FFWD: Short Ribs in Red Wine and Port

I’ve always preferred leaner cuts of meat. When I was growing up, my family used to fight over who got to eat the chicken skin from my plate. None of them understood why I eschewed what they considered one of the best parts of roasted or fried chicken. I’d also carefully cut the fat from steak and pork chops and when I was confronted with ribs or pork roast, I stuck mostly to the vegetables on my plate. Later, one of my friends in University used to love sitting next to me at dinner, as she’d pull the pieces of fat from my plate and happily eat them.

I’ve gotten only a little more tolerant of the fattier portions of meat as I’ve gotten older, but I’ve never really become a fan. So, I was a little worried that I wouldn’t like this week’s French Fridays recipe. It uses short ribs, which are famous for their richly marbled fat. A selling point for most, I know.

What’s brilliant about the method used in this recipe is that the meat rests overnight in the fridge, allowing you to easily skim off the fat before its final broil. The meat is first broiled before it’s braised and the broth it’s braised in is rich in exactly the way I like, fortified with beef stock, vegetables, port and wine. Then, the next day, the meat is tossed in some of the broth and broiled again. When it comes to the table, it benefits from the best of both techniques, the meat almost falling off the bone with the slightly smoky flavour of broiled bones. The braising liquid is strained and then used as a sauce, which is well worth sopping up with bread. Neither the meat or the sauce have the fattiness of barbequed ribs and the wine sauce is a nice change from the sharpness of the sauces usually used for ribs.

I halved the recipe and skipped the gremolata, serving it instead with boiled potatoes and steamed swiss chard. If I make a full recipe, for a crowd, I’ll definitely use the gremolata. Since it was just the two of us, I didn’t bother. The broth had enough flavour to make the meal interesting. The next day, I shredded some of the leftovers and warmed them with a little broth. Then, I toasted some spinach and onion Quejos and made open faced sandwiches. With a little salad on the side, I think I liked the short ribs even better than I did the first night.

I’m still not going to make ribs very often, but I think I’ll use this braising liquid with leaner cuts of beef – the port and syrah I used, along with the vegetables and herbs, make a wonderful broth.

You can find many other blogged descriptions of this week’s FFWD recipe here: Short Ribs in Red Wine and Port

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30 thoughts on “FFWD: Short Ribs in Red Wine and Port

  1. Ohh… here is your post. I was wondering. I’m glad you made this but the gremolata was fantastic and you should not skip out on such things just because you aren’t feeding a crowd. I’m glad you are coming over to loving these marbled cuts when they are braised or slow cooked to release their fatty goodness.

  2. @Ker-Yng – you should try it some time, as it’s worth making, but I’m glad I could give you a sense of what it’s like.
    @Trevor – I know, I feel guilty for skipping the gremolata. Braising is magic!

  3. Pot roast sounds like it would be great with this braising liquid. I enjoyed the ribs more than I expected, but will probably stick with other cuts of meat in future.

  4. I only like beef occasionally, but I did find that I like the complexity that the braising liquid added to the beef. Maybe it was in my head, but I thought the marrow from the bone added some richness to it as well.
    The chard looked really lovely against the beef!
    Oh – I have lots of plans for my new stash of grains. I adore quinoa and I use it in salads, bake it into breads, use it like I would rice, etc. The amaranth and teff get similar treatments. I could prattle on FOREVER about stuff like that!

  5. Looks great! I missed this one and will probably miss the next few as I will be babysitting grandkids and traveling. Your sandwich sounds better than the initial dish to me-great flavor!

  6. I skipped the gremolata too – I wasn’t going to buy an orange so I could amuse just myself with citrus notes to the dish, and wonder what I was going to do with the rest of the cold storage orange. I did love the sauce on this, and I would make it again with cheaper cuts of meat. Seeing your photos makes me want some ribs all over again.

  7. I happen to love braised meat…always so tender. The wine and port made such a wonderful sauce! My kitchen had an intoxicating aroma! Your pictures are wonderful and I’m glad you enjoyed these ribs even if you don’t make them often! That’s what FFwD is all about! Trying new things!

  8. I totally agree with you about chicken skin and excess fat! However, I have learned fat = flavor and prefer a ribeye to a filet these days!

    Great post!

  9. You and I both have that in common about the fat. My family is always vying for the skin chicken I’ve pushed to the side of my plate. I love your close-up photos, Teresa. Your ribs look fantastic!

  10. Your ribs look delicious. I did not make the gremolata either and from reading
    the various comments, it sounds wonderful. Perhaps next time. Your
    pictures are wonderful, makes you want to dig right in.

  11. I personally love chicken skin and steaks such as rib-eye, but these still came out a bit fatty for my liking. I think the gremolata helped cut the fattiness a bit. I am glad you enjoyed it!

  12. I know lots of people loved the gremolata, but it didn’t add that much for me! I think I was just overwhelmed by all the flavors in the sauce! I didn’t find it too fatty, but I think that cooking it over the two days really helped.

