Braised Beef Short Ribs with Salsa Verde and Feta
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
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.
Round out the meal with a simple salad of mixed greens
and warm bread.
nutrition information (per serving):
photo: Scott Phillips
From Fine Cooking 109
, pp. 46
December 30, 2010