While planning away for the baking marathon, I completely forgot that cookies are not dinner. I was not short on time and didn’t see any reason why Emily and I couldn’t both eat a delicious meal before digging into the cookies. With that, I decided to make one of my favorite winter meals, braised short ribs. There are two short rib recipes I love to make but my favorite is an Asian Spiced Short Rib from Jean-Georges Vongerichten and published in Food and Wine Magazine. Although the braising would take some time, the short ribs would not be difficult to make and the braising would be done by the time Emily and I needed the oven for the cookies.
Asian-Spiced Short Ribs (adapted from Food and Wine Magazine)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Six 12-ounce bone-in beef short ribs
Ground fennel, for dusting
1 cup ketchup
1 cup dry white wine
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
3 tablespoons dried onion flakes
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1-2 tablespoons seeded and minced chipotle chile in adobo
1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
Season the ribs with salt and fennel. Working in batches, add ribs to casserole and cook until brown on all sides, about 8 minutes per batch. Transfer ribs to a plate and set aside. Pour off drippings fro pot; discard.
In a large bowl, mix the ketchup, wine, vinegar, molasses, onion flakes, fish sauce, soy sauce, garlic powder, chipotle, sesame oil and 1 tablespoon of salt. Add to casserole and whisk well. Return ribs and any accumulated juices to casserole. Pour in enough water so that ribs are just covered. Bring to a simmer.
Cover casserole and bake, turning the ribs once, until the meat is very tender, about 2 1/2 hours. Lower the oven temperature to 200°. Transfer the sauce to a large saucepan. Keep the ribs warm in the oven. Boil the sauce over high heat until reduced to 4 cups, about 1 hour.
Increase the oven temperature to 350°. Pour the sauce over the ribs and roast until the ribs are glazed, about 15 minutes. Serve the ribs on plates with their sauce.
To accompany the short ribs, Emily and I made cheesy polenta and my roommate Alex made braised kale. After 2 1/2 hours of braising, the ribs were falling off the bone and you could cut it with a butter knife. The rich sauce was also great with just the polenta. The braised kale added a nice (and much needed) healthy touch to the meal. Although we were pretty full after a plateful of short ribs, polenta, and kale, Alex, Emily, and I still managed to indulge in our fill of cookies.