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Braised Short Ribs of Beef

Nothing can quite match the allure of meat cooked so long and slow that it literally falls off the bone. This recipe epitomizes the braising cooking method by which the meat, in this case beef short ribs, is cooked in red wine and broth for over 2-1/2 hours. An oft-forgotten bonus to this dish, as well as other braised meats, is how great it holds up as leftovers - as the flavors just seem to deepen and develop more complexity.

Serve with Creamy Grits, Polenta or Cauliflower Puree.

5 pounds beef short ribs
salt & pepper

2 T. vegetable oil
2 onions, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
2 garlic gloves, chopped
1 tsp. thyme
1 bay leaf

1 bottle dry red wine
(I once didn't have a whole bottle, so I made a mix from what I did have in the cupboards: red wine, marsala and madiera)
4 cups beef broth (chicken or vegetable broth or a mix of both will work as well)

Heat oven to 375.
Salt and pepper ribs. Heat oil in large, deep saute pan. Brown ribs in two patches and transfer to casserole dish.
Add veggies and herbs to hot pan. Saute a few minutes. Add wine. Bring to boil and reduce liquid to 1/3 cup. Add broth and bring to boil. Pour all this over ribs in the casserole.
Cover with foil and braise in oven for 2-1/2 hours. Let cool.
Transfer meat to a bowl and discard bones. Strain liquid through strainer over a saucepan. Press veggies. Discard veggies.
Remove any fat on top of sauce if you want. Boil sauce down to 1 cup.

Serve meat with a few tablespoons of sauce and, if desired, this creamy horseradish sauce:
1-1/2 T. horseradish
1/3 c. creme fraiche (or sour cream)

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