In the depths of winter, when gray days and cold damp are the norm, a hearty, comforting dinner simmering away, filling the house with heady meat perfume, feels like the perfect Sunday supper.
This rich and satisfying dish is wonderful served over polenta, noodles or rice, and is every bit as good reheated a day or two later as it is the first night.
Hard Cider Braised Short Ribs
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 pounds boneless beef short ribs
1 teaspoon salt, divided
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
1 large onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 to 2 cups)
2 medium carrots, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
5 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups apple cider
2 cups low sodium beef broth
1 (12-ounce) bottle hard cider
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
4 teaspoons cornstarch dissolved in 4 teaspoons water
1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
2. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high. Season the short ribs with 3/4 teaspoon of the salt and 1/2 teaspoon of the pepper. Sear the short ribs in batches, turning occasionally, until well browned on all sides, about 10 minutes per batch. Transfer to a plate.
3. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of fat from the pan. Add the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic, and reduce the heat to medium. Cook, stirring occasionally, scraping up brown bits from the bottom of the pan, until softened, 8-10 minutes. Add the apple cider, broth, hard cider, and vinegar; increase the heat to high, bring to a boil, cover the pan and cook 5 minutes. Stir in the brown sugar and add the short ribs and any juices to the Dutch oven. Return to a simmer, cover, and transfer to the oven.
4. Braise the short ribs in the oven until the meat is very tender and easily pierced with the tip of a knife, about 2 hours 30 to 2 hours 45 minutes. Remove from the oven. Transfer the meat to a platter, and stir in the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and the dissolved cornstarch. Boil the liquid until it is somewhat thickened and glossy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the meat back to the sauce to warm through.