Not to be confused with Beef Short Ribs, Boneless Short Ribs are altogether a different part of the animal. As mentioned in an earlier recipe, Braised Beef Short (Boneless) Ribs, these so called ‘ribs’ are not from the ribs section at all, close, but not enough to truly be called a rib. Now there are true boneless ribs which are the meats cut from the ribs but that is not what I am using today or before either and not what is marked in many butcher’s cases. The term implies the cut is from the rib area but actually comes from the chuck area which is next to the ribs. This area of beef produces a very fine cut of meat meant for stewing and with the meat marbled in fat, makes for great kabobs taking marinades so well.
|well marbled beef|
Also known as boneless chuck western style ribs, braising ribs, even labeled boneless barbecue ribs, this area of the chuck is best cooked indoors using a braising method. Doing so produces a very tender, melt-in-your-mouth bite every time, that is, when cooked properly. This is one of the most important cooking techniques I know as with it, you can always make a fine meal out of any ol’ cheap cut of meat. Here is my step-by-step method for braising meats.
Use this way of cooking less tender meats with a quick sear followed with a moist heat at low temperature.
Cut meat into uniform size if using more that one piece. Season all sides with a little salt and pepper, then dust with a light coating of all-purpose flour mixed with a little sugar. The sugar not only adds taste but helps with a quick browning of the surface.
Heat a braising pan on medium high heat. Add about 1 to 2 tablespoons cooking oil into the pan and tilt pan to evenly distribute the oil. When a faint smoke appears, the pan is hot enough to begin browning the meat.
Do not overcrowd the pan if cooking several pieces, placing the meat into the oil and pressing down gently with a spatula to ensure good contact with the surface of the entire area of meat. Turn the meat over when golden brown, about 2 – 2 1/2 minutes per side. Continue to cook on each side until all sides are nice and brown but being careful not to actually cook the interior of the meat. Remove meat to warming platter and continue cooking remaining meats.
If sauteing vegetables, do so now by removing all but 1 tablespoon of grease from the pan. Lower heat to medium and add the vegetables along with garlic too. Saute for about 4 minutes to brown the vegetables.
Add the browned meats to the pan along with appropriate broth such as meat stock, water or wine to cover the bottom half of the meat. Reduce heat to low, cover with lid and cook until meat is fork tender.
Note: Adding too much sugar or flour to the surface of the meat may cause uneven browning.
Now for the recipe . . . Enjoy!
Boneless Short Ribs
in a Port Wine Tomato Gravy
4 to 5 pounds boneless chuck short ribs
salt, pepper, sugar to taste
all-purpose flour for dusting
3 to 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
1 cup port wine
1 tablespoon minced parsley
1 teaspoon snipped basil
2 cups beef stock
1 -14.5 oz can petite diced tomatoes with juice
2 tablespoons cornstarch
Lightly sprinkle salt, pepper and sugar on all sides of the beef. Dust with the flour. I use a small handheld wire strainer ’cause it works pretty good.
Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and when hot, add the oil. Sear the meat on all sides as discussed above, cooking in 2 batches. Remove meat to a warm dish.
|creating a good sear without overcooking is the key to braising|
Remove all but about 1 tablespoons of the oil from the pan and add the chopped onions, celery and carrots. Cook stirring occasionally until onions are tender. Be careful not to burn the fond on the bottom of the pan.
Add the wine and continue cooking on medium high about 5 minutes or until most of the wine is reduced out. Add the parsley, basil, beef stock and tomatoes. Return liquid to a boil and reduce heat to lowest setting. Place the beef chuck ribs over the vegetables, cover with lid and cook 3 to 4 hours.
About 30 minutes from finish, remove about 1/2 cup of liquid from the pan. Allow to cool completely and stir in the cornstarch. Add to the pan stirring and carefully lifting ribs to distribute the thickener. Allow to thicken and turn off heat.
Serve over rice with bread choice and a side of vegetables, or two.