Daniel Boulud uses three bottles of wine in his; Cristina Ferrare adds chicken broth to hers, Ina Garten roasts her meat before braising, Patricia Wells marinates hers in wine overnight, and Dorie Greenspan adds ginger and star anise for flavoring. Recipes for braised short ribs abound; we’ve tried them all and, as someone once said about pizza, there’s no such thing as a bad one. But this version, from our friend Roger, is a delicious combination of many of the best ones, making this typical bistro fare a perfect winter one-pot wonder, even better the second day.
There are any number of perfect accompaniments to this dish, such as pureed celery root, pappardelle (wide-noodle) pasta, or mashed potatoes – so many lovely possibilities! Roger’s wife, Sue, suggests blending smashed Yukon Gold potatoes with goat cheese. Roger and Sue have lived in France and love to cook together; they are alums of La Varenne and Cordon Bleu cooking school classes and have been inspiring us for years with their elegant yet simple and delicious French meals – we’re going with Sue’s suggestion!
Roger’s Short Ribs Stew
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons flour
5 pounds short ribs
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons herbes de Provence
2 stalks celery, thickly chopped
1/2 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 2″ pieces
2 cans tomatoes, diced (or one box Pomi crushed tomatoes)
1/4 cup cognac (optional)
2 cups red wine
1 quart chicken stock
1 cup orange juice
one 2″ strip of orange peel
1 teaspoon ground pepper
3 cups dried or fresh mushrooms
1 package dried soup mix (We use a box of Manichewitz vegetable mushroom); discard seasoning packet
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Pat ribs dry and dust with flour. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Heat olive oil in large Dutch oven and brown ribs in two batches (don’t crowd them) for about 2 minutes each side on medium-high heat. Remove ribs.
Add onions, garlic, celery, herbs de Provence, carrots, and brown lightly for about 5 minutes. Add cognac if using and carefully set it aflame; allow flames to die before adding red wine, tomatoes, chicken stock, orange juice, orange peel, pepper, and mushrooms.
Return ribs to the pot and bring to boil.
Add dried vegetable soup mix. Then partially cover and put in oven for 4 hours, turning meat occasionally.
Remove orange peel before serving.
We use a slotted spoon to serve into bowls.
Goat Cheese Smashed Potatoes
(adapted from Bon Appetit)
3 pounds russet or Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, cut into 1 1/2″ pieces
1 cup whole milk
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter
4 ounces soft goat cheese (such as Montrachet), crumbled
Cook potatoes in large pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, bring milk and butter to boil in small saucepan over medium-high heat. Remove from heat.
Drain potatoes and return to pot. Add hot milk mixture and smash, leaving large chunks of potatoes; don’t puree or mash. Add goat cheese and blend until cheese is melted and fully incorporated into mix. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (This can be prepared 2 hours ahead and let stand at room temperature. Before serving, stir over low heat until heated through.)