Everyone has their list of favorite ingredients. When seen on any menu this list will draw the diner in and get those taste buds tingling. For me, that list consists of goat cheese, mushrooms, and braised short ribs. Put all three of them together and I might marry the chef on the spot. I have had braised short ribs over polenta and risotto, tucked inside ravioli, stacked on a sandwich, mixed into mac and cheese. Seriously. If I see braised short ribs on the menu there is a 99% chance I will order that item, or convince you to order it and share.
I started making braised short ribs at home about two years ago. I have tried every recipe in existence. My favorite way to make these has become the slow cooker. Considering my classical French training at Le Cordon Bleu I sometimes feel the slow cooker is the cheater method. When it comes to short ribs, though, you really have to cook these babies for a very long time to get them fall-off-the-bone-melt-in-your-mouth-savory-amazing. This certainly can be accomplished in a dutch oven, and in crunched times, with a pressure cooker, but the slow cooker allows you to leave your dinner unattended while cooking all day long and simultaneously filling your home with the comforting aromas of fresh herbs.
I’ve compiled a list below of the items I most commonly use to flavor my short ribs, but really any aromatics, herbs, spices, and liquid will get the job done. The most important thing is to season the ribs well. Give the short ribs a nice sprinkling of kosher salt, and then add a touch more. I use whatever I have on hand for the liquid from beer to wine to beef stock. Red wine is what I think gives the best flavor, plus you’re morally obligated to finish the bottle with dinner so as not to waste.
Serve these braised short ribs with anything I mentioned above, or your favorite side dishes. Just remember to invite me over for dinner! Leftovers reheat well and can be mixed into just about anything. Braised short ribs quesadilla anyone? How about a braised short ribs pot pie?
What’s on your list of must-have-in-my-mouth-immediately ingredients?