Recipe by Molly Stevens
This recipe originally appeared in our Winter/Spring 2021 issue. Get the magazine here.
Start to Finish: 3 hours 30 minutes
- 1/2 oz. dried porcini mushrooms
- 3/4 cup warm water
- 4 to 4 1/2 lb. bone-in beef short ribs, preferably English-style
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 oz. thickly sliced pancetta or bacon, diced
- 3 large shallots, coarsely chopped (about 1 cup)
- 2 medium carrots, coarsely chopped (about 1 cup)
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp. tomato paste
- 1 bottle (750 ml) hearty dry red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon
- 2 bay leaves
1. Arrange the rack in the lower third of the oven; preheat to 325°.
2. In a small bowl, combine the mushrooms and warm water and soak until softened, 20 to 30 minutes. Use your hands to lift the mushrooms from the liquid and squeeze to wring out any excess moisture. Coarsely chop the mushrooms and set aside. Strain the soaking liquid though cheesecloth or a coffee filter and reserve.
3. While the mushrooms are soaking, pat the short ribs dry with paper towels and season all over with salt and pepper. In a large Dutch oven or other ovenproof pot, heat the oil over medium. Working in batches, sear the ribs, turning with tongs, until deeply browned on all sides, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a large plate or bowl.
4. Pour off and discard the excess fat from the pot, but take care to leave behind some of the drippings. Add the pancetta and sauté, stirring, until it has rendered much of its fat, about 5 minutes. Add the shallots and carrots, season, and sauté, stirring, until beginning to soften, another 5 minutes. Add the garlic and tomato paste, stirring to fully incorporate. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add 1 cup wine and simmer, stirring and scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pot, until the mixture is reduced to a few tablespoons, about 5 minutes. Add the remaining wine, reserved mushrooms and soaking liquid, and bay leaves and simmer for another 3 minutes. Turn off the burner.
5. Return the short ribs to the pot along with any juices, arranging them on their sides so they fit in a snug single layer. Cover the pot with a piece of parchment paper, pressing down on the paper so it sits just above the meat and allowing the edges of the paper to hang over the rim of the pot by about an inch. Cover with the lid and place the pot into the oven. Braise, turning the ribs with tongs halfway through, until the meat is fork-tender and falling off the bone, 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
6. To serve right away, carefully transfer the ribs to a serving platter, doing your best not to let the tender meat slip off the bones. Let the braising liquid and solids settle for a few minutes in the pot; with a shallow spoon, skim off as much fat as possible from the surface and discard the bay leaves. Taste for salt and pepper. Spoon the sauce over the ribs and serve.
7. To serve later, let the ribs cool for about 1 hour in the braising liquid. Transfer the ribs and sauce to a glass or other nonreactive container, cover tightly, and refrigerate for 1 to 3 days. When ready to serve, preheat the oven to 375°. Scrape the solidified fat from the sauce and meat. Transfer the ribs and sauce to a baking dish and cover with foil. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove the foil and baste the ribs with sauce. Bake until heated through, about 10 minutes more. Transfer ribs to a serving platter or plates. Remove the bay leaves and season, if needed. Spoon the sauce over the ribs and serve.