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Braised Short Ribs - Food Gypsy

Braised Short Ribs a la Gypsy – Recipe

Simple, hardworking food. Braised Short Ribs a la Gypsy are a slow-cooked ode to my Roma heritage, compliments of my mother’s kitchen.

Beef short ribs are perhaps one of the most underrated cuts of meat. At first glace they’re short, fatty, bone-in chunks of beef. Handle them wrong and you have greasy, tough, chewy chunks of beef. Treat them with a little respect and a bit of love, and you have rich, flavourful, tender fall-off-the-bone, beefy goodness!

Winter Comfort

In the winter months this was a dish that made a frequent appearance in my Mother’s kitchen. She would fill her big Dutch oven to the brim, slow braising the ribs and vegetables, turning on occasion, the steam rising and setting off the smoke alarm. The whole house would fill with the rich aroma of something truly wonderful and the dogs would walk through the kitchen, noses high in the air, breathing deeply.

Using only root vegetables, a bit of oil, dash of herbs, salt & pepper and a few humble short ribs, she created a mountain of food.

I learned a great deal in my Mother’s kitchen

It was years later that I realized how far my Mother extended the family budget by using the least expensive cuts of meat, buying bulk in-season, cold storing things like cabbage and potatoes, canning jars and jars of peaches & tomatoes, taking advantage of every discount and still turning out amazing meals that never lacked in flavour or quality.

She taught the value of meat that was well marbled – because that fat is where the flavour is. How to handle a tough cut with low heat and some extra time. How to scrub root vegetables well and, unless the skin was in some way unsightly, to leave it largely intact on things like potatoes & carrots because much of the nutrient value lies in that 1/4 inch just below the skin.

But most of all I learned the value of a dollar. I tell you, I can stretch a penny so far I could knit a sweater made of copper wire!

Humble Food Is Good Food

Many of the recipes on Food Gypsy have humble beginnings; inexpensive cuts of meat, easy to find ingredients, simple techniques. Done well and handled with grace – they turn the heads of even those with the most discerning palate.

As the cold of winter lifts, and the last of the larder is emptied before green things begin popping out of the ground — this is my take on Mom’s classic Braised Short Ribs and a prime example of her farmhouse thrift.

I picked up two packages of (smaller) short ribs (on sale) for under $5, added four medium potatoes, five carrots, two onions, seasoning, a half cup of beef stock and some olive oil – all in, this meal (four servings), cost about $8.20 to produce.

I even used the snazzy ‘rainbow carrots’ – just for fun. (Mom would be so proud.)

Wine & Mustard
Wine & mustard, compliments of the Frenchman in my life. He didn’t use the mustard. He didn’t dare.

Easy In The Kitchen

Easy is underrated. These Braised Short Ribs almost cook themselves. The vegetables likewise, and with a little beef jus and a bit of time you have a pot full of flavour and aroma.

I could have adjusted Mom’s recipe over the years, but when it works, don’t change a THING. Simple. Tasty. Perfectly prepared — the most common mistake most people make with a meal like this is that they overcook the vegetables and then they begin to breakdown.

When people ask me what kind of food I like and I say ‘simple food’ this is what I’m talking about… it’s… just… honest. It’s the only word that truly fits, it’s not pretending to be anything other than what it is – braised short ribs.

Notes from the Cellar

Wine paring on this occasion: Henri Montagny Pommard Les Poisots, France. A ripe, fruity Pinot Noir, the noble red grape of Burgundy, with a slight acidity but enough of a back end to pair well with a robust meal.

Well chosen. A fine grape for a humble meal.

Short ribs, olive oil & seasoning... Root vegetables, olive oil & seasoning De-greasing the au jus...

Adding a touch of beef stock... Just out of the oven... Resting in the cocotte...

Just honest, good food. Nothin’ fancy. Thanks Mom.

Serve Braised Short Ribs with lightly toasted sourdough bread, a hearty bottle of red and a drizzle of that beautiful short rib, vegetable infused juice in the bottom of the pot. It’s too good to waste. Honestly.

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Braised Short Ribs - Food Gypsy

Braised Short Ribs a la Gypsy – Recipe


  • Author: Cori Horton
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: Serves 4 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

Simple, hardworking food. Braised Short Ribs a la Gypsy are a slow-cooked ode to my Roma heritage, compliments of my mother’s kitchen.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 3 pounds Short Ribs, bone in
  • 4 medium potatoes, quartered
  • 4 carrots, cut into two bite pieces
  • 2 onions, quartered
  • 4 Cloves of garlic, whole, crushed
  • 1/21 cup of beef stock
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3 Bay leaves
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

Instructions

1. In large oven proof pot, place short ribs one layer deep, drizzle with 2 tablespoons of oil, sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of thyme and season with salt & pepper. Gently toss to coat. Place, covered in 300°F (150°C) oven for approximately 30 minutes, until fat is rendered from the meat and the meat is shrinking off the bone slightly.
2. While short ribs cook, prep vegetables in a large bowl with garlic. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of oil, sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of thyme, add bay leaves and season with salt & pepper. Gently toss to coat and set aside.
3. Remove short ribs from oven, remove short ribs from pot, placing in large bowl and reserve. Using a spoon or ladle gently remove excess fat from the drippings in the bottom of the pot. Add beef stock to juices (the amount will vary depending on the amount of natural juices you have, and how salty it might be), place pot over medium heat and reduce if needed. Taste. Season as needed.
4. Add seasoned vegetables to stock, cover and place back in oven for 30 – 40 minutes, until vegetables are just cooked and still firm. Remove from oven.
5. Add short ribs to the top of the vegetables, one layer deep and return to the oven for 20 minutes. Remove from oven. Let rest, without heat – uncovered – for about 10 minutes.

  • Prep Time: 30 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 90 minutes
  • Category: Mains
  • Method: Braising
  • Cuisine: Romani

Keywords: Braised Short Ribs, Braised Beef Short Ribs

Cori Horton

Fearlessly cooking in her home kitchen just outside Ottawa, Canada; Cori Horton is a food photographer, food marketing consultant, recipe developer and sustainability advocate. A Cordon Bleu trained chef, Cori spent five years as the owner of Nova Scotia's Dragonfly Inn and now shares all things delicious - right here.

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