A crisp autumn evening, a fire in the fireplace, golden light in the room, a cozy gathering with a bunch of good friends—something braised is in order. Chef Traci Des Jardins gave us this basic but delicious recipe. Serve these short ribs with something that can soak up all the extra braising liquid, like our Classic Mashed Potatoes or Pancetta and Hominy Polenta.
What to buy: Most short ribs you’ll come across are cut English style. If you buy your meat from an Asian market, though, they may be cut thinner, which is called Korean style. We tested this recipe using the English-style ribs, and though you could use either cut, the Korean-style ribs will cook significantly faster.
1Heat the oven to 300°F and arrange a rack in the bottom third. Pat the ribs dry with a paper towel and rub them with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Season well with salt and pepper. Let the ribs come to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
2Once the meat is ready, place a Dutch oven or a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. When the oil shimmers, add the ribs and sear until well browned on both sides, about 4 to 5 minutes per side.
3Remove the ribs to a large plate or baking sheet and set aside. Reduce the heat to medium; add the onion, leek, carrots, and celery to the pot; and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and browned, about 8 minutes. Add the wine and cook, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan, until it’s reduced by half, about 5 minutes.
4Add the broth and reserved ribs and bring the mixture to a boil. Cover the pot with a tightfitting lid and transfer it to the oven. Cook until the meat falls off the bone, about 2 1/2 hours.
5Remove the ribs from the oven, transfer to a plate, and cover loosely with aluminum foil. Strain the braising liquid through a mesh strainer into a medium bowl; discard the solids. Using a large spoon or fat separator, skim the fat from the surface of the liquid and discard. Return the braising liquid to the pot and keep it warm while you make the salad. Serve the ribs with a bit of the braising liquid over potatoes or polenta with the salad on the side.
Beverage pairing: A medium- to full-bodied red will work great with this hearty dish. Since there are no overt spices or very delicate textures, feel free to drink as big and badass as you like. A California wine that is always rock solid is the 2003 Cloverdale Ranch Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.