Cooking On A Budget: Braised Short Ribs with Balsamic Sauce

Monday, March 2, 2015

Braised Short Ribs with Balsamic Sauce


Tangy, sweet, beefy and smooth, the balsamic sauce takes these short ribs up another level in the taste department.

I am embracing this Sunday and doing what I love the most. That's being in my kitchen fussing over tonight's dinner. When the kids were young and still here in the nest and I was a full-time working mother, during the cold months I would menu plan for the week and spend my Sunday's cooking meals for the week. My kids are all grown and have left the nest but I still get great pleasure spending Sunday's in my kitchen.

As Mother Nature is not giving us much of a break with cold weather and more snow coming to the Nutmeg state of Connecticut, I thought that our Sunday dinner should be something hearty. We have had our share of pork and chicken dishes of late and we both wanted beef. My Saturday shopping excursion yielded the perfect protein. Our store was offering beef short ribs on sale. When I spotted a few packages of less than meaty ribs, I asked one of the fellows in the meat department if he would get me 4-5 nice meaty ribs. He gladly accommodated me.

For the ribs:
  • 4-5 beef short ribs
  • 1 can beef broth
  • 2 cans water
  • Crisco shortening
  • salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste
  • granulated garlic to taste
  • onion powder to taste
For the Balsamic Sauce:
  • 1 1/4 cup cooking liquid from the short ribs
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup softened butter (room temperature)
  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • 1/4 tsp. coarse ground pepper
  1. Preheat your oven to 375°.
  2. Prepare the ribs by seasoning all sides with salt, black pepper, granulated garlic and onion powder to taste.
  3. Heat up a dutch oven or any deep oven proof pot over high heat. Add in enough shortening to coat the bottom of the pot as it melts (perhaps 1-2 tablespoons). Let this get hot.
  4. Add in the short ribs and sear on all sides for 2-3 minutes. Do not over crowd the pan, do in batches as necessary. You want a nice crusty sear on them. As they are searing adjust the heat down a touch if need be. 
  5. As they are seared move them to a plate. Once you have finished searing, empty out the excess fat into an empty can or dish to cool down before discarding and wipe out the pan (carefully) with paper towels to remove some of the burned spices.
  6. Add the ribs back to the dutch oven. Add in one can of the beef broth and enough water, about 2 soup cans worth to just about cover them.
  7. Cover and cook in a preheated 375° oven for 3 hours.
  8. While the ribs are cooking make the balsamic reduction. Add the balsamic vinegar to a small sauce pot and over medium heat let it reduce to 1/4 cup and set aside.
  9. When the ribs are done, remove them from the broth to a waiting platter and cover with foil.
  10. Take all of the broth and pour it into a fat separator. You should have about 1 1/2 cups of liquid. Pour the liquid minus the fat back into the dutch oven.
  11. In a small dish combine the softened butter and flour. This is your thickening agent.
  12. Set the heat under the dutch oven to medium high and add the balsamic reduction to the liquid. Replace the cover. What you are doing is creating condensation inside the pot so you can then lift the lid and using your whisk, get all the good bits from the sides of the pot.
  13. Add the butter and flour mixture to the sauce and keep whisking in over medium high heat until the sauce has thickened.
  14. Next, add the ribs back into this sauce and roll around to coat. You are ready to serve and plate the ribs with your favorite sides. Mashed potatoes sounds good to me!

There is plenty of the sauce to accommodate more short ribs in this recipe. I ate two and my husband ate one so basically just gauge the number of short ribs to the number you may need to satisfy everyone's appetite. I find the short rib a great alternative to pot roasting a large roast for just two people. And I truly love this particular cut of beef. Love cooking them and most of all devouring them.

This info graphic which I found on shows you where the cuts of beef are from and recommended cooking methods. It may come in handy when you have questions to the best method for cooking a particular cut.

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