Mkay, so what we have here is a VERY involved recipe. So involved, in fact, that it will be written in 2 parts.
It takes forever to make and it isn’t especially cheap, but wow does it deliver for a big dinner party.
Red Wine and TomatoBraised Short Ribs with Gremolata, Part 1:
6 lb.s bone in short ribs, salted and peppered
zest or peel of 1 orange
2 cups red wine
2-4 cups beef stock
2 onions, diced
1 bunch celery, diced
3 garlic cloves, diced
3 bay leaves
a few sprigs each rosemary and thyme
1 cup flour, to dredge
1 small can tomato paste
3 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup ketchup
1 glug balsamic vinegar
1/2 package bacon
1. Put the bacon in a large Dutch oven or heavy bottomed, oven safe pan with a tight fitting lid. Cook it slowly over medium heat until the fat is totally rendered and the bacon is quite crispy. This should take about 15 minutes – when the bacon is finished, take it out of the pan with a slotted spoon, turn off the oven, and leave the grease in the pan. Put the oven to 325F.
3. Put the short ribs in the pot, 2 or 3 at a time so they don’t touch each other, and sear on each side for about 2 minutes. This is just to sear in the juices, not to cook the meat. Then, remove them to a plate and turn the heat slightly down to medium high.
These are just delicious. Tender, hearty, and bursting with flavor. The faint backnote of orange is sweet; it melds with the tangy balsamic vinegar and jammy tomato paste. The sauce develops its salty flavor as it sits, especially overnight, so be judicious with that Worcestershire sauce. Speaking of which, this is GREAT as a make ahead dish – it’s even better as leftovers than it is the day that it is made. The gravy is thick and hearty – perfect with some creamy polenta. And that ketchup is the secret ingredient – it adds a sweet, tangy dimension that brings in some bbq flavor.
The only thing it’s missing is some brightness. But…oh wait…what’s that on top?