Braise Me Baby!

So it was the weekend, and I wanted to eat some beef. And yet the traditional go to of a grilled ribeye, flank steak or beef tartar just didn’t seem like the right fit for what I was craving. It was cool, a little rainy outside and I even had my fake fireplace glowing (heating the inside of my chimney and nothing more), so I thought something with a little braise would be JUST the ticket. Since I work in the tasting room and often get to bring home leftover bottles of opened wine, I perused my selection on the kitchen counter. The skull stood out to me and I grabbed the bottle to see just how much was left in that puppy – about 1/2 a bottle – more than enough to get some flavor going.

Next Stop – Save Mart – to see what cuts of meat they had available and I happened upon some tasty looking beef shortribs and that was all I needed to be convinced.

Be advised that My “recipes” aren’t necessarily scientifically calculated – I am a cook by taste sorta gal, so I just eyeball quantities and keep some spoons on the counter to adjust flavor throughout the day. That said, even if you screw up the quantities a little bit, you will still get a tasty meal out of these ingredients, especially since the recipe includes our own Mourvedre “River of Skulls”.

So here’s what you need:

8-10 nice sized short ribs

1/2 a bottle of Mourvedre wine (or another similar Twisted Red such as Potty mouth, Petite Syrah, Syrah or Murgatroyd)

Salt & Pepper to taste

chopped thyme (I grab a fist full from my herb garden, pull the leaves off and chop it up)

1 yellow onion diced

2 shallots diced

3 cloves garlic diced

1 small can chopped tomatoes (or 1 cup sliced fresh tomatoes is fine)

2 tbs olive oil

4 slices bacon – chopped up

1 cup beef broth

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp cinnamon

a couple dashes of nutmeg

2 tsp smoked paprika


Heat oven to 375

on stovetop, get the oil going in your pan (I use a Le Crueset pot) – then lightly brown each of the short ribs in the pan. Remove the short ribs and add a dash more oil.

Add the bacon, garlic, shallots and onion and once the onion is slightly browned, add the tomatoes

pour in wine & beef stock, add short ribs

Cover with foil, place in oven and cook 2-2.5 hours until tender

This dish goes GREAT with mashed potatoes or over polenta.

Now open another bottle, fill everyone’s glasses and eat!