I’m a sucker for short ribs. Even in the middle of July, with our 100-degree heat index, I could not resist these thick, meaty ones from the store. I did a few things to lighten it up a bit. First, I did not add any onion or garlic to the pot, instead I added extra carrot and celery. Second, for the liquid I used only white wine and water, flavoring it with some lemon thyme and rosemary from our balcony garden, along with a bit of citrus zest and ginger. Lastly, I pureed the cooked vegetables into the cooking liquid after I removed the cooked ribs. It made it into a sort of thin vegetable puree, which is a little lighter than the sauce would have been by itself. The kids never eat braised vegetables anyway, so at least they get a bit this way.
Summer Short Ribs (serves 4)
3 pounds short ribs
2 Tablespoons canola oil
4 stalks of celery, cut into 3-inch pieces
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
3 one-inch pieces of fresh ginger
2 small sprigs each of rosemary and lemon thyme
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup white wine
2 Tablespoons sweet soy sauce (kecap manis)
2 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar
Zest of one lemon and one lime, grated
Water to cover
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Season the short ribs well with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a dutch oven until very hot. Add the short ribs and cook, turning, until brown on all sides. Remove and set aside. Add the vegetables and herbs to the pot and cook for 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste and stir briefly, then add the remaining ingredients. Return the short ribs to the pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, cover, and put into the oven. Bake for 2-1/2 hours. Remove the short ribs from the pot again and set aside. Discard the herb stems and ginger. Cook on the stovetop for about 5 minutes to reduce the sauce a bit. Turn off the heat and cool for a few minutes. Puree the vegetables into the cooking liquid using an immersion blender. Return the short ribs to the sauce and serve.