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Braised Short Ribs

It all started when I saw the Short Ribs in Tomato Sauce on Pioneer Woman. I was drooling all over when I saw her cooking it. I knew I needed beef on my plate ASAP. More precisely, I needed short ribs on my plate.

For some strange reasons, I found myself driving out at 7.30pm to Carrefour @ Plaza Singapura. Usually if I wanted to get anything, it would have been Great World City. It felt strange to be driving out during the evening peak hour, but since I was on the opposite direction of the jam, I guess I could afford to wear that gleefuly smirk on my face.

I picked up a few cuts of beef cos they were quite cheap and also tons of dried pasta in so many shapes and sizes that I lost count. And amongst them was two huge rectangular blocks of short ribs. Initially, I hesistated. It wasn't exactly in the cut as you would see in Pioneer Woman. It was a whole slab of short ribs that is as long as your Starhub cable tv remote controller with a single bone running length-wise. But it is still short ribs, right? Function over form, no?

That explains why I had to shred it before dishing it out. A slab of the short rib would have been too much and overwhelming for one person. Not to mention that it might make your guest feel like a dog being given a bone.

The recipe came from Joy of Cooking ('97 ed.) which was quite simple, except for the browning of the short ribs prior to braising it. I hate browning! I wish there is an easier way to get it done without the drama and mess. Since the short ribs were quite sizable, I had to steal my mom's extra large WMF oven-safe casserole. I had no idea that braising in the oven is so easy. No need to worry that the braising liquid might dry up. Just chuck the pot into the oven and find a movie to keep yourself occupied for the next 2 hours. Either that, or you could be like me who spend the time cleaning up the aftermath of the browning. Or you could make yourself a big bowl of mashed potatoes to go with the short ribs.

The tender braised short ribs eaten together with the mashed potatoes, is comforting to my stomach and soul. I think I could eat this even when all my teeth are weak and falling out. Of course, don't have to wait until then to eat it.

Braised Short Ribs
(from Joy of Cooking '97 ed.)

3 pounds beef short ribs, excess fats trimmed
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp dried herb (I used Master Food Mixed Herbs)
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 cups chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped carrots
3 tbsp chopped garlic
1 1/2 tsp pepper
Pinch of dried herb
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
2 bay leaves

1. Season the short ribs with salt and pepper. Heat an oven-safe pot with the vegetable oil. Brown the short ribs and set aside.

2. Pour off all but 2 tbsp of fats from the pot. Add the onions, celery, carrots, garlic, salt, pepper and dried herb. Cook until they begin to colour. Add the chicken stock and bay leaves. Bring to a boil

3. Bake, covered, until the ribs are tender and the meat pulls away easily from the bone, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.


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