Make Ahead

Bowl of Comfort

January  5, 2011
2 Ratings
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

  • Serves 6
  • 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
In This Recipe
  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.
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • hardlikearmour
  • Kayb
  • fiveandspice
  • dgillman
I like to say I'm a lazy iron chef (I just cook with what I have around), renegade nutritionist, food policy wonk, and inveterate butter and cream enthusiast! My husband and I own a craft distillery in Northern Minnesota called Vikre Distillery (, where I claimed the title, "arbiter of taste." I also have a doctorate in food policy, for which I studied the changes in diet and health of new immigrants after they come to the United States. I myself am a Norwegian-American dual citizen. So I have a lot of Scandinavian pride, which especially shines through in my cooking on special holidays. Beyond loving all facets of food, I'm a Renaissance woman (translation: bad at focusing), dabbling in a variety of artistic and scientific endeavors.