Oh my, this was honestly one of the best dishes to come out of Around My French Table, and as you know, there have been so many hits so far, this is really saying a lot. I’ve actually never eaten beef ribs (that I can remember) and I even encountered some confusion when I went to buy them at Rowe Farms. Short ribs, did I want them cut up or whole? English cut? I had no idea. I knew I didn’t want to serve these babies uncut:
I spent an embarrassing 20 minutes deciding what I needed/wanted, all the while furiously Googling stuff on my iPhone, then I found that Bon Appétit had published a version of the recipe stating the size required for said ribs.
Once I had them home, I set about roasting them briefly, then braising them in an intoxicating mix of port, red wine and a whole slew of herbs and spices. I was pleased to see the recipe said you could make it a day ahead because they do braise for 3 hours and that’s just not practical for me if I arrive home at 6pm! By the time they were out of the oven, most of the meat was falling off the bone – I had a tough time getting a whole one for a photo!
Overnight, our house smelled absolutely heavenly and the next evening, when I arrived home and set about heating them up, the house still smelled amazing. Dorie’s recipe called for a citrus gremolata but I didn’t have time to make that. I whipped up some mashed sweet potatoes and mixed in a little cream and blue cheese. I liked the colour contrast.
Our guests raved about these ribs. I literally had to hide two of them so I could get a photo the following day. The glaze was rich and flavourful but not overpowering – I was worried that with both port and wine it might be too much. But the braising liquid has spent so much time in the oven that it burns off the alcohol so what you are left with is a sticky sweet beefy broth that you reduce until it’s glaze-consistency. They were perfect. Neil ate the two saved ones and they were, dare I say, even better two days later. This is definitely a dish that benefits from a long time in the oven – even though we started out with great meat, this only served to make it better. It was falling off the bone, so tender you could just about spread it on bread.
I have never thought that I was a “rib person” but this recipe has changed my mind.
French Fridays with Dorie participants do not publish the recipes on our blogs, rather, we prefer if you purchase Around My French Table for yourselves (trust me, you definitely want this book!) which you can do here on Amazon (great price right now) or here on Amazon Canada (it’s also on special!). Go on, treat yourself join us in 2011!