Late Winter Short Ribs.

That’s right, I am back in Ohio.

Dammit.

Just kidding! We are up on Lake Erie in Vermilion, Ohio – just under an hour west of Cleveland. A different type of water front view from Falmouth Heights, but still in water view.. well ice view at the moment. Even with the lake effect, I’m probably the happiest I’ve been in quite sometime. I’ll get more into the details of all that later.

But, with all this damned ice and snow, I want warm, full flavored “stick to your ribs” food. So, without further ado – BEEF WITH WINE DELICIOUSNESS.

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Meat eaters rejoice in the beauty of the beef short rib, the slow cooked wonder. There are tons of recipes out there, but my favorite is still the red wine/beef broth braise. I put my own twist on it by reducing some of the cooking liquid and stirring in some white fig jam to pour over the top of everything. The everything being orzo with leeks and goat cheese, which I have already taken photos of, so my next recipe wont be six months from now… yea, sorry about that.

One great thing about this part of Ohio is the great variety of grocery stores, from mom and pop’s to small chains the quality of food is great here. One of my favorites is Earthfare, which I was introduced to by my friend Kim shortly after she moved to Akron, Ohio a few years ago. The quality of their meats are great, and I don’t feel as bad about eating red meat when I know there are no growth hormones or antibiotics lingering behind for my body to process.

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Oh, beef is beautiful. So – to start you’ll want to toss the short ribs in some flour so they are completely covered before you sear them.

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I have chosen to sear these ribs in rendered bacon fat. Like my mother, grandmother, and great grand mother before me, I reserve the fat left over from our twice a week bacon feasts. It has a pretty high smoke point (which also makes it ideal to cook stove top steaks in), and gives it a deeper flavor in my opinion. If you want to use self-restraint in this area for health reasons, or standards, by all means use canola oil.

This is my cup of bacon fat. There are many like it, but this one is mine.

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Let a tablespoon of it melt on the bottom of a dutch oven, and start searing.

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Nomnomnomnom, but don’t eat it like this.. its raw and tough inside.

Next, set your oven to 250º remove the ribs from the pot and add in a medium onion that has been chopped, and a few crushed garlic cloves.

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If by now you’ve noticed that the quality of these photos supersedes what you’ve seen in the past on this blog, it’s because I enlisted the multi-talented, and infinitely patient Peter Gordon to for the task. I also got him to do the dishes. Sucker.

NOW! Add a splash of beef broth to those onions to deglaze the pan by stirring up all the delicious bits from the bottom. After that, return the ribs to the pot and add about two more cups of the broth, then another two cups of a sturdy red wine.

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Ooh.

For the seasonings, obviously salt and pepper are added, a teaspoon of dried thyme, and half a tablespoon of Herbes de Provence.

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Pop this into your oven, and forget about it for three and a half hours. After these ribs were done, I took a page out of smittenkitchen’s blogbook and put the ribs onto a baking sheet and back into the oven at 400° for ten minutes to crisp up the outsides. Such a good idea.

Then, I ladled a cup of the cooking liquid into a sautee pan over medium high head to reduce the liquid by half, lowered the heat and added a tablespoon of white fig jam and whisked it to incorporate it into the sauce. This packs a lovely flavor punch.

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Now eat – with wine, of course. I actually found this great bottle to go with it.. well it goes with anything really, especially Tuesdays.

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*I’m too lazy to write the recipe recap right now, check back later.

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