Braised in red wine and stock and then finished with cream, these peppercorn short ribs are deliciously rich and perfect for the fall and winter season.
To start this dish, first preheat your oven to 200º degrees Fahrenheit (or 95º degrees Celsius).
To prepare the mirepoix, first roughly chop the onion, celery, carrots and garlic. Gather the thyme and bay leaves. Measure out the tomato paste, red wine and stock. Set everything aside while you prepare the ribs.
To prepare the short ribs, first trim off any silver skin and excess fat. Liberally season all sides with salt and pepper.
Note: This dish is typically heavy on the pepper, which should be ground quite large. Feel free to use less pepper according to your tastes.
Next, preheat a suitable-sized, heavy-bottomed pot over medium to medium high heat and add the oil. Brown (sear) the short ribs on all sides until nice and golden. Take care not to burn the sucs on the bottom of the pot. Once done, transfer to a plate and set aside while you brown the mirepoix.
To brown the mirepoix, drain any excess fat from the pot. Add the onions, celery and carrots. Once the vegetables have browned somewhat, add the garlic. Stir and let cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds or so. Then stir in the tomato paste and cook for about another minute.
Next, deglaze with the brandy, scraping the bottom of the pot to release any sucs.
To cook the dish, add the ribs back to the pot, meat-side down. Add the wine and top up with stock. The liquid should rise at least two-thirds of the way up the ribs. If it doesn’t, top it up with a bit more stock.
Next, gather the bouquet garni (tie it together with butcher’s string for easy removal) and then tuck it underneath the ribs. Once everything comes to a gentle simmer, transfer the pot to the oven.
Let the dish braise for approximately 3 to 5 hours, or longer if needed. Check the meat periodically and cook until it becomes fork-tender. Cooking times will ultimately depend on the temperature and size of the meat.
Once the meat is fork tender, place the ribs meat-side down in the liquid. Let the dish cool down before placing into the refrigerator. Make sure to prop up one side of the pot to allow the fat to fat pool to one side as it chills.
Once the fat has hardened, gently scoop it off the surface. Reserve the fat to make a roux to thicken the sauce, if needed.
To make the sauce, first place the braise back into a 200º degree Fahrenheit (or 95º degree Celsius) oven. Once heated through, remove the ribs, cover and keep warm. Remove the bouquet garni as well and discard.
Strain the vegetables and place them into a blender. Add just enough of the braising liquid to blend the mirepoix thoroughly. Return everything to the pot and check the consistency. If the sauce is too thin, make a roux, using a bit of the fat and some flour. Add the roux, a bit at a time. Whisk continuously and let the sauce come up to a simmer before adding more. Keep adding the roux until you reach the desired consistency.
To enrich the sauce, stir in the cream. Finally, season with the pepper and salt to taste. Return the ribs to the pot and warm to heat through. Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with sautéed carrots and thinly-sliced green onions, if desired. Enjoy!