Braised Short Ribs
(courtesy of Debbie Branby, Reno. Adapted from Ina Garten) 6 beef short ribs, trimmed of excess fat (watch out for short ribs with lots of fat and no meat)
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
¼ olive oil
1 small fennel, fronds, stems, and core removed, large-dice
1 leek, cleaned and large-dice, white part only
4 cups large-dice celery (6 large stalks)
6 small carrots, peeled and quartered lengthwise
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 bottle of dry red wine – Zinfandel is terrific
Fresh rosemary sprigs
Fresh thyme sprigs
2 tablespoons brown sugar
6 cups beef stock or enough to cover the short ribs Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place short ribs on a sheet pan, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast for 15 minutes. Remove from oven. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees F.
Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven and add fennel, leek, onion, celery, and carrots and cook over medium-low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Add tomato paste and wine, bring to a boil and cook over high heat until liquid is reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon salt and 1 tablespoon pepper. Tie rosemary and thyme together with kitchen twine and add to pot.
Placed roasted ribs on top of vegetables in Dutch oven and add brown sugar and beef stock. Bring to a simmer over high heat. Cover Dutch oven and bake for 2 hours in 300-degree F oven or until the meat is very tender.
Carefully remove short ribs and vegetables from pot, put on a baking sheet, cover with foil and keep warm in a low oven. Discard herbs and skim off excess fat from pot. Cook sauce on stove over medium heat for 20 minutes, until reduced.
To serve, place ribs and vegetables on a caramelized onion polenta or roasted garlic mashed potatoes and serve with sauce. If you like blue cheese, garnish with crumbled gorgonzola – it is delicious.

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