I'm sure if I didn't brine them they would have come out just as good, but the benefit (I find) from brining is that you usually don't need to add more salt when you cook and the food comes out extra special juicy. Here's my version of beef short ribs. Give yourself a couple of days because you have to consider the brining and cooking time. And this dish actually did taste and got even more tender the next day after I cooked it.
Brine for Beef Short Ribs
- 3 beef short ribs, about 14 to 16 ounces each
- 1/3 cup Kosher salt
- 1/3 Sugar
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 to 3 garlic cloves, smashed
- 1/4 cup sweet vermouth
- 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 6 whole black peppercorns
In a container large enough for the ribs and with a tight fitting lid, place 2 cups of water. Add the sugar and salt and swish around to dissolve. Add the short ribs and remainder of brining ingredients. Add more water so that the ribs are completely submerged in water. Place in the fridge and let it brine overnight, up to two days.
Braised Beef Short Ribs
- The brined short ribs
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium red onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, cut into 1/2" pieces
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 cups hearty red wine
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Remove beef short ribs from brine and pat dry. Discard brining liquid.
In a shallow dish add the flour + 1/2 teaspoon salt + 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper + 1 teaspoon paprika and mix. Dredge the beef short ribs in seasoned flour and set aside.
In a dutch oven heat 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil on medium high. When hot enough, add the short ribs and sear on each side for 4 minutes, or until they are light golden brown all over (about 12 to 16 minutes total). Remove from pan and set aside. Add the chopped onions, carrots, and celery and saute for 5 to 8 more minutes.
Next add the garlic, bay leaves, and thyme. Cook for 2 more minutes, making sure not to burn the garlic. Add the red wine and ring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Make sure you scrape up the browned bits at bottom of pan.
Arrange ribs in the pot, laying flat, bones standing up, in one layer. Then add the chicken stock and bring to a boil again for one minute. Lower heat to a simmer and cook, covered, for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, or until beef is tender and falling off the bone. Make sure your lid is tight fitting. You can also add a layer of parchment paper over the ribs or foil underneath the lid to maintain the heat.
About 10 minutes before serving, remove the lid and parchment or foil, if any, and remove the bay leaves. Raise heat to medium-high and let juices thicken a bit more. Add the chopped fresh parsley and serve.