It. Is. Fall. And I personally could not be happier. While this summer was one of my favorite on record (because I got married!), it was also one of the hottest, becoming nearly unbearable towards the end. I was daydreaming about a time when I would get to work and not be completely sweaty, when I could step outside my front door and not immediately think, “gross.” Well, that day has come. Bring on the pumpkins and sweaters, because fall has arrived! And the best thing about fall? The cooking.
Fall is my favorite cooking season. Summer is always wonderful, with the fresh produce and vibrant colors, but there is something about the squashes and soups and slow roasting that makes fall so delicious. I had some time on Sunday and knew I wanted to make a hearty, slow cooked, all-day kind of meal. Short ribs immediately came to mind, as did a recipe I remembered seeing on The Pioneer Woman.
As a food blogger, aspiring to The Pioneer Woman status is a given. She is the food and female blogging queen, living on her gorgeous ranch, with her adorable family, writing funny little antecdotes and decadent recipes, and sharing her impressive photography. I know to always turn to her site when I need something relatively simple and completely delicious. I had seen her short ribs over polenta recipe before, but never got around to trying it! This weekend I finally did, and it was worth it. A perfect fall comfort food. Serve these over polenta or mashed potatoes. YUM.
Braised Short Ribs
adapted slightly from The Pioneer Woman
- 8 whole beef short ribs
- Salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 6 pieces bacon, diced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 whole medium onion, diced
- 3 whole carrots, diced
- 2 whole leeks, white and light green parts, rinsed and diced
- 2 cups red wine
- 3 cups beef broth (enough to almost completely cover ribs)
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 2 sprigs rosemary
Salt and pepper ribs, then dredge in flour. Set aside.
In a large dutch oven, cook bacon over medium heat until completely crispy. Remove bacon and set aside. Do not discard grease.
Add olive oil to pan with the bacon grease, and raise heat to high. Brown ribs on all sides, about 45 seconds per side. Remove ribs and set aside. Turn heat to medium.
Add onions, carrots, and leeks to pan and cook for 2 minutes. Pour in wine and deglaze the pan with a whisk. Bring to a boil and cook 2 minutes.
Add broth, 1 teaspoon salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Add ribs to the liquid; they should be almost completely submerged. Add thyme and rosemary sprigs (whole) and bacon pieces to the liquid.
Put on the lid and place into the oven. Cook at 350 for 2 hours, then reduce heat to 325 and cook for an additional 30 to 45 minutes. Ribs should be fork-tender and falling off the bone. Remove pan from oven and allow to sit for at least 20 minutes, lid on, before serving. At the last minute, skim fat off the top of the liquid. (Can also refrigerate mixture, then remove solid fat from the top.) Don’t forget to fish out the rosemary and thyme stems! They should be on or near the top.
Serve 2 ribs on bed of creamy polenta or mashed potatoes, spooning a little juice over the top.