Fall brings out the desire for warming, comforting meals. Roasts roasting away in the oven, the crock pot simmering with a delicious hearty meal or something braising away on the stove top. This is what I like to refer to as food of love - meals that take time to prepare, cook and showcase the love you have for your family. Satisfying to the belly, warming to the heart and connecting somehow with your soul.
This is one of those heart and soul dishes. Braised Short Ribs and Vegetables. You can use any combination of vegetables in this meal. I chose to add carrots and sweet baby peas in addition to the onions and celery that go in all of my braising dishes as those two vegetables were what I had available. Also had some plum tomatoes so I added some of those to have along side.
Shopping Tip: When you pick the ribs be sure to get very meaty ribs as one meaty rib should be enough for one portion. My total cost for this dinner (two packs of ribs/3 in each pack) came to $18.43. If you feed six people you have a cost for the entire meal (including mashed potatoes) for $3.07 per person.
For this type of dish to sear meat that will be braising in liquid I use Crisco shortening. It withstands heat fairly well and does not impart any nasty flavor. Use it as sparingly as possible otherwise you will have to skim fat later on. You could also use just a little bit of olive oil - not extra virgin.
- 1 large onion - medium dice
- 2 ribs celery - medium dice
- 2 carrots - peeled and cut in on the bias
- 3 cloves garlic- smashed and left whole
- 4 tbsp. ketchup
- 1 10 3/4 oz. can beef broth (I love Campbell's)
- 3-4 cups water (enough to cover the ribs)
- 1/4 tsp. dried thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- salt to taste
- black pepper to taste
- onion powder to taste
- granulated garlic to taste
- Crisco Shortening
- 2 tbsp. cornstarch
- 1 cup water
- Start out by seasoning the ribs with the salt, pepper, granulated garlic and onion powder on all sides.
- Heat a deep pot or skillet with the Crisco over medium high heat. Add the ribs searing on all sides. Do not overcrowd the pan do in batches as necessary. Remove them to a platter as they are done.
- Dice the onion and celery and smash the garlic cloves. Peel and cut the carrots.
- When the meat is all done, turn the heat back to medium low and add in the celery, onion and garlic. IF you have too much grease from searing, keep all but a tablespoon or so.
- Cook the vegetables for about 5 minutes so the vegetables release their liquid. Stir to get up all the good bits from searing.
- Next add in the carrots, the bay leaves, thyme, ketchup and give a good stir. Add the beef ribs pan to the pan along with the beef broth and enough water to cover. Put on a lid.
- Let everything come up to a bubble over medium high heat then turn the heat down to a simmer if cooking on the stove top. Meaty ribs take about 3 - 4 hours to get really tender.
- Mix the cornstarch and water to make a slurry. Remove the ribs and as much of the vegetables to a waiting platter. Bring the mixture up to a full boil, slowly add the slurry to make a thicker gravy. Keep whisking until you achieve the consistency you want. Then add everything back to the pan and simmer for a couple of minutes. You are ready to serve.
- Alternate directions: use a dutch oven to sear and braise the ribs, covered in the oven for about 3 - 4 hours in a 350° oven.