Thursday, February 7, 2013

Braised Beef Short Ribs with Fennel and Potatoes



Among braised meats, beef short ribs are probably my favorite.  Fall-off-the-bone tender meat slow cooked to perfection with a beefy sauce, what more could you ask for?

This recipe braises the short ribs in white wine and beef broth with garlic, fennel seeds, tomato paste, fresh thyme and anchovies (anchovies are often used to enhance beef flavors).  Add fennel bulbs, potatoes, carrots and olives to make it a one pot meal.

Of course braising usually takes a lot of time to cook.  Using the traditional method of a dutch oven or cast iron pot in the oven will take over two and a half hours to cook.  However, using a pressure cooker speeds up the process to just a little bit over an hour.  I provide instructions for using both methods below.  The main difference other than the time spent cooking, is that using a pressure cooker will require you to use more liquids since the pressure cooker tends to evaporate the braising sauce much quicker.

Servings: 4-6
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time Using Dutch Oven: 2 hours 30 minutes
Cooking Time Using Pressure Cooker: 1 hour 10 minutes

Ingredients:

2 1/2 lbs. Beef Short Ribs (about six ribs)
Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper
4 Tablespoons Olive Oil divided
4 Garlic Cloves chopped
2 Anchovy Fillets chopped
1 Tablespoon Fresh Thyme (stem discarded)
1 Tablespoon Tomato Paste
1 1/2 Cups White Wine
2 Cups Beef Broth
2 Bay Leaves
2 Fennel Bulbs cut into 1 inch wedges
1 lb. Red Potatoes cut into 1 inch wedges
2 Carrots peeled and sliced
1/2 Cup Green Olives pitted
1/4 Cup Flat Leaf Parsley chopped

Instructions Using a Dutch Oven

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Season the Beef Short Ribs with salt and pepper according to your taste. On the stove top, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large Dutch Oven or Cast Iron Pot.  In batches of two to three short ribs at a time, brown the beef on all sides (about 8 to 10 minutes per batch) and set aside.

Step 2: Add another 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the dutch oven or cast iron pot. Stir in the garlic, anchovies, thyme and tomato paste into the pot and cook until fragrant (about 1 minute).  Add the white wine and bring to a simmer to reduce slightly (about 3 minutes. Pour in the beef broth, add the bay leaves and return the short ribs to the pot.  Bring to a boil, cover and place in the oven to cook for 90 minutes.

Step 3: Remove the dutch oven or cast iron pot from the oven.  Stir in the fennel bulbs, potatoes, carrots and olives into the pot.  Cover and return to the oven to cook for another 30-40 minutes or until the short ribs are fall-off the bone tender.  When done toss in the parsley to serve.

Instructions Using a Pressure Cooker

Note: you may need an extra 2 cups of beef broth when using the pressure cooker.

Step 1: Season the Beef Short Ribs with salt and pepper according to your taste. Using a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil.  In batches of two to three short ribs at a time, brown the beef on all sides (about 8 to 10 minutes per batch) and set aside into a pressure cooker.

Step 2: Add another 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the skillet. Stir in the garlic, anchovies, thyme and tomato paste into the skillet and cook until fragrant (about 1 minute).  Add the white wine and bring to a simmer to reduce slightly (about 3 minutes). Transfer the white wine mixture into the pressure cooker with the short ribs.  Pour in 2 cups beef broth and add the bay leaves to the pressure cooker. Seal the pressure cooker and place on the stove top at medium high.  When the cooker reaches full pressure, cook the beef ribs for 25 minutes.

Step 3: Remove the pressure cooker from heat and let cool for 10 minutes until safe to open (some cookers hava safety lock to determine when safe to open).  Stir in the fennel bulbs, potatoes, carrots and olives into the pressure cooker.  Add more 1-2 cups of beef broth to cover the submerge the ribs.  Reseal the pressure cooker and return to medium high heat on the stove top.  When the cooker reaches full pressure, cook the dish for another 20-25 minutes.  Remove the pressure cooker for the heat and let cool for ten minutes or until safe to unseal.  The beef short ribs should be fall-off-the-bone tender.  Add the flat parsley to serve.


Try serving this dish with crusted bread, rice or pearl couscous to soak up the sauce.



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