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Cook the Book: Braised Short Ribs with Dijon Mustard

To celebrate the first week of fall, I decided to break out the old Dutch oven and do some braising. Thumbing through the pages of Gourmet Today by Ruth Reichl and John Willoughby, I opted for Braised Short Ribs with Dijon Mustard. So far, all of the recipes from this book have been a resounding success, plus this one had the added bonus of being adapted by chef Daniel Boulud. I ventured into the kitchen, confident something delicious was going to happen.

The short ribs tasted like they had been braising for at least a day, if not two, falling off the bone with a rich beefy, wine-y flavor. And the beautiful part? They didn't take all day—in fact they were finished in about three hours.

There are a few sneaky tricks in this recipe that assist in the illusion of an all-day braise. The first step is to reduce a bottle of wine down to about one cup, concentrating the flavor of the wine. The next involves thoroughly browning the short ribs, then browning the shallots in the fat and juices rendered from the ribs. The shallots are removed and the ribs go back into the pot with the reduced wine and spicy Dijon mustard; the lid goes on and the ribs cook. The browned shallots are reintroduced after about an hour and a half. This way, they keep their integrity and all of that great browned onion flavor. A few raw tomatoes and nothing else. This recipe doesn't call for any herbs or spices—not even a carrot or a clove of garlic. The ingredients verge on austere but the flavor is huge, deep, and earthy.

Three hours for decidedly French and insanely wonderful, falling off the bone short ribs, c'est pas mal, Monsieur Boulud.

Win 'Gourmet Today'

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Gourmet Today to give away this week.

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