Posted: Apr 17 2015

"Praise the braise", they say. This often underutilized technique can save your weeknights from humdrum monotony and the uninspired kitchen slump. The first part in the success of this dish is leaving it alone -- walk away, don't stir or fuss or fiddle and you'll be the happier for it. The second part is having the right base upon which to heap your lovely, juicy braise. Semolina Artisanal Pasta is simply the best we've got in the pantry. These 100% organic, durum wheat pastas are toothsome, with the perfect amount of chew and that slightly craggy surface texture which allows for maximum sauce grab-ability. Select the best quality meat you can. We jumped at the opportunity to try short ribs from the new The Heart and Trotter in San Diego, a crowd-funded, sustainable, whole animal butcher shop.

You can make this dish with a variety of meats and cuts, or even a mix of mushrooms and winter vegetables. Leave the braise cook as long as possible, ideally between 3 and 4 hours, to achieve the most succulent sauce and tender meat. 


Rigatoni with Braised Beef Short Ribs

3 pounds beef short ribs
3 carrots, 1/2" dice 
1 yellow onion, 1/2" dice
3 stalks celery, 1/2" dice
4 springs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 cups full-bodied red wine, such as Cabernet or Zinfandel
2 cups beef or chicken stock
3 tbsps olive oil
1 tbsp flour or cornstarch
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
1 pound Semolina Artisanal Pasta rigatoni>
fresh basil, Parmigiano Reggiano, Extra Virgin Olive Oil to finish

Preheat oven to 350F.

Season the short ribs on all sides with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a large cast-iron pot or Dutch oven over medium-high. Add the short ribs (in two batches if necessary) and brown on all sides, about 5-8 minutes. Remove the short ribs to a plate and set aside.

Spoon off all but 2 tbsp of the excess fat and into the same pot, add the carrots, celery, and onion. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the vegetables begin to soften and brown. Add the tomato paste and flour (or cornstarch if using) and stir for another minute to cook off the raw flour taste. Add the short ribs back into the pan with any juices that have collected on the plate. Add the wine, thyme, bay leaves and beef stock until the short ribs are covered at least 2/3 by liquid. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes to begin reducing the liquid. Then cover and place in the over for 3 hours.

When the beef is very tender and pulls cleanly away from the bone, remove the pot from the oven, set aside and cook the pasta. Serve braised short ribs over the rigatoni, with plenty of sauce. Finish with fresh Parmigiano Reggiano, chopped basil, and a drizzle of olive oil.

Serves 4 


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