Sunday, December 27, 2009

Short Ribs alla Genovese

These short ribs from A16: Food + Wine embody much of what this blog is all about: making the most of just a little bit. In this case, that little bit is ingredients, of which this recipe contains only a handful, and almost all of which are probably already in your kitchen. The recipe truly does make the most of these ingredients, for the braising liquid is as robust as any. Two days after the short ribs were long gone, I used the leftover braising liquid, which is chock-full of sauteed red onion, and made a meal of the liquid poured over freshly cooked polenta, once again making the most of just a few ingredients.

Short Ribs alla Genovese
Adapted from A16: Food + Wine


  • 4 meaty, bone-in short ribs
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups dry red wine
  • 1 small carrot, peeled diced
  • 1 celery stalk, trimmed and diced
  • 5 anchovy fillets, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 5 black peppercorns
  • 3 red onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 sprig rosemary


  1. At least an hour prior to cooking, remove the short ribs from the refrigerator. Trim any excess fat from the ribs and season them well with salt.
  2. Preheat the oven to 275F.
  3. In a small saucepan, boil the wine until reduced to 1/2 cup. Set aside.
  4. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the ribs to the Dutch oven and cook until well-browned on all sides, 8 to 10 minutes. Do not crowd the ribs; if necessary, cook them in two batches.
  5. Remove the ribs from the pan and set aside on a plate. Pour out the fat from the pan and wipe out any burnt bits from the pan with a paper towel.
  6. Add the remaining 2 tbsp of olive oil to the Dutch oven and heat over medium heat. Add the carrot and celery and cook until they are soft and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes, adjusting the heat of the pan as necessary.
  7. Stir in the anchovy, garlic, and peppercorns and continue and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  8. Add the onions and a pinch of salt to the pan and cook until the onions are soft and translucent, 5 to 10 minutes.
  9. Stir in the reduced red wine and the vinegar with the vegetables and remove the pan from the heat.
  10. Add the short ribs to the pan, nestling them into the vegetables meat side facing down. Wedge the rosemary sprig between the short ribs.
  11. Cover the Dutch oven and place it in the 275F oven. Cook until the short ribs are tender and falling off the bone, approximately 2 1/2 hours. Serve the ribs over polenta topped with the braising liquid.

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