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Slow Cooked Braised Beef Short Ribs for Cold Winter Nights

When the days begin growing shorter and the Topa Topa mountain tops become frosted in powdery snow it's time to break out the slow cooked soul warming dishes of winter. A year round favorite, our slow cooked beef short ribs, become the center of attention on our menu from November to March. 

Below is a great, simple, recipe that encourages proper cooking technique and can spark your creativity by adding flavor elements such as star anise, dried plums and even black beer & cilantro!

Slow Cooked, Braised Beef Short Ribs

Grape Seed Oil - 3 tablespoons
Boneless Beef Short Ribs - 3 pounds
Kosher Salt & Ground Pepper – to taste
White Onion – 1 each (finely chopped)
Carrots – 2 each (chopped)
Celery Root, 1 each (peeled & chopped)
Garlic Cloves – 4 each (peeled & smashed)
Large Ripe Tomato – 1 each (crushed and seeded)
Ojai Vineyard's Syrah – (One 750-milliliter bottle) 
Fresh Thyme – 3 sprigs
Fresh Rosemary – (few leafs)
Bay Leaf – 1 each
Low Sodium Organic Chicken Stock - 3 cups

1. Season the ribs an hour prior to cooking with the salt and pepper. Pat them dry with paper towels prior to searing them.  In a large, heavy bottomed skillet, heat the oil. Lightly season the ribs with salt and pepper again. Add them to the skillet and cook over medium high heat, turning once, when very well browned and crusty. Transfer the ribs to a shallow enameled cast-iron casserole.

2. Add the onion, carrots, celery to the skillet and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until very soft and lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add the crushed garlic and tomato and sauté a few more minutes.  Add the wine and the herbs bring to a boil over high heat. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil Pour everything over the ribs.   

3. Preheat the oven to 350°. Cover the casserole and cook in the lower third of the oven for 2 hours, this should be at the lowest possible simmer, ideally only a few bubbles here and there. When the meat is tender but not yet totally falling apart, uncover and braise for 45 to an hour longer, turning the ribs once, until the sauce is reduced by about half and the meat is very tender.

4. Transfer the short ribs to a clean shallow baking dish, discard any vegetables sticking to them. Strain the sauce & pour it over the meat.

5. These process can be done a day(s) ahead of time and will only make your short ribs more delicious if allowed to "set" for a day and then simply re-heat them in the same pan.The Short Ribs are fantastic served with cheesy polenta, buttermilk mashed potatoes or tossed with your favorite pasta.

Enjoy! Chef Chad Minton

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