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Braised Beef Short Ribs with Salsa Verde and Feta

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Serves 6

  • by Suzanne Goin from Fine Cooking
    Issue 109

Suzanne Goin has been serving short ribs at her Los Angeles restaurant Lucques since it opened 12 years ago, and her diners won’t let her take them off the menu. In this version, they're braised in red wine and port until falling-off-the-bone tender. Then, in a surprisingly delicious twist, the ribs are topped with a fresh, feta-spiked salsa verde, taking the dish to a whole new level.

For the short ribs
  • 6 large beef short ribs (14 to 16 oz. each)
  • 1 Tbs. fresh thyme leaves, plus 4 whole sprigs
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 medium celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 1-1/2 cups ruby port
  • 2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
  • 2-1/2 cups hearty red wine (like Zinfandel or Côtes du Rhône)
  • 6 cups homemade or lower-salt store-bought beef broth
  • 4 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
For the salsa verde
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint
  • 1 tsp. finely chopped fresh marjoram or oregano
  • 1 small clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 anchovy (preferably salt-packed), rinsed
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbs. capers, drained and rinsed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 oz. feta (preferably French), crumbled (1/2 cup)
Season the ribs

Put the short ribs in a large mixing bowl and rub them with the thyme leaves and 1 Tbs. black pepper. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Remove the ribs from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Rub 1 Tbs. salt all over the ribs and set them aside for another 30 minutes.

Braise the ribs

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 325°F.

Heat an 8-quart Dutch oven or other heavy-duty pot over high heat for 3 minutes. Pour in the olive oil, and when it just begins to smoke (after about 1 minute), add as many short ribs as will fit in the pan in a single layer. Sear on the three meaty sides until browned, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer the browned short ribs bone side up to a large bowl. Repeat with the remaining short ribs, reducing the heat to medium high if necessary.

Reduce the heat to medium, add the onion, carrot, celery, bay leaves, and thyme sprigs to the pan and cook, stirring to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan, until the vegetables begin to brown around the edges, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the port and balsamic vinegar and then the red wine. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium high and simmer until the liquid is reduced by half, about 10 minutes.

Add the beef broth and return to a boil. Return the short ribs and any accumulated juice to the pot, making sure the vegetables are in the broth and not on the short ribs (the short ribs should be nearly submerged). Tuck the parsley sprigs in around the meat, seal the top of the pot with aluminum foil, and cover with the lid. Put the pot in the oven and braise until the meat falls away from the bone when poked with a paring knife, about 3 hours. Remove the short ribs from the oven and set aside for 30 minutes.

Make the salsa verde

While the short ribs are resting, combine the parsley, mint, and marjoram or oregano in a medium bowl and toss. Transfer about half of the herbs to a food processor, add the garlic, and pulse until very finely chopped, about five 1-second pulses. Add the remaining herbs and the anchovy and pulse about 3 more times to combine. While pulsing, pour about half of the olive oil into the food processor.

Put the capers in a medium bowl and use a fork to mash them. Using a rubber spatula, scrape the sauce from the food processor over the capers. Whisk in the remaining olive oil, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper, and then add the feta. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Finish and serve

Use tongs to transfer the short ribs from the pot to a large platter. Cover the platter with foil. Strain the braising liquid through a fine sieve into a large bowl, pressing on the vegetables with the back of a ladle to extract as much liquid as possible. Skim the fat off the top and pour the liquid back into the braising pot. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and cook until the broth is reduced slightly, 10 to 15 minutes.

Divide the short ribs among 6 bowls. Moisten with some braising liquid, drizzle with the feta salsa verde, and serve.

Serving Suggestions

Round out the meal with a simple salad of mixed greens and warm bread.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 940; Fat (g): 59; Fat Calories (kcal): 530; Saturated Fat (g): 16; Protein (g): 49; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 35; Carbohydrates (g): 18; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 5; Sodium (mg): 1390; Cholesterol (mg): 115; Fiber (g): 2;

Photo: Scott Phillips

Wow! The short ribs were perfectly tender, falling off the bone and the salsa verde complimented it so wonderfully. Definitely a dish worth making again.

We love beef short ribs and have made many fabulous recipes. We weren't able to do the Salsa Verde as we unexpectedly had company that wouldn't try anything that adventurous. However, we prepared the short ribs as per the directions and they were the BEST we've ever had - the sauce is marvelous. We had the leftovers the next day as pulled BBQ beef rolls - wonderful!

I used smaller ribs and half the recipe. It was simply fantastic. The salsa absolutely makes the dish. Perfection.

Absolutely delish! The sauce is devine, smooth and full of flavour. Made this exactly as written but only had smaller sized beef short ribs. The Salsa Verde is a must. Our dinner guests loved it. Served it over a creamy polenta. Break out a full bodied red, and celebrate with this gorgeous winter dish. A keeper recipe.

Outstanding! I only cooked 4 short ribs, so I reduced the liquids by 1/3 - could have reduced them more. However, I have enough of the lovely cooking juice left to freeze and use for Au Jus for French Dip sandwiches in the future. Didn't make the salsa verde as I had already planned to serve the short ribs with some leftover polenta - absolutely delish. A little horseradish was also good with the beef. Since I decided to make & serve the ribs the same day, I didn't do the overnight step with thyme. Instead I tossed the short ribs with the thyme and let them sit at room temp while I prepared the vegs and measured the liquids. Turned out fine. Will make again!

I made this for friends at a casual fun dinner, it was a great success. Easy to do, delicious, the salsa verde with Feta made this dish even better.

I made this last night for a dinner party and it was delicious! I couldn't find large short ribs but bought 6 pounds of short ribs for 6 adults. I had only 2 small short ribs left over! Everyone raved about this dish. I didn't leave the thyme on the ribs overnight because I wanted to make the dish 1 day ahead of time. I put the thyme on the short ribs for 30 minutes and then proceeded with the recipe. I followed the recipe almost exactly, just made some changes to the sauce. After I strained the vegetables from the sauce, I put the sauce in the freezer for 30 minutes to an hour so the fat would rise to the top. I scraped off the fat then brought the sauce to a simmer. I thought the sauce was a little strong tasting so I added about 1 cup of sour cream which made a velvety, delicious sauce for the short ribs. I made this dish the day before and I was fabulous the next day when I warmed it up in the oven before my dinner party. Yum!

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