I’ve been hankering to make short ribs for more than a year after reading an article that claimed they taste their best 24-48 hours after cooking. The theory was interesting – a long rest allowed the meat to absorb braising liquid and fats to properly congeal. I cooked them for almost a full day before letting them rest in the fridge and the results were outstanding.
I opted to sear my short ribs before braising them in the oven (200 degrees for about 20 hours). Looking back on the experience, a slow cooker would have been more energy-efficient as long as I kept my eyes on it and prevented the cooking liquid from boiling. I’ll have to do some research to compare the amount of energy used for both although I think a third alternative will be even better: these will be perfect for cooking on the wood stove or campfire at our cabin (since both fires are used for heat, the energy use is incidental).
The active cooking time is very little (about 15 minutes in total) even though the process is a multi-day task. Here’s a quick photo essay before we share the recipe:
Braised Short Rib Recipe – Ingredients
- As many short ribs that you’d like (they must fit into a pot with a tight-fitting lid or slow cooker. This recipe is based on 4 racks of short ribs.
- 1 onion; roughly chopped.
- Celery or celeriac/ celery root (about the same amount as the onion used); roughly chopped.
- Carrots (same quantity as the onion); roughly chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 liter/ quart of beef stock (enough to cover the ribs)
- Lard, whole fat or high-heat oil (I’ve been using a non-GMO Camelina oil that I’m very fond of)
- Salt and pepper
- Fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme and parsely are a great combination)
Braised Short Rib Recipe – Instructions
- Aggressively season the ribs with salt and pepper. Pat them down.
- Heat a heavy-bottomed pan (that will fit at least one rack of ribs) on high. Add oil or fat.
- The moment the pan just starts to show signs of smoking, add as many ribs as possible without crowding the pan.
- Brown meat until you are sure you’ve cooked it for too long. It should be easy to flip and dark brown when it’s done.
- Once the meat has been browned on all sides, transfer to a pot with a lid or crock pot. Repeat until all meat is in the pot.
- Add vegetables, bay leaves and spices to pot. Cover with stock.
- Heat stock to a near simmer, cover and place in oven (or crock pot), covered. cook for 6-24 hours at lowest temperature making sure to prevent liquid from boiling.
- When it’s cool enough to handle, transfer container to fridge, allow it to rest for 48 hours.
- A layer of fat will have formed on the top of the broth. Skim most of the fat off (you can cook with it or even bake with it)
- You then have several options:
- Eat cold (strain the stock and use it for soup or cook beans in it).
- Warm up the ribs in the liquid on the stove. This is the warmest way to eat them.
- My favorite: strain the solids and reduce the liquid until there is only 0.5 cups remaining (you could warm the ribs at this time if you wanted but I don’t). Chop ribs into small pieces and heat a heavy-bottomed pan on high and repeat steps 2-3. This will create a solid crust on the ribs although the meat will be room temperature.
These ribs were a fantastic meal and the leftovers made for an amazing sandwich!
If you braise short ribs, what are your secrets?