I won't exactly say that i have a sweet tooth but i have my moments, and on this day i wanted something sweet, savory and filling that wasn't a desert. I'd picked up some beef short ribs on a mindless grocery shopping trip and had some sweet vermouth left over from another meal so i introduced them to each other and out came a delicious Sunday dinner.
Here's what you'll need;
4lbs of Beef Short Ribs
3 Large Carrots
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
3/4 Cup Bourbon
1.5 Cups Sweet Vermouth (If you want it sweet, if not any red wine will do)
2 Cups Chicken Stock or 2 Seasoning Cubes
4 Cloves of Garlic - Peeled & Chopped or Sliced
1 Tablespoon Flour
2 Cups Diced Tomatoes
Fresh Thyme & Rosemary
2 Bay Leaves
Olives - Optional
Salt & Pepper
Preheat oven to 350F then get started on short ribs. Season with salt and pepper generously.
Pour oil into your dutch oven, brown your short ribs on all sides and set aside.
In the same pot add chopped onion and carrots. Allow to cook for about 3 minutes on medium heat, stirring frequently.
Add garlic and cook for another minute, until it has softened and is fragrant.
Add flour and mix quickly before it begins to seize up, add the bourbon (or whiskey) and chicken stock.
Tip: If you have a good chicken stock you will not need additional seasoning cubes. I do not buy chicken or vegetable stock from the store because the flavor doesn't wow me and it's packed with sodium that nobody needs. Instead, break down a whole chicken by yourself and store the bones or bits you would normally throw away. Season them with garlic, ginger, onions, salt and pepper, cook down for 20 - 30 minutes on low to medium heat, strain and you'll have chicken stock that tastes better that any that you'll buy in the store. Or buy cuts of chicken you don't like or wouldn't eat and just use them for stock. Same applies to beef stock.
If you do not have chicken stock, add 2 cups of water and 2 seasoning cubes. Mix properly then add your diced tomatoes and herbs.
Return your short ribs into the pot, cover and transfer to the oven for 2 hours.
After cooking for 2 hours your braise should have reduced to about half its initial quantity and thickened up. If it isn't thick enough for you, you can add a teaspoon of flour and mix. To avoid lumps, scoop some liquid from the pot and dissolve your flour into it and mix or whisk till smooth, then transfer back to the pot.
Remove bay leaves and add olives (this is optional, i saw it on a number of recipes and i thought to try it out and i liked it. The little burst of saltiness from the olives was a treat for me). Turn the heat down to 275, and transfer back into the oven for 30 minutes.
I've seen other blogs recommend bringing your braise to a quick boil on the stove top if it still isn't thick enough for you, but i would rather a simmer for a little longer period of time, with the pot uncovered than the time you'd use to quick boil it.
Allow your braise to cool for 5 to 10 minutes before deciding if you want to thicken it some more as it will thicken some more as it cools. If it coats and sticks to the back of a spoon, it is perfect!
Best served with mashed potatoes.
Recipe by Nneka O. Blogger, Foodie, Nomad, Taste-maker. Potty Mouth. Feminist. Biochemist. Find more of her amazing recipes on her food Blog, CravesCorner