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Braised Short Ribs

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Getting married back in November was without a doubt one of the best days of my life. I wish I could go back in time and relive that day again and again, it just truly was spectacular.  I must admit, though, that another favorite element of my wedding, was all of the beautiful wedding gifts I received from my loving family and friends. There, I said it— I was excited about gifts, people. Call me shallow, but if you know the kitchen utensils I have been using for the past seven years with my now-husband, you might understand why.

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I love to cook! And thanks to the great people at Williams-Sonoma, I was able to register for some fantastic items to step my kitchen game up, and to my surprise, my friends and family actually bought me these things! Yay! One of these items I received was a wonderful All-Clad ceramic slow cooker, something I was particularly excited about.  I have ever had a slow cooker, and I was anxious to try it, especially since I had been eyeing a braised short ribs recipe for quite some time.

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My husband is a total meat-and-potatoes kind of guy, so I enjoy when I can cook something outside of my normal dinner rotation of fish and chicken, and whip something savory up for my man. I saw a clip online of Anne Burrell coking up braised short ribs and one chilly Chicago night I decided to use my new slow cooker and try her recipe.  They were delicious. And while I cooked them with a side of creamy blue cheese polenta and kale, more appropriate for winter, this recipe can be used any time of the year. Also worth mentioning? The necessary bottle of a full bodied red to pair with this dish!

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Anne Burell’s Braised Short Ribs

Ingredients:
– 6 bone-in short ribs (about 5 3/4 pounds)
– Kosher salt
– Extra-virgin olive oil
– 1 large Spanish onion, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
– 2 ribs celery, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
– 2 carrots, peeled, cut in 1/2 lengthwise, then cut into 1/2-inch pieces
– 2 cloves garlic, smashed
– 1 1/2 cups tomato paste
– 2 to 3 cups hearty red wine
– 2 cups water
– 1 bunch fresh thyme, tied with kitchen string
– 2 bay leaves

Instructions:
1. Season each short rib generously with salt. Coat a pot large enough to accommodate all the meat and vegetables with olive oil and bring to a high heat. Add the short ribs to the pan and brown very well, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Do not overcrowd pan. Cook in batches, if necessary.
2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
3. While the short ribs are browning, puree all the vegetables and garlic in the food processor until it forms a coarse paste. When the short ribs are very brown on all sides, remove them from the pan. Drain the fat, coat the bottom of same pan with fresh oil and add the pureed vegetables. Season the vegetables generously with salt and brown until they are very dark and a crud has formed on the bottom of the pan, approximately 5 to 7 minutes. Scrape the crud and let it reform. Scrape the crud again and add the tomato paste. Brown the tomato paste for 4 to 5 minutes. Add the wine and scrape the bottom of the pan. Lower the heat if things start to burn. Reduce the mixture by half.
4. Return the short ribs to the pan and add 2 cups water or until the water has just about covered the meat. Add the thyme bundle and bay leaves. Cover the pan and place in the preheated oven for 3 hours. Check periodically during the cooking process and add more water, if needed. Turn the ribs over halfway through the cooking time. Remove the lid during the last 20 minutes of cooking to let things get nice and brown and to let the sauce reduce. When done the meat should be very tender but not falling apart. Serve with the braising liquid.

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Recipe adapted from Anne Burrell

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