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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Braised Short Ribs

It's January, it's cold, I'm broke...basically, braising is calling my name! As you probably already know, braising is a cooking technique in which the main ingredient is seared, or browned in fat, and then simmered in liquid on low heat in a covered pot. Braising relies on heat, time, and moisture to successfully break down tough connective tissue and collagens in meats, making it an ideal way to cook tougher cuts.

One person that understands the cold in this family is Aunt Andrea Hairston, who left the flat mild Delta winters for the mountains of snowy Idaho years ago. She submitted this delicious-sounding Braised Short Ribs recipe for our cookbook. I decided to take a stab at cooking at her recipe today, but since I'm a loner, I decided to cut the recipe in half for little old me.

ingredients for original recipe, feeds 4-6:

3 lbs. beef short ribs
3/4 cup rice
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 t. beef flavored gravy base or 2 bouillon cubes
1/2 cup chopped celery (i loathe celery, so i left this out of mine)
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
2 1/4 cup water
2 t. salt
1 t. Worcestershire sauce

In a heavy skillet, brown ribs with added fat. Fat? How do I get my thighs in this pan? Fine, I'll use butter.

Allow 25-30 minutes for browning. Season with a little salt.

Remove to a 3 quart casserole, cover and bake in slow oven at 325 for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, in the skillet in which the meat was browned, combine rice, onions, celery and green pepper. Cook until rice is lightly browned.

After meat has baked for 1 hour, remove ribs from casserole and pour off fat. Place browned rice mixture into casserole.
Top with ribs.
Combine remaining ingredients into a small saucepan and heat to boiling. Pour over ribs and rice.

Cover and bake 1 hour more. Look how yummy!

And serve.... this was delicious. I served with some steamed spinach but any green veg would be great with it. Thanks, Aunt Andrea, for a fabulous recipe!

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