This is a pandemic recipe, for those working from home. Cooking time is 5-1/2 hours.
The prime rib was served in the better neighborhoods and the short ribs were on the menu in the modest neighborhoods of my youth. Short ribs were a working man’s affordable beef choice before modern restaurant fare discovered the qualities of this cut, ruining the easy affordability for everyone. The ribs were typically used in a beef stew where the bone marrow added flavor to the developing broth. Stew was difficult to cook correctly because the meat tends to be tough and chewy, and stovetop burners were unforgiving. However, stew was a one pot meal that could feed a family meat, potatoes, and vegetables. The standard fare was tough meat, limp vegetables, and pasty potatoes.
My family is done with the stew recipe.
This is an updated recipe for braised short ribs on offering to the modest homes of the world who can still afford beef occasionally. The recipe only works in a cast iron pot with a cast iron lid because we are braising. The limp vegetables and pasty potatoes are cooked separately, and you are on your own for those recipes.
3-5 lb. short ribs
1 large onion sliced
2 tomatillos, cut into several pieces
1 tomato, cut into large pieces
2 cups broth (vegetable or beef)
2 cups salted water (your call how much salt)
1 cup flour
Salt and pepper
¼ cup oil (grapeseed or olive oil)
This recipe is for a cast iron pot with lid.
Preheat oven to 300F.
Place the pot on a burner and pre-heat on medium high. Add oil in small increments as the flour absorbs the oil. Be careful not to scorch the meat. Save the leftover flour for end.
Wash and dry the short ribs. Season the flour with salt and pepper before coating the dry ribs. Add ribs to hot oil in batches. Let ribs rest on a plate while working on the next batches. When complete, add more oil to pot with heat turned down to medium. Add onions and sauté until soft, about 3 or 4 minutes. Add tomatillos and tomatoes, stirring them to coat. Add broth and stir. Add water and stir again.
Return ribs to pot, bone side down. Lid the pot and place in oven. Cook for 5 hours.
Return pot to burner. Plate the short ribs on a large platter. Using oven mitts, pour off the fat into cup.
To thicken the broth into a gravy, take three teaspoons of the reserved flour and put in a bowl. Add three or four tablespoons of the piping hot fat from the cup. Stir into a paste. Add the paste to the pot (it is still cooking hot), stirring until it is incorporated. Correct salt and pepper seasoning. Pour the gravy over the ribs and serve.