorgonzola pudding, inspired by Suzanne Goin's ricotta pudding, which captures all the rich creaminess of mashed potatoes but without the starchiness. It's wonderful with the meat and sauces. I also pretty much always serve sauteed greens alongside because they just work. If you have time, make the ribs a day ahead and then reheat them as you make the pudding. They're so much better when you give them a chance to sit for a night! - fiveandspice —fiveandspice

Test Kitchen Notes

Truly a "Bowl of Comfort", these traditionally prepared short ribs are rich with red wine and aromatic vegetables. The meat is tender and pulls away from the bone perfectly while bathing in a delicious Burgundy broth. Served with the gorgonzola pudding, these short ribs make a warm winter treat. Notes: Make sure to drain the ricotta well for the pudding -- even squeeze it out. And go with the full 3/4 cup of Gorgonzola. —jvcooks

What You'll Need
  • Beef short ribs
  • 6 pounds or so, of meaty bone-in short ribs, in 6 pieces
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon thyme leaves
  • 3-4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 red onions, diced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 2 medium-large parsnips, peeled and finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3-4 sprigs thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 cups fruity red wine
  • 3 cups chicken stock (unless you have homemade beef stock - if you do you should use that. Don't use commercial beef stock!)
  • Grogonzola pudding
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk ricotta (drained)
  • 1/2-3/4 cups crumbled Gorgonzola or other blue cheese (use more or less depending on how strong a flavor you like)
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup chopped, caramelized onion
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  1. Beef short ribs
  2. The morning of the day you're cooking the ribs (or the night before), rub them generously with salt and pepper and the Tbs. of thyme. Wrap them up and refrigerate them all day (or even overnight) until ready to cook.
  3. Preheat your oven to 325F. In a large Dutch oven heat about 2 Tbs. of butter over medium-high heat, until foaming. Brown the ribs on all sides, working in batches so they aren't crowded while browning. Transfer the browned ribs to a plate and set aside.
  4. Turn the heat down a bit, add another chunk of butter, and stir in the chopped vegetables (including the onion and garlic,) thyme sprigs and bay leaves. Cook for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thoroughly browned. Add the red wine, scrape all the browned bits from the bottom into the wine, bring to a boil and reduce the liquid by half. Then stir in the chicken stock and heat to boiling.
  5. Nestle the short ribs back into the pan, standing them on their sides, and surrounding them with the liquid and vegetables, but not fully covering them. Pour in any of the meat juices that accumulated on the plate as well. Place a moist sheet of parchment directly onto the top of the meat. Put the cover of the Dutch oven on and put it into the oven to braise for 3 hours.
  6. Remove the pot from the oven, uncover (remove and throw away the parchment paper), and transfer the short ribs to a baking sheet. Turn the oven up to 425F and stick the ribs in for 10 minutes (or a little less) until the are lightly browned on the outsides.
  7. In the meantime, skim the fat off the top of the broth in the Dutch oven. Remove the bay leaf and thyme sprigs. Bring the juices to a boil, then simmer until thickened slightly. Return the browned ribs to the sauce. (I know a lot of recipes have you strain the vegetables out, but for some reason I really like having the soft vegetables in my sauce, so I leave them.)
  8. At this point you can cool and refrigerate it until the next day, then gently rewarm it and serve. Or serve it right away, accompanied by the Gorgonzola pudding and your choice of greens. Garnish with a bit of chopped parsley, if you'd like.
  1. Grogonzola pudding
  2. Preheat your oven to 350F (you can also use a 325F oven, if you're baking this at the same time as the ribs, and just increase the baking time). Whisk together all the ingredients except for the black pepper (it will be lumpy).
  3. Butter a small baking dish (9 inch) and pour the pudding mixture into it. Sprinkle the top with freshly ground black pepper. Cover the baking dish with foil, place it in a larger baking dish and put it into the oven. Add hot water to the larger baking dish until it comes 1/2 or 3/4 of the way up the sides of the dish with the pudding (this is the only way I've figured out of making a water bath without me spilling all over as I try to put it into the oven. Maybe you're more coordinated than me, though.) Bake until the pudding is set, about an hour (longer if you're using the lower baking temp.). Serve warm.
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  • hardlikearmour
  • Kayb
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  • dgillman

6 Reviews

dgillman February 16, 2011
Excellent. I used a big bottle of Pinot so that we had something to drink with it! Would have benefitted from skimming the fat after on overnight in the fridge - but who would wait! The meat was falling off of the bone.
fiveandspice February 17, 2011
Oh yes! It's very important to have leftover wine for drinking :). Glad you enjoyed it - and I'm like you, I always try to plan ahead but never wind up wanting to wait the extra day to refrigerate, skim, and reheat!
hardlikearmour January 13, 2011
Wow...I don't know how I missed these. The gorgonzola pudding sounds like divine inspiration. Congrats on EP!
fiveandspice January 14, 2011
Thanks! The gorgonzola pudding really is quite good - the reviewer is right, though. You do have to drain it well, or develops a watery layer. But even then it still tastes awesome! (I also discovered that leftovers are amazing scrambled into eggs!) Hope your day is better today! :)
Kayb January 5, 2011
I love the thought of this Gorgonzola pudding. Now I'm wondering if I could sub queso fresco for the Gorgonzola and add a couple of cups of whole-kernel corn.....

Ribs sound wonderful, too!
fiveandspice January 5, 2011
Ooh, give it a try and let me know how it goes! I bet it would be excellent.