The ultimate comfort food, short ribs infuse a slow-cooked sauce with sultry flavor. The trick? Searing meat at a high heat to build depth, a slow, low oven setting, and infusions like orange zest and bay leaves. That, and patience so ingredients can meld.
The red wine-tomato sauce is acidic, so it needs to be cut with a bit of sugar. This won't make it sweet; instead, it'll take the edge off. The rest pretty much takes care of itself. A quick, easy lemon-parsley gremolata brightens the dish to spring-like heights.
- Yield:serves 4
- Active time: 35 minutes
- Total time:3 hours 30 minutes
- For the Short Ribs:
- 4 (8-ounce) pieces bone-in short ribs
- 1 cup flour
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups dry red wine
- 1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed between your fingers
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 (15.4-ounce) jar roasted red peppers, drained and roughly chopped
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 medium onion, quartered
- 1 three-inch strip of orange zest
- 2 medium cloves peeled garlic, smashed
- 1 ½ teaspoons sugar
- For the Gremolata:
- 2 tablespoons grated zest from 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
- 1 medium clove garlic, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 325°F. Combine flour, 1½ teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper in a large, shallow dish. Dredge short ribs in flour mixture, coating all sides and shaking off excess.
Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over high heat until smoking. Brown short ribs two at a side, turning until well browned on all sides, about 8 minutes total per batch. Transfer seared ribs to a large plate.
Add red wine to pan, scraping browned bits off the bottom with a wooden spoon. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer for a minute before adding tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, red peppers, bay leaves, onion, orange zest, garlic and sugar. Return to a boil, cover, place in oven and braise until meat is tender, 2 ½ to 3 hours, turning ribs half way through cooking. Season braising liquid to taste with salt and pepper.
While the short ribs are cooking, combine the lemon zest, parsley, garlic, and pepper flakes. Season to taste with salt.
When meat is finished, allow to rest for at least 10 minutes, or for better results, cool and reheat the next day. Discard bay leaves, onions, zest and garlic. Place short ribs on a platter, drizzle with braising liquid and top with a gentle shower of gremolata.