Saturday, December 26, 2015

Red Wine Braised Short Ribs or Boeuf Bourguignon

Hi everybody! The Fresh Pioneer is back with a recipe that I thought was a fail, but was actually delicious. How's that for a ringing endorsement, eh?
So, first of all, I hope everyone is having a wonderful Christmas season. I think he's glad we're home and my opinion is that there's nothing cuter than a kitty under the Christmas tree. We came home from midnight Mass and found him like this.
 We've been on the move so we haven't cooked as much as we do this time of year but we have gotten a batch of tamales and some sugar cookies done. It's not Christmas without those crazily frosted cookies!
Short ribs, several pounds
2 cups chopped carrots
2 chopped onions
3 celery stalks
5 TBS flour
1 small can of tomato paste
1 bottle full bodied red wine
4 cups of good beef stock
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp thyme
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp rosemary
3 lbs of small potatoes
Although I love mushrooms, I forgot to add them to shopping list and so this isn't completely a traditional boeuf bourguignon... but then with short ribs, that's probably obvious!
So, the first step in this recipe is to brown the short ribs in small batches, about seven or eight minutes per batch. Transfer to a plate and pour off the drippings except for about 5 tbs. Add about 2 cups of chopped carrots, 2 chopped onions, 3 celery stalks to the drippings and stir on medium high heat until the onion is translucent. Add about 3 TBS of flour to the veggies and let brown, stirring constantly.
 Add the wine, return short ribs to the pot, and let simmer for approximately 25 minutes, or until reduced by half. I don't cook much with wine and I took a taste at this point and was horrified. LOL. Apparently, the alcohol has to cook off before it tastes okay. Never too old to learn new things, right?
 So, here it is, nicely reduced. Add the beef stock, garlic and all the herbs. Bring everything back to a boil and let it simmer for another 30 minutes or so, until it's again reduced by about half. By this point, it was MUCH tastier.
After this point, add the peeled small potatoes, transfer the pot (if it's a dutch oven or cast iron) to the oven and bake at 350F for about 2- 3 hours, or until everything is very tender. The sauce should be very savory and since the beef stock has salt, I didn't feel like I needed to add salt at this point but I did add some pepper. 
All in all, it was a very time-consuming dish but it looked wonderful on the table and our guests definitely recognized it as boeuf bourguignon.  Bonus!
I hope everyone is keeping warm, whether you've stayed home for the holidays or have traveled. Feel free to stop by my facebook page Mary Jane Hathaway, check out my posts at Huffington Post Books, or on my blog The Things That Last. Until next time!


  1. Happy Boxing Day! Or St. Stephen's Day if you're Irish. Love the kitty under the tree picture. My cats used to always curl up among the presents too. Guess they figure they're the ultimate gift. Gotta love a cat ego.

    1. I am Irish but didn't even know about St. Stephen's Day. Thanks for the heads up, Kav! I'll go read up on it. :)

    2. Happy boxing Day to you! Someone on facebook was just posting about how they refuse to celebrate it because it's really about rich people giving their leftover items to the poor. Hmm... I'd never heard that, and really, despite whatever the origins are, I think any gift giving is lovely.

    3. St. Stephen... and now I have Good King Wenceslaus running through my head.

  2. What a cute kitty!! I'm glad you caught a photo. :)

    This sounds yummy! I like to add wine to sauces but never knew you could add a whole bottle! But you're right about giving it time to cook down, to cook off the alcohol. I don't like red wine but love the flavor it leaves behind. I'll have to try this!

    1. I'm not a wine drinker and although I always love a dish made with red wine, I've never made it myself. I wasn't prepared for that taste that still had all the alcohol... LOL. It as HORRIBLE.

  3. Okay, I have wanted to do short ribs forever, but can never find them at the store. Where do I find these elusive creatures, Virginia?

    1. Hmmmm... You'd think you'd find them easier than we would here, since you're in beef country. Or is that Missy?? I thought I'd have to have the butcher cut them but I found a pack of them in the meat section, already cut.

  4. We have beef in the freezer, so this recipe is going on the menu. Thanks, Virginia!

  5. I'm more of a stew girl but for a presentation dish, this was really nice with the reduced sauce drizzled over the top and with mashed cauliflower. I think I've seen it over grits or polenta, but we just creamed some cauliflower as a side.