September 2015

September Food & Wine

Author: Special to CH2

Tom Colicchio’s
BRAISED SHORT RIBS

INGREDIENTS:
For the marinade
2 Tablespoons peanut oil
6 10-ounce beef short ribs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 small yellow onions, peeled and chopped
2 small carrots, peeled and chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
3 garlic gloves, peeled
1 bottle dry red wine
1 small bunch fresh thyme

For the braise
2 tablespoons peanut oil
2 small yellow onions, peeled and chopped
2 small carrots, peeled and chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
3 garlic gloves, peeled
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 small bunch fresh thyme
2 to 3 cups veal stock or brown chicken stock

Preparation:
For the marinade: Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Season the ribs with salt and pepper and brown them in batch on all sides, about 40 minutes per batch. Remove the ribs from the skillet and place them bone side down in a single layer in a baking dish or large container. Add the onions, carrots, celery stalks to the skillet. Add the garlic, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and golden, about 30 minutes. Pour in the wine and add the thyme. Bring the marinade to a boil, then remove it from the heat. Pour the warm marinade over the meat. Cover and refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours, turning the ribs at least once.

For the braise: drain the ribs, reserving the wine but discarding the vegetables and herbs. Set the oven to 350˚ F. Heat the oil in a very large, high-sided ovenproof skillet or other braising pan over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, celery, garlic and salt and pepper to taste. Sweat the vegetables, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring the wine to a boil in a saucepan and skim any foam that rises to the surface. When the vegetables are tender add the thyme, ribs, wine and enough stalk to barely cover. Bring the stock to a simmer, then cover the pan and transfer it to the oven.

Braise the meat in the oven at a very gentle simmer (tiny bubbles) for 11/2 hours, then remove the lid. Continue simmering, adjusting the oven temperature if necessary and basting occasionally, until the meat is fork tender, about 11/2 hours longer. Allow the ribs to cool slightly, then remove fro the pot. Strain and degrease the braising liquid. Place the ribs in a shallow container, pour the liquid over them, and refrigerate overnight.

To serve, heat the oven to 350˚F. Remove the ribs from the braising liquid. Separate the meat from the bones (use a knife to ensure a neat presentation.) discard the bones and place the meat in an ovenproof serving pan. Bring the braising liquid to a boil in a saucepan. Then, pour enough of it over the ribs to come about halfway up them. Heat the ribs in the oven, basting frequently with the reducing braising liquid. Continue cooking and basting until the meat is heated through and nicely glazed, about 40 minutes.

A Note from the Editor
This has become my all-time favorite recipe. Several years ago, my friend Vinnie D’Annunzio returned from Vegas with a signed copy of a Tom Colicchio cookbook that contained this recipe. I remember watching him prepare the marinade, filling the house with this heavenly aroma, before breaking the news that it was just the first part of 48-hour recipe. We had to wait another whole day for it to be finished! Right after getting the ribs in the refrigerator to marinate overnight, he got a phone call from his family about his grandmother falling ill. He looked at me with all seriousness as he packed his bags and said, “Mags, you have to finish the ribs.” Vinnie was intense about cooking, and you did not throw out a giant pan of ribs that you spent two hours preparing just because you had to hop on a plane to West Virginia.

Finishing the ribs was a tall order for 30-year-old Maggie. But I didn’t want to let him down. I did finish those ribs, and I can still remember sitting on the couch watching movies on a chilly winter day as the delicious bouquet of those braising ribs filled the kitchen.

I love making this in winter for a large group of family & friends. It’s pretty labor intensive and starts the day BEFORE you want to eat it, but is definitely worth the energy. I highly recommend getting an extra bottle of wine to enjoy while you are making it—here’s a lot of chopping involved.

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