Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Honey and Vinegar Braised Short Ribs over Spinach

Last month, in preparation for getting this year's grass-fed beef order, I was trying to use up some of the last few remaining cuts of beef from last year. I had some short ribs left, so I went looking for a recipe. I came across this one on Epicurious that sounded pretty tasty.  I did make some changes to it, which are reflected in the recipe below. These turned out awesome. They had a wonderful flavor and we all loved them. They look and sound like a lot of work, but they actually weren't. I multi-tasked while they were browning and during the stovetop cook time, then the majority of the cook time is done in the oven. So they weren't really that labor intensive at all. 

Unfortunately, I didn't snap any final pictures, so you'll have to use your imagination, but they did look quite nice.  I did get a couple pictures of the stove top cooking, which are included below, at least.

Honey and Vinegar Braised Short Ribs over Spinach

2 tablespoons olive oil or lard
4 1/2 pounds beef short ribs (I'm not sure how many pounds I had... but these quantities still worked well)
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped onion
8 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
4 cups chicken broth
1-2 cups dry red wine
1 teaspoon thyme
1 bay leaf
3 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon arrowroot powder
1 pound baby spinach leaves

Preheat oven to 350°F. Heat oil or lard in heavy large pot over high heat. I used my cast iron dutch oven. Sprinkle ribs with salt and pepper. Working in batches, brown ribs, turning occasionally, about 10 minutes.

Return all ribs to pot. Add carrots, onion, and garlic to ribs; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add honey; cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add vinegar and boil until most of liquid is absorbed, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes.

Add broth, red wine, thyme and bay leaf and boil 5 minutes. Cover; transfer to oven. Bake until meat almost falls off bone, stirring occasionally, about 2 hours.

Using tongs, transfer ribs to large bowl. Boil cooking liquid until slightly reduced, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Mix 1 tablespoon butter and arrowroot powder in small bowl. Add to sauce; whisk to blend. Boil until thickened, 3 minutes. Mix in ribs.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in another large pot over medium-high heat. Add spinach; cook until just wilted, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Divide spinach among plates. Top with ribs and sauce.

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