Braised Short Ribs with Tomatoes, Chocolate and Rosemary


Braising short ribs takes time — don’t rush this recipe. In fact, making it a day or so ahead of time will be even more rewarding:  Like many braises and stews, this one gets more flavorful as it sits overnight in the refrigerator.  Also, this will allow you to skim off any fat before you push the braising liquid through a strainer to make the sauce.  This recipe is part of The Cook Sister’s all-chocolate menu and it was demoed at US Botanic Garden February 14, 2014. Read More

Festive Kebabs

These sweet little kebabs get their flavor from the rub and a kick from the herb-laced sauce, a tradition in Argentina where it’s served on steak.  Make the sauce in the morning so flavors have a chance to blend before your guests arrive. The meat will hold its flavor even if served at room temperature. Danielle demoed this at our holiday program at Brookside Gardens December 6, 2013. Read More

Braised Short Ribs with Tomatoes, Chocolate and Rosemary

One of our most popular programs is the all-chocolate one in which we offer four recipes — appetizer, salad, main course and dessert — each of which incorporates chocolate.  Our inside joke is that it doesn’t really matter what all this tastes like — by the time you’ve consumed that much chocolate you feel so good that everything tastes delicious!  This is the main course.  Serve it with our Pear and Shaved Chocolate Salad and a delicious (pricey) wine from South Africa called The Chocolate Block.

2 T olive oil
1/3 cup diced pancetta (Italian bacon; about 3 ounces)
4 pounds bone-in short ribs
1½ cups finely chopped onions
1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
1/4 cup finely chopped celery
1/4 cup finely chopped peeled carrots
3 garlic cloves, minced
1½ cups dry red wine
2 cups low-salt chicken broth
2 cups chopped canned diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 very large fresh thyme sprig
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons bittersweet chocolate pieces
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-process)
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
Finely minced red bell pepper for garnish

Heat heavy large pot over low heat. Add olive, when it becomes glossy, add pancetta and sauté until crisp. Using slotted spoon, transfer pancetta to paper towels to drain. Sprinkle ribs with salt and pepper. Working in batches, brown ribs in pancetta oil in pot over medium-high heat until brown on all sides, about 8 minutes per batch. Transfer to plate. Discard all but 1 T oil.  Add onions and next 4 ingredients to pot. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and cook until vegetables are soft, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add wine. Simmer uncovered until liquid is reduced by half, scraping up browned bits, about 5 minutes. Add broth, tomatoes, parsley, thyme, bay leaf, and pancetta. Return ribs to pot, cover and simmer until rib meat is tender, stirring occasionally, about 3 hours, adding stock if needed.  Or you can use a slow cooker and set on low for 8 hours or high for 6 hours.

Transfer ribs to plate; discard bay leaf and thyme. Pour sauce through a strainer, pushing down on the solids to extract juices. Put strained sauce back into the pot and bring to a gentle simmer. Add chocolate, cocoa powder, and rosemary; stir until chocolate melts. Adjust the seasoning. Return ribs to pot to rewarm. Serve, garnished with minced bell pepper.  6 servings