There are foods that warm the soul and feed the body, and then there are foods that warm the soul, feed the body, and help heat the house on a cold winter day. These red wine braised short ribs are one of the foods. Think of them as little individual pot roasts with a melt in your mouth tenderness.
I like to use a mirepoix to boost the finished flavors when braising the short ribs. A mirepoix is a French term for a mixture of onion, carrots, and celery. I also like to serve the short ribs over whipped parsnips. I find the slight tang of the parsnip adds to the savory flavors of the short ribs and sauce. I simply boil the parsnips. I then add whole milk and unsalted butter and whip them to a smooth consistency using a stick blender or hand mixer.
I suggest a Côtes du Rhône or Cabernet Sauvignon for the wine used while braising provided it is not overly oaked and lower in tannins.
Here is what I do:
Red Wine Braised Short Ribs
5 to 6 pounds bone-in beef short ribs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 medium onions, chopped
4 medium carrots, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 750 ml bottle dry red wine (a Côtes du Rhône or Cabernet Sauvignon)
10 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
8 sprigs thyme
4 sprigs oregano
2 sprigs rosemary
2 fresh or dried bay leaves
1 head of garlic, halved crosswise, Do not separate cloves
4 cups low-salt beef stock (preferably home made)
Preheat oven to 350°. Season short ribs with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high. Brown short ribs on all sides, about four minutes per side. Do not over-crowd your Dutch oven. You will need to do this in two or three batches depending on the size of your Dutch oven. Transfer short ribs to a plate after browning and set aside. Pour off all but about three tablespoons of drippings from the Dutch oven.
Add onions, carrots, and celery to pot and cook over medium-high heat. Cook until onions are browned, about five minutes or until onions are browned. Then add flour and tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, until well combined and deep red; about three minutes. Stir in wine, then add short ribs with any juices that may have escaped onto the plate. Bring to a boil and then lower heat to medium and simmer until wine is reduced by half. This will take about a half-hour. Add all herbs to Dutch oven along with garlic. Stir in stock. Return liquid to a boil and then cover and transfer to oven.
Cook 2–2½ hours or until short ribs are tender and easily slide off the bone. Transfer short ribs to a platter. Strain mirepoix sauce from pot into a measuring cup. Spoon fat from surface of sauce and discard; season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Plate in shallow bowls over whipped parsnips. Spoon sauce over short ribs and parsnips and serve immediately.
Big, meaty short ribs while red wine reduces.