By Marcy Roberts
Here’s a perfect recipe for a winter dinner party with a few friends. Six happy people recently enjoyed it over a potato and celery root purée with a crusty baguette to dip into the delicious sauce and a green salad to start.
5-6 lbs. bone-in short ribs
Freshly ground black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 large Spanish onion, chopped
3 ribs celery, chopped
10-12 carrots, 2 peeled and chopped, 10 cut into 3” pieces
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1/4 cup tomato paste
2–3 cups hearty red wine
1 28 oz. can tomato puree
2 cups water
1 bunch fresh thyme, tied with kitchen string
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup pitted green olives, quartered
Handful fresh parsley, chopped
1. Season each short rib generously with salt and pepper. Let them sit at room temperature for an hour or two if you can; they’ll taste better.
Coat a large oven-safe pot or Dutch oven with a few glugs of olive oil and bring to a medium-high heat on stovetop. Add the short ribs to the pan and brown very well, about 3 minutes per side. Do not overcrowd pan. Cook in batches, if necessary.
2. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
3. When the short ribs are very brown on all sides, remove them from the pot. Drain the fat, coat the bottom of same pot with a little fresh oil and add the chopped onions, celery and carrots, reserving 3” carrot pieces. Season generously with salt and cook over medium heat until vegetables are soft and onions are translucent, approximately 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and tomato paste and brown for 4 to 5 minutes. Add the wine and scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add the tomato puree and cook another 10 minutes to reduce the liquid and concentrate the flavors.
4. Return the short ribs to the pot and add 2 cups water or enough to just about cover the meat. Add the thyme bundle and bay leaves. Cover the pot and place in the preheated oven for about 3 hours (yes really—you cannot overcook this!). Check periodically during the cooking process and add more water if needed. Halfway through the cooking time, turn the ribs over and add the remaining carrots. After 3 hours, the meat should be fall-off-the-bones tender. Reduce the heat to 250 degrees F. Remove the lid, add the olives and parsley and cook for another 20 minutes to get nice and brown and to let the sauce reduce. Spoon over the carb of your choice, sprinkle with more chopped fresh herbs (parsley and chives) and serve!