- 2 tablespoons oil
- 3-3½ pounds bone-in beef short ribs (4 large pieces, 2 inches wide and 6 to 8 inches long with 4 rib bones per piece)
- 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 small yellow onions, peeled and cut into large 2-inch chunks
- 5 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
- 2 ribs celery, cut into large 2-inch chunks
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into large 2-inch chunks
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 2½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1¾ cups red wine
- 3½-4 cups beef bouillon broth, prepared according to package instructions
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 bay leaf
- 5 cups peeled 1-inch diced russet potato (about 5 medium-large potatoes)
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
This is a dish I learned to make in the fine dining kitchens I came up in, but it is so insanely easy to duplicate at home. It is like a fancy-pants version of beef stew: every bit as comforting but with an elevated twist that makes it perfect for a Sunday supper with family or for entertaining very important guests.
Technique tips: When the short ribs are done cooking, I use my handy kitchen shears to cut away and discard the rib bones and connective tissue before serving. Be aware of the salt content of your braising liquid: If using bouillon, use the salt listed here. If using stock, add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon more salt to your recipe.
Start with cold water! This ensures that the potatoes cook evenly.
Swap option: Turn this into red wine beef stew: use stew meat (1- to 2-inch chunks), cut the veggies in 1-inch pieces, and add 2 cups of 1-inch chunks of peeled russet potato. Reduce the cooking time to 1½ hours.
Use sweet potatoes or even butternut squash for a sweet-savory twist on this creamy classic. Obvious swap: Use heavy cream in place of milk for an extra decadent treat.
For the beef:1.
Preheat oven to 350 F.2.
Heat the oil in your Dutch oven over high heat on the stovetop. Season the short ribs with salt and pepper, and sear for 3 minutes on each side until well-browned. You may have to do it in batches. Set the browned short ribs aside on a plate. Leave the fat in the pan.3.
Reduce the heat to medium and add the onions, garlic, celery and carrot. Sauté for 3 to 4 minutes, until the onions start to soften. Add the tomato paste and continue to sauté, stirring with a wooden spoon constantly for 1 to 2 minutes, until the tomato paste starts to darken. Add the flour and stir to coat. Continue cooking over medium heat while stirring for 1 minute, until the flour has absorbed all the fat and liquid in the pot. It will look chunky, but don't worry.4.
Add the red wine and stir well with the wooden spoon, being sure to scrape all the browned bits off the bottom of the pot. Continue cooking over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the flour has all dissolved into the liquid and the wine has thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add 3 cups of beef bouillon and stir to combine. Add in the herbs and bay leaf. Add the short ribs back into the pot, along with any accumulated juices. Settle the meat down into the veggies and add more bouillon if needed to cover the meat completely. Increase the heat to high, bring the pot up to a simmer, put the lid on and transfer it to the oven. Bake undisturbed for 2 hours.5.
After 2 hours, carefully take the Dutch oven out of the oven. Remove the lid slowly (be careful of the steam). Carefully remove the short ribs from the pot and set them aside on a plate. Using a ladle, skim the layer of fat from the top of the sauce. If you want to include the veggies in your meal, just return the short ribs to the pot and turn them to coat them in sauce and serve. If you want a more refined, restaurant-style dish, remove the veggies with a slotted spoon and strain the sauce through a fine mesh strainer. Remove the bones and connective tissue and then return the short ribs to the sauce, turning to coat.
For the mashed potatoes:1.
Rinse the diced potatoes in cold running water until the water runs clear. Put them in a large pot and cover with 2 inches of cold water. Add 1 tablespoon of salt and bring to a boil. Once at a rolling boil, cook at high heat uncovered for 17 minutes. The potatoes should yield no resistance when pierced with a fork.2.
Drain the cooked potatoes very well and return them to the hot dry pot. Cook them over medium-high heat uncovered for 2 minutes, folding them over constantly with a rubber spatula. They will start to break down but be careful not to start mashing them and working the starches. At this stage you are just trying to dry them out.3.
Add the butter, milk and salt, and continue cooking uncovered, folding the ingredients together, for 1 minute to melt the butter. Remove from the heat and then use your potato masher or electric beater to mash the potatoes until smooth and fluffy. If using an electric beater, beat them on high speed for 2 to 3 minutes, being sure to stop and scrape the sides of the pot with a rubber spatula halfway through. Add more salt to your taste.
Serve each hunk of short rib on a velvety puddle of mashed potatoes, covered with that decadent red wine sauce.