White Wine Braised Short Ribs

Well, I’ve certainly been a neglectful blogger lately, haven’t I?  It all came from a camping trip to Yosemite (bears, woo hoo!), several bouts of unusual heat (we’re talking over 107 here), and social obligations that have deprived me of the joy of cooking much during the last few weeks.  I made these short ribs over a week ago actually, when the temperature dropped to about 65 by afternoon, and I could stand to turn on the oven.

Essentially I was looking for a way to use both a bottle of white wine, and a package of short ribs I’d had in the oven that I bought on sale right before the weather turned us away from braising season.  I still have most of the white wine, but using this (an unoaked Chardonnay) rather than the more standard red wine brought a lighter flavor to these braised short ribs.

White Wine Braised Short Ribs (serves 2-4)

Ingredients:

  • 4 full-size short ribs (or 2 lbs. or so chopped)
  • 1/2 c. whole-wheat flour
  • 1-2 tbsp. bacon fat (or, render several slices of bacon)
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 carrots, diced
  • 3 ribs celery, chopped
  • 2 c. white wine
  • 2 c. chicken broth
  • 4-8 oz. baby spinach
  • 1 thyme sprig

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Generously salt and pepper short ribs, then toss lightly in flour, shaking off excess.
  3. Melt bacon fat in olive oil over medium-high heat.  Brown ribs on all sides, then remove.  Lower heat to medium.
  4. Add a little more olive oil if needed, and then add vegetables.  Cook several minutes, or until beginning to soften.  Deglaze the pan with white wine, cooking several more minutes.
  5. Add chicken broth, and taste for seasoning.  It shouldn’t be too salty, because the liquid will reduce.  Add ribs.  The liquid should come at least halfway up the sides of the ribs; add more if necessary.  Add thyme.
  6. Cover pot with a lid, and place in the oven.  Cook 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until short ribs are very tender.  Let set for 20 minutes, and then skim off fat (or refrigerate until fat solidifies to remove easily).  Stir spinach into warm gravy until it wilts.
  7. Serve over polenta, buttered egg noodles, or mashed potatoes, or, with roasted baby potatoes.
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