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In Praise of Braising

September 8, 2012

Braising is the perfect cooking method for me:  I can’t devote lots of hands-on time to cooking, and I need meals that can be kept warm and served whenever we’re finally ready to eat.

Some of my favorites include chicken tagine with saffron, honey, and tomato, these amazingly tender pork loins, and short ribs.

Oh, ribs.

For a long time I thought ribs were a guy thing, something dudes ordered on mancations and consumed with plenty of beer.  These ribs have changed my mind.  These ribs are awesome.  I prepped everything up to the oven part during morning nap, and they were done in the oven just at the babies’ lunchtime.  They cooled a bit and I stuck them in the fridge at the beginning of afternoon nap, and reheated them after the babies went to bed.

Plus, the babies loved them the next day.

Serve with mashed potatoes to soak up all the delicious cooking juice.

Balsamic-Braised Short Ribs

adapted from Cooking Light


  • oil that can stand up to high heat:  safflower, peanut, or sesame (not olive or canola)
  • 4 pounds beef short ribs, trimmed
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups finely chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup minced garlic (about 12 cloves)
  • 2 cups broth
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 300°.
  2. Heat a large Dutch oven [a pot that can go on a burner and in the oven] coated with oil over medium-high heat. Sprinkle ribs with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Add half of ribs to pan; cook 8 minutes or until browned, turning occasionally. Remove from pan. Repeat procedure with remaining ribs; remove from pan.  [Note: they will spatter hot oil so be careful.]
  3. Add onion to pan; sauté 8 minutes or until lightly browned. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Return ribs to pan. Add broth, wine, vinegar, and sugar; bring to a simmer.
  4. Cover and bake at 300° for 1 1/2 hours or until tender. Cool slightly. Refrigerate 6-8 hours.
  5. Skim fat from surface of broth mixture; discard fat. Cook over medium heat 30 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
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