  13. I agree with your fatty meats comments!!! And when we go out and the men order ribs it almost gives me a stomach ache thinking about them. But methods in this recipe make a great meal that was actually quite lean in the end. I like your beautiful meal ideas…especially for the leftovers.

  14. That’s so funny Teresa – I felt exactly the same way – I just don’t like fat on meats. However, you’re right about a lot of it cooking down. I did cut some off, but was surprised to love the tender, flavorful result. I’m also a little squeamish about bones, but I’m learning to open my mind & try new things. Your ribs look like they turned out great!

  15. Hi Teresa! Glad I saw Serene’s retweet of your post. I love this recipe. Made it for a dinner party last November and the wonderful combination of flavors reminded our Vietnamese guests of the flavors of their homeland and our French-born guests were reminded of their homeland. Those comments made my evening! And yes, the refrigeration is so great for de-fatting the dish, growing the flavors, and makes the dish ideal for make-ahead for a dinner party. In case you want to read about my experience, you can find it here (http://omgyummy.wordpress.com/2010/11/11/blending-cultures-and-food-for-a-great-fall-dinner/)

    Thanks for sharing your experience and the great ideas for leftovers. Just one of the many reasons I love food bloggers!!!

  16. I’m just the opposite…in fact…I’m that friend in college…I’d love to sit next to you! Actually, I’ve always been embarassed about the fact that I love to eat my meat with fat…but I’m discovering there are lots of us out there who do…so I’m coming out of the closet! My boys are just like you…totally cut off any little piece of fact they see on their meat…so you’re in good company. Love your first shot with the beautiful rib stealing the show!

  17. @Cher – I think broiling the marrow did give the braising liquid complexity. I liked this method of preparing the meat, but would only use it for bone-in cuts. Thanks for sharing a little about your plans for grains. I love hearing about how people are using gluten-free grains. Especially when adding more variety to our diets is good for everyone.
    @Lynne – Thanks and enjoy your time with your grandkids!
    @Cakelaw – I love how you phrase that. It’s why I didn’t prepare the gremolata for just the two of us.
    @Kathy – thanks! It’s hard to get good photos in our apartment unless they’re shot in the morning, which wasn’t going to happen with this dish. Our place smelled amazing, too.
    @Candy – I agree that fat = flavour and am glad there are recipes like this that maximize the flavour and minimize the fat!
    @Liz – Thanks! My grocery story had these packaged already, or I probably would have gotten a different cut, too. This recipe seems to work well no matter what cut people used.
    @Trix – I’m a huge fan of leftovers. I think the next day’s sandwiches (or tacos, or soup…) are my favourite part.
    @Elaine – It’s so convenient when family members are there to scoop those bits up! I’m glad you like the close up shots. They seem to work better than wider shots with the lighting conditions in my house lately.
    @Nana – Thanks! I was a little worried that the close ups were too close, so I’m glad everyone’s enjoying them.
    @Ronda – they’re not a cut of meat I’d use often, but the overnight method got rid of enough fat for my taste.
    @Sarah – the sauce was so flavourful – I loved it! I’m glad that not everyone’s raving about the gremolata, since I skipped it. I’m keeping this recipe in mind for the next time I have a get-together with my family, because I think they’ll love this. I will try the gremolata, then.
    @Serene – do try that method some time. It makes it so easy to skim the fat!
    @Krissy – thanks! Those Quejo buns are great. Gluten-free for my partner and delicious for both of us. They look a little weird, but taste great. Having salad on the side also cancels out any fat remaining in the meat, right?
    @Susan – Thanks! I didn’t trim any of the fat and was pleasantly surprised at how lean the end result tasted. I used to be a little squeamish about bones, but broiling takes care of that for me.
    @Beth – I love experiences (meals, music theatre…) that resonate with people across experiences and cultures. It’s wonderful that your meal did that for your guests.
    @Stephirey – Thanks! That must work out perfectly for you and your boys. You can just scoop up their unwanted bits for treats for yourself. Everybody wins!
    @Allison – Thanks! I guess it’s easy to tell that the sauce was my favourite part…

  18. @Lola – I’ll have to try the gremolata in future. This cut of meat seems expensive, but we’ve actually been able to stretch it into several meals.

  19. I overcame my distaste for anything “white and fatty” from my childhood:) Now I have to battle with the girls in order to convince them not to make faces at a little bit of fat. But I am not too stern:)

    I loved the ribs, even though they were pretty time-consuming and expensive. I took the two-day approach, which made the process much easier, but have forgotten to add the gremolata that I had prepared:(

    Unfortunately, we did not have any leftovers – I can only imagine how good these would be on a sandwich.

  20. The leftovers were wonderful and extend the dish through enough meals to make me feel the expense of the meat a little bit less. I wish I’d used the the gremolata too, but I’ll be making this again (perhaps with a different cut of meat), so I’ll try it then.

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