Susan’s Simple Braised Short Ribs
Serves 4

4 (8-oz) pieces beef short ribs
2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 medium carrots, cut into sticks
1 medium onion, cut into thin slices
2 garlic cloves

½ to 1 cup dry red wine
+/-4 cups beef stock

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.  Heat oil in a wide 3- to 5-quart heavy pot over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then brown beef on all sides, turning with tongs, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Add carrots, onion, and garlic to oil and cook over moderate heat, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Deglaze pan with wine and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.

Return ribs to pan and add enough stock to cover.  Bring to a simmer. Cover pot with a tight-fitting lid. Transfer to oven and braise until beef is very tender, 4 to 5 hours.  Note: this dish can be simmered on the stove top on low heat, covered, stirring occasionally, or cooked in a crock pot or electric skillet as well.  Meat will be tender and fall apart when done.

To serve, remove ribs to a plate and keep warm.  Remove and discard spent vegetables from pan, reduce sauce on stovetop to thicken. Place rib on potato-parsnip puree, spoon sauce over rib.  Also great on wide noodles, soft polenta with garlic and fontina, or plain mashed potatoes.


Potato-Parsnip Purée

Serves 4

2 pounds russet (baking) potatoes
3/4 pound parsnips, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1/4 stick unsalted butter, or to taste, softened
freshly ground white pepper to taste

In a large saucepan combine the potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces, and the parsnips with salted cold water to cover. Bring the water to a boil, and simmer, covered, for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the vegetables are very tender. Drain the vegetables, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid, and force them through the medium disk of a food mill or a ricer into a large bowl. (Can also be mashed if you don’t have a food mill or ricer.) Add the butter, stirring until it is melted, and stir in the white pepper, salt to taste, and enough of the reserved cooking liquid to achieve the desired consistency. The purée may be made 2 days in advance, kept covered and chilled, and reheated.   Adapted from Gourmet, November 1991