Red wine Braised Short Ribs served with Crispy Pierogis. Hunks of rich bone on short ribs that are incredibly tender and simmered in a rich luscious red wine braise with deep caramelized flavours and fresh herbs that’s spooned over homemade pan-fried pierogis stuffed with potatoes, cheese and chives.
This meal is super comforting and warming. It has some classic low and slow braised meat flavours and ingredients that all come together in one pot. Similar to a pot roast, or beef bourguignon where the use of carrots, celery, onions and garlic make a mirepoix base that’s cooked until the vegetables are tender and the use of tomato paste, red wine and beef stock come in to form the braising liquid. This is what I would consider to be base ingredients for these types of meals, from there you can add your own twist and enhance your dish with spices, different types of wines with a specific profile (sweet, spicy, heavy or light) I also added bacon to add a more meaty flavour and make it more savoury. Searing the meat or browning before hand is also key in getting those deeper flavours and it also helps the meat from drying out and allows it to soak up the braise better. Some other ingredients I would recommend would be Worcestershire sauce which helps to boost that umami or even brown sugar to give it more sweetness.
This is the meal to make if you want restaurant-quality food at home with a little less effort. All the work is upfront and everything comes together over the slow braise period which is roughly 2-3 hours. This is a meal that anyone and everyone can make. It’s a great special occasion meal, great for holidays or smaller groups of 6, and date night. The leftovers are also to die for and unbelievably good. It’s also a lazy Sunday type of meal if you’re used to eating something that’s more comforting.
I always like to start by getting all the ingredients ready. From chopping the vegetables, slicing the bacon to seasoning the short ribs. This makes the process move along much quicker and a smoother execution. For this recipe I stuck to a Dutch oven and took it from the stovetop to finish in the oven. I always like to finish in the oven because I find the taste to be so much better. This can easily be made in the crockpot by pre-cooking the bacon and searing the meat. I would also probably cook the onions a little before adding to the crockpot.
typically the meat is first browned at a higher heat, then simmered in a covered pot in cooking liquid. It helps break down the fibers and proteins making them better to digest and once browned, it’s simmered low and slow to develop the flavours by submerging in liquid to tenderize the meat where it’s falling off the bone. This is definitely one of my most preferred methods of cooking. It’s hard to beat the taste of a well prepared dish where the meat just melts in your mouth. When I think of comforting, beefy, rich, warm- this is what pops in my head.
Short ribs have become super popular these past couple of years. Now widely seen and already prepared and cut by butchers and on the shelf of the meat isles. Their popularity has also boosted the price. Which makes this meal an occasional meal rather than a weekly meal. It’s too bad.. maybe the prices will go down?! Short ribs are very nice pieces of meat in terms of beautiful marbling throughout each cut. Some do have larger fat caps on the ends. I like to get short ribs that are bone-in because it makes them so much more appealing and makes for a beautiful presentation. I also plan for 1 short rib per person.
I chose to make some homemade pierogis this time around but store bought is just fine. If you prefer to serve this with some roasted potatoes, mashed potatoes or another side of choice that is completely up to you! I find the pierogis make for a fun alternative to your typical potato side dish and make this super fun and playful. Who doesn’t love pierogis. Their crispy, and cheesy and will hold well in the sauce. If you make your own pierogis and the short ribs , it does become a full day in the kitchen. Of course the pierogis could be made ahead and kept frozen. The recipe makes roughly 60 or just over that depending on how thick or thin the dough is rolled out which makes for a lot of cutting and folding. Making pierogis is probably a once a year thing for me and when I run out I switch to frozen. Each time I make them it reminds me why it’s worth it to make your own.
You’ll know that the ribs are ready if you gently grab one and check to see if the meat is falling off easily. If not, not to worry it just needs a little more time to cook. Do this in half hour increments. Once you’ve pulled the pot out of the oven, I like to pull some of the liquid out and thicken it to create a really nice sauce. This is done by adding the liquid into a saucepan and heating it on the stove. Bring the liquid to a boil and reduce to simmer. I’ll stir in about a tsp size of cornstarch to speed up the thickened. You can add more fresh herbs or salt and pepper if you feel like it could use extra taste. How I served this was by plating the pierogis adding a short rib on top and spooning the sauce overtop. Be sure to also include those carrots and bacon. finish with some sour cream, chopped chives and parsley for a pop of colour.
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