Red Wine Braised Beef Short Ribs
So, I am sure you are all familiar with umami. It was discovered way back in 1908 by some guy in Japan, mainly because Japanese food is just loaded with umami and somebody had to put a name to the “fifth taste” (after sweet, sour, bitter and salty). But nobody really talked about it much until a few years ago when all the food writers ran out of food trends and they Googled “trends” and Kikunae Ikeda’s name popped up. And since he’s been dead since 1936, naturally they could just pretend they discovered umami all on their own. Of course, that’s my interpretation and none of it could be true. But that’s how it seems.
Anyway, umami doesn’t have an actual taste of its own. It just makes meaty or savory foods taste more meaty or savory. Scientifically speaking, we taste umami via receptors for glutamate (as in monosodium glutamate, which almost everyone thinks they’re allergic to but almost no one actually is – look it up).
But I digress. There are certain foods that are just loaded with umami such as tomatoes, mushrooms, red wine, Worcestershire sauce and beef. Since the weather is turning cooler, I decided to cram as many umami-inducing ingredients into one hearty dish just for the hell of it. King Daddy knows nothing of umami, but he does love him a big pot of meat. So braised short ribs it was. Yes, you will love this. KD has eaten on that same pot for three days now and he’s still not tired of it. And, by the way, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with taking leftover beef short ribs and serving them on crusty French bread as a sandwich. Absolutely nothing.
- Red Wine Braised Short Ribs
- 2 pounds beef short ribs
- Salt and pepper
- Vegetable oil
- 1 large onion cut into thick slices
- ½ pound baby carrots
- 2 large cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
- 3 ounces tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- Enough red wine to cover meat two-thirds of the way up the pot
- 1 cup beef stock
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 8 ounces sliced mushrooms
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
- Salt and pepper the short ribs on all sides. Heat the vegetable oil over medium high heat on the stove. Add the ribs and brown thoroughly on all sides. Remove and reserve.
- Add the carrots and onions to the same pot. Saute the vegetables until they begin to brown. Then add the garlic and tomato paste. Continue cooking for another 1-2 minutes and then add the short ribs and any accumulated juices back to the pot.
- Add enough red wine to cover the ribs two-thirds of the way up the pot and the beef stock.
- Put the pot in the oven and cover with the lid slightly ajar. Cook for 3-4 hours, checking occasionally to make sure there’s enough liquid in the pot, until the ribs are fork tender.
- While the ribs are cooking, melt the butter in a sauté pan over medium high heat and add the mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper and sauté until they are well browned. Reserve.
- Remove the ribs and strain the sauce to eliminate the fat. Add the sauce back to the pan along with the mushrooms, smoked paprika and the ribs.