Winter, that bastard, is coming to rob us of our joy of cooking. First, it steals our sunlight, making it harder to sneak in post-workday grilling. Next, it robs us of fresh produce, limiting produce selections to a variety of beige tubers. Finally, it will tighten its stranglehold with frigid temperatures, causing the hungry to force pizza delivery people to confront the elements.
This season, don’t let the winter corner you into bad food. Here’s your best defense: On a lazy weekend day, warm your kitchen with a big-batch recipe designed to feed you all week long. The recipe that follows is one for braised short ribs—an inexpensive, tough cut that slow-cooking renders tender and delicious.
Yes, it’s involved. Yes, the ingredients list is a little long. But that’s exactly what makes this such a great weekend project. The preparations are worth it—especially as you reheat it throughout theweek for a lunch that’s way better than whatever beige tubers your work’s cafeteria serves.
Note, too, the Asian-inspired flavors, which give this braise an injection of fresh flavors. Winter? What winter?
6 to 7 lbs. short ribs
8 cloves garlic
1 ½ stick of butter
6 sprigs thyme
1 cup red wine
4 cups beef stock
¾ cup soy sauce
3 Tbsp sesame oil
¾ cup agave syrup
5 large carrots, peeled and large diced
1 cup peeled and large-diced fresh horseradish
10 crimini mushrooms, quartered
2 Spanish onions, rough chopped
2 jalapenos, seeded and rough chopped
¼ cup peeled and large-diced fresh ginger
2 Tbsp black peppercorns
Canola oil, as needed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Coat the bottom of a large sauté pan with canola oil and heat over medium-high. Sear the short ribs on all sides, working in batches if necessary, until well browned, 10 to 12 minutes total for each short rib. Remove the short ribs from the pan and reserve.
Strain the excess fat from the pan, add 2 cloves of garlic, 2 Tbsp butter, and 1 sprig thyme (for each short rib, if working in batches) and baste the short ribs until well coated, about 1 minute. Remove the fat, garlic, and thyme and deglaze the pan with 2 Tbsp of red wine, repeating this step until all the short ribs are seared.
Preheat your oven to 350°F. In a medium pot, heat the remaining wine, stock, soy sauce, sesame oil, and agave syrup until the mixture simmers. Transfer the short ribs to a large braising pan or deep, oven-safe pot. Add the remaining garlic, carrots, horseradish, mushrooms, onions, green onions, jalapenos, ginger, whole peppercorns, and the braising liquid. Cover the braising pan or pot with aluminum foil and cook until the short ribs are tender enough to be pierced easily with a fork, 3 to 4 hours.
Once cooked, remove the short ribs from the pot and reserve. Strain the solids from the liquid, reserving the liquid. Return the short ribs to the liquid and discard the solids. Allow the short ribs to sit in the liquid to absorb some of the juices, at least 30 minutes.
To serve, reheat the short ribs in the liquid until hot. Serve with mashed potatoes and sautéed seasonal vegetables, using the braising liquid as a sauce. Makes 6 to 8 servings.