If you need a date night dish that oozes eloquence, you can't go wrong with decadent and savory short ribs. That's assuming you have several hours to let them braise in a slow cooker, of course. The best way to cook beef short ribs is to let them stew in a sauce until they become so tender they're falling off the bone. Braising short ribs involves sizzling them on a stovetop until they're a nice brown then slow-cooking them in a braising liquid.
For many, the sauce is the key, and you will want a braising sauce packed with flavor but also complements the heartiness of the beef. The biggest hang-up many home cooks have when creating a base for the braising liquid is determining the ratio between red wine to beef stock. However, it actually couldn't be simpler. Since you want a rich sauce that brings out the flavors of your beef, opt for more red wine than beef stock. As a general rule of thumb, go with a single 750ml bottle of red wine. There's no need to break out the measuring cups. After pouring in the red wine, fill the rest of the space with beef stock.
You can also add in some other ingredients to help complement the beef. Dice and sautée onions, carrots, garlic, and celery in oil and mix with tomato paste. This will give a sweet zest to your sauce.
The Best Red Wines To Use
Choosing the right wine for your braised short ribs is crucial as the wine will impart much of its flavor into the delicate fat of the beef. You don't have to sacrifice a bottle fit for a king nor break the bank when it comes to selecting a braising wine. Likewise, you shouldn't skimp for box wine like you were going to a frat party either. There's a happy medium, and you can find plenty of budget red wine for $10 to $15. When in doubt, consider this mantra, if it's good enough to drink then it's good enough to cook with. Let that be your guiding star.
As for the specific type of red wine, you will want something dry with less than 1% residual sugar. There are plenty of options for you to choose from. Consider a nice Pinot Noir or Merlot. You could also opt for a Cabernet Sauvignon or Malbec. If you're looking for something a bit spicier, consider a wine from Southern France. These wines typically pair well with slow-cooked foods due to the tannins inside of the wine. Meanwhile, red wines bottled in Tuscany have a nice fruity note that can pair well with your beef and lighten the dish a bit. Consider the taste of the wine you choose. Never cook with a vintage you haven't previously sampled.
Tips For Braised Short Ribs
Selecting the wine may be the most challenging part of cooking short ribs. The dish isn't the most complicated to make even if it is time extensive. However, don't let that simplicity deceive you as you can mess up braised short ribs if you aren't careful. In particular, you don't want to let them overcook. If overcooked, the meat will begin to dry out, resulting in a dish that's hard to chew. To prevent your ribs from drying out too soon, initially cover the ribs for the first portion of the cooking process.
Fortunately, there are some tell-tale signs to let you know when your short ribs are done. If your meat is so tender that it's falling off the bone, that's a clear sign your ribs are ready to serve. Alternatively, you don't want to remove your ribs from the braising sauce too soon. The longer the ribs cook, the more the braising sauce breaks down the fat and connective fibers of the meat, making the beef tender.
One great thing about braised short ribs is that they are mostly ready to serve, and you have a ready-made sauce for your beef. Be sure to ladle some of your braising sauce onto your plate to give your short ribs extra flavor. If you're not a fan of red wine, consider braising your ribs in beer instead.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.