mother’s day braised short ribs

my mom had a bottle of some well gifted chocolate balsamic vinegar in the fridge and we thought they’d be a beautiful addition to a braised short ribs recipe i adapted from Alison Ladman’s Balsamic Braised Shortribs from the Seattle Food & Wine Magazine. I changed a few key cooking techniques but the measurements are roughly based on Alison’s recipe. These short ribs are delicious w/ cheesey polenta or creamy mashed potatoes. I chose to pair them w/ some parmigiano smashed potatoes and butter roasted parsnips & carrots.

Chocolate Balsamic Braised Short Ribs

Serves 9

  • 1.5 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
  • 9 bone in short ribs (about 4.5 lbs)
  • 3 leeks (white parts only), halved, washed, rough chopped
  • 2 medium yellow onions, quartered
  • 3 carrots, peeled & rough chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, rough chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed, green shoot removed
  • 3/4 teaspoons red crushed pepper
  • 1.5 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 teaspoons black pepper, freshly ground
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1.5 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 4.5 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup chocolate balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 + 1/8 cup packed golden brown sugar
  • 1.5 quarts beef stock, preferably home-made w/ gelatin
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 1/4 water (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. In a large, heavy-bottomed pot such as a Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium. Liberally salt your short ribs. Working in batches so as not to crowd the pan, sear the short ribs for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, or until well browned. Transfer the short ribs to a plate.
  2. While the short ribs are browning, puree 1/2 the vegetables and garlic in the food processor until it forms a paste. add puree to bowl and puree the second 1/2 of the vegetables, strain some of the onion water out of the vegetables. When the short ribs are very brown on all sides, remove them from the pan. Drain the fat, (otherwise you will have a huge fat oily layer on top of your short ribs). Coat the bottom of same pan with fresh oil and add the pureed vegetables. Season the vegetables generously with salt and brown until they are very dark and a crud has formed on the bottom of the pan, approximately 12-15 minutes, make sure to watch the pan as it will burn if you walk away. Scrape the crud and let it reform. Scrape the crud again and add the tomato paste. Add the red pepper flakes, brown the tomato paste for 4 to 5 minutes.
  3. Add the Dijon mustard, rosemary sprigs, balsamic vinegar and brown sugar. Scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Return the short ribs to the pot, then add the beef stock. Bring the mixture up to a low simmer and cover.
  4. Place in the preheated 375 degree oven for 2.25 hours, flipping the ribs half way through the 2.25 hours. remove lid after the 2.25 hours and cook for another 45 mins in the oven to reduce the cooking liquid.
  5. Carefully transfer the meat to a plate. Cover awith foil and a couple kitchen towels to keep warm. Bring the liquid to a low simmer on the stovetop and using an immersion blender carefully blend into a finer consistency. using a wooden spoon, add wine and bring up the heat to let it cook off. If you feel like the sauce could be thinned out a bit add water in 1/4 c increments. taste for salt. 
  6. Add the ribs back to the gravy and serve. The short ribs can be held at a low low simmer for up to an hour, lidded, before serving. serve atop your favorite creamy starchy comfort food.