make mine italian
I’ve mentioned many times how I peruse the food store flyers for weekly meal inspiration. Last week, I was inspired by Whole Foods sale on bone-in short ribs ($5.99/lb. for Prime Members). I had found two recipes on the Williams-Sonoma website and settled on Italian Braised Short Ribs. However, I didn’t have two hours the other night; instead, I used my pressure cooker. It took me 30 minutes at high pressure to achieve what braising in the oven would have taken two hours.
For the recipe you’ll need flour, salt, pepper, bone-in short ribs, olive oil, pancetta , onions, garlic, red pepper flakes, carrots, tomato paste, sugar, red wine, beef broth, balsamic vinegar,
bay leaves, fresh rosemary, fresh thyme and oregano. Other than the short ribs, the only item I needed to purchase was pancetta. By the way, the recipe feeds 6-8 people; I halved the recipe.
It took me approximately 15-20 minutes to prep everything. The short ribs are tossed with flour, salt and pepper; then browned. Once they’re done, they’re removed and the onions are sautéed until softened. Garlic and red pepper flakes are added next. Next comes the carrots, tomato paste and sugar. Lastly, the wine, tomatoes, beef broth and vinegar.
The recipe suggested to serve the ribs over polenta. I didn’t have polenta, so I used my Geechie Boy Grits. I followed another Williams-Sonoma recipe for cheesy grits, but substituted Fontina cheese for the cheddar. After all, they are Italian Braised Short Ribs, so I had to dress them up accordingly.
The ribs came out succulent and delicious. They meat was tender and oh so flavorful. The Italian style cheesy grits were to die for! Luckily, I only made half a recipe as I could have eaten much more. I will say, that although I halved the recipe (original recipe calls for 5-1/2 to 6 pounds of bone-in short ribs), we ate all the ribs as some of the ribs were not very meaty. I would make this recipe again, but perhaps try boneless short ribs to see if there’s much difference. I’m sure the bones added lots of flavor to the sauce, which was plentiful.
Italian Braised Short Ribs
Meaty short ribs go well with the robust flavors of traditional Italian cooking, and slow cooking coaxes them to fall-off-the-bone tenderness. For an extra flourish, garnish each serving with gremolata—lemon zest, garlic and parsley that have been finely chopped together—and serve atop polenta.
On a plate, stir together the flour, 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Turn the ribs in the seasoned flour, shaking off any excess. In a large, heavy pot, over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Working in batches, sear the ribs, turning occasionally, until evenly browned, about 10 minutes per batch. Transfer to a plate.
Add the pancetta to the pot and sauté until mostly crisp, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the onions and sauté until beginning to soften, about 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the carrots, tomato paste and sugar and cook, stirring often, until well blended, about 1 minute. Add the wine, bring to a boil and stir to scrape up any browned bits on the pan bottom. Stir in the tomatoes and their juices, the broth and vinegar and bring to a boil.
Preheat an oven to 350°F (180°C).
Return the ribs to the pot with the tomato mixture. Add the bay leaves, rosemary and thyme sprigs, and oregano. Cover, transfer to the oven and cook until the ribs are very tender, about 2 hours.
Skim as much fat as possible from the cooking liquid and discard the bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper and serve. Serves 6 to 8.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma One Pot of the Day, by Kate McMillan (Weldon Owen, 2012)
Italian Braised Short Ribs | Williams Sonoma (williams-sonoma.com
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A former teacher, shop-a-holic, empty-nester redefining quick, family approved dinners.