Chef John Besh’s Braised Beef Short Ribs… aka good food from Esquire magazine

Thank you Chef John Besh, for being from New Orleans … and for learning how to cook… and for sharing it with us. (Or should I thank Esquire magazine? That’s where I found this recipe online. Honestly, I didn’t know they were in the food business. Hmm…)

It was time for some braised beef short ribs. And I wanted to try someone else’s recipe this time. (And it dawns on me… my recipe isn’t on here. Oh darn. We’ll have to do short ribs again soon.)

Here’s where I started…

Then I salted and peppered, and browned…

Oh, I forgot these two ingredients. You’ll need to add this to the fluid portion of this dish.

In this large bowl is a bottle of red wine, some beef broth, sugar, diced tomatoes, kosher salt and bay leaves… and you see me adding some garlic and thyme. (Yes – the recipe below calls for zinfandel. But I used merlot. Just being different, again…)

Then it’s time to prep the aromatics…

Once the rest of the ribs are browned… remove them and set aside.

But let’s take a quick look at what’s happening at the other side of the stove. I’m reconstituting some dried porcini mushrooms.

Bring some water to a boil, stir in the mushrooms and turn off heat. Let the mushrooms sit for about 5 minutes, and then strain out of hot water. Just set aside. You’ll use these later…

Add those aromatics to the hot pot so they can cook down and then bring the meat back to the pot.

Now it’s time to add the wine/broth mixture and let it all settle in for the long winter…

OK – really it only takes about 2 hours…. and it’s worth every minute.

Don’t forget to add those mushrooms and give it a little stir.

Bring it to a boil… let it roll for a while and then place the lid on and walk away. Do NOT be tempted to take the lid off and smell it. Do NOT be tempted to peek inside to see how it’s going.

Walk away…

Wait at least 2 hours and then test for doneness…

Before serving allow the fluids to reduce down by about half… it will make a nice sauce to drizzle over the ribs.

Enjoy! We did… we served them up with creamy mashed cauliflower… that recipe will follow tomorrow… oh yum!!!

Halfway through dinner, my hero-of-a-hubby happily announced: “You can definitely make this again!” (Gee, thanks babe!)

Chef John Besh’s Braised Beef Short Ribs

4 lbs beef short ribs, cut flanken style
Coarse salt and black pepper
3 cups zinfandel
½ cup sugar
6 oz canned chopped tomatoes
2 cups beef broth
1 tbsp minced garlic
3 sprigs fresh thyme, picked off stem
2 bay leaves
3 oz canola oil
1 large onion, diced (2 cups)
2 medium carrots, diced (1/2 cup)
2 stalks celery, diced (1/2 cup)
2 oz dried mushrooms, preferably porcini

1. Season short ribs with salt and pepper; be rather generous. In a mixing bowl, whisk together zinfandel, sugar, tomatoes, beef broth, garlic, thyme, bay leaves, and a pinch of salt.
2. Pour canola oil into a heavy pot or Dutch oven (at least 5 quarts) and place over high heat. When oil is hot, working in small batches, brown the meat. Turn each piece to brown on all sides before removing from the pot. (Tip: A sturdy pot that conducts heat well has a lot to do with the success of this dish. Get yourself a cast-iron pot. It’ll outlast you.)
3. When all beef is browned and removed from pot, add onion, carrots, and celery, allowing onion to cook until browned, about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
4. Return beef to the pot along with wine mixture. Allow wine to come to a boil before reducing heat, skimming fat from surface.
5. After simmering for several minutes, add mushrooms. Cover and simmer over very low heat until meat is fork tender and nearly falling off the bone, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
6. Once the beef has cooked, remove from pot and keep warm. Turn up heat and reduce the pot liquids until thickened, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
7. Transfer ribs to four shallow bowls, spooning liquid over top.

John Besh is the chef and owner of August in New Orleans.


enjoy your time in the kitchen…


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