Short Ribs Braised with Brandy

Charged with buying 4 short ribs, someone recently returned from the butcher with 10 pounds of short ribs. Yes, there were only 4 but each was the size of a large brick, so we saved 2 to cook later. One of the recent additions to my cookbook collection, Dinner in French, had an interesting recipe for short ribs and it was time for a switch from our go-to short ribs with beer and bacon. Serves 6 to 8 (depending on the size of your short ribs hehehe) and needs some time to marinate.

Short Ribs Braised with Brandy

  • 4 garlic cloves, finely grated or minced
  • 2 ½ teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 bay leaf, torn
  • 1 star anise pod
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • ¼ cup brandy
  • 4 pounds bone-in short ribs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 large fennel bulb, trimmed and diced (save the fronds for garnish)
  • 4 cups beef or chicken stock
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • Chopped parsley or chives for garnish (optional)

In a large bowl, combine the garlic, salt, pepper, rosemary and bay leaf.

Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add the star anise and coriander seeds and toast until they are just fragrant, about 1 minute. Lightly smash them with a mortar and pestle, or the flat of a knife on a cutting board. Add to the bowl with the garlic mix. Stir to combine. Stir in the brandy and add the short ribs. Toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 24.

Heat the oil and butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the short ribs in a single layer and don’t crowd the pan. Reserve any marinade that’s left in the bowl. Brown the ribs on all sides about 3-5 minutes a side. Take your time with the browning, the browner they get, the richer your sauce will be. After they’re browned, transfer to a plate, leaving the fat in the pan.

Preheat the oven to 325°.

Reduce the heat under the Dutch oven to medium and stir in the onion, fennel and a pinch of salt. Cook until the vegetables are soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Stir in any of the reserved marinade and cook for another minute. Add the short ribs and top with the stock and wine. Bring to a simmer, cover and transfer to the oven. Cook until the meat is tender and falling off the bone, about 3 hours.

Transfer the short ribs to a bowl. Return the Dutch oven to the stove and bring the liquid to a simmer. Cook until the sauce has thickened slightly, about 10-20 minutes. Spoon off the fat if you want, taste and add salt if needed. Return the ribs to the pot and reheat if necessary. Serve, garnished with the fennel fronds and/or parsley and enjoy!

My verdict:

Some serious competition for best short rib recipe! Rich and hearty, perfect cold weather food. We made some mashed potatoes to soak up some of the great gravy.

She suggests making the ribs a day ahead so you can chill the short ribs in the pot and get rid of the fat from the surface before you remove the ribs and thicken the sauce. That’s what I did, and the result (and wait) was definitely worth it. It helps that it is cold out and we can just pop the pan outside overnight.

I’ve been seeing a lot of recipes lately that call for garlic to be grated or minced and when I do, I usually just run them through a garlic press. Another bonus, you don’t need to peel the garlic before running it through the press.




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