We love braises. In fact, the farm team is definitively biased towards the 'tough' cuts - rich in healthy sinew and fats, explosions of tenderness and flavor best unlocked with low temps and patience. The below 'recipe' is a simple braise (and for a more thorough walk through - read Brandon's Recipe for Carnitas Garnie, below)
- Salt - Either, soak your short ribs in a salt brine overnight or lovingly rub salt into the fibers and pockets of your short ribs before braising. We find Celtic Gray Sea Salt to be the best choice health wise.
- Set meat out for a few hours before you plan to cook so that it can come to room temperature. You can skip this step, but the closer to room temp the meat is before starting, the more evenly it will cook.
- Love the fat - The fat insulates the meat during cooking; as it renders, it bastes the meat from the inside, keeping the cut juicy and creating tenderness. Our beef is 100% grass-fed and finished, and the resulting fat is a source of nourishment for us as eaters.
1. Pre-heat the oven to 325 F
2. Sear Meat - Heat a cast iron with your preferred cooking fat and sear each side of the short ribs. Minimize how much you move the short ribs between rotations. The goal is a deep golden brown (this is called a maillard reaction, which transforms sugars and amino acids on the surface of the meat yielding deeper flavor).
3. Cook Aromatic Vegetables - Remove the meat and deglaze the pan (add a few tablespoons of acid - wine or cooking vinegar while scraping the carmelized bits from the bottom). Turn the heat down to medium and add onions, garlic, and any other aromatics you enjoy. Gently cook these down for 5-10 minutes.
4. Add liquid - Nestle the browned short ribs in the aromatic vegetables and add a cooking liquid - broth, cider, wine - whatever you enjoy, you can be creative here. Usually I'm foraging for forgotten kitchen fluids at this point.
5. Simmer & Add Herbs - Bring the liquid to a simmer, add herbs (rosemary, thyme, peppercorns, etc.) cover and move to the oven.
5. Cook low and slow in the over for 2-3 hours. The lower your oven temperature, the longer you can cook the meat and the more flavor and tenderness you will unlock.
6. Braised meat is finished when it can be pulled apart easily, but does not totally fall apart. Since this process is so slow, you can check it along the way to get a sense of the ideal cook time.
7. Rest for 15 - 20 minutes or more and then serve!
Feel free to experiment with cooking liquids and seasonings. Use your favorite spice rubs, bbq sauce, whatever - the basic braise is incredibly adaptable and forgiving! I cooked short ribs recently (pictured above, lidless, another experiment) and enjoyed them with a spinach salad and sour cream mixed with horseradish.