So here we are in January, the start of the new year. Cold and winterly, 8 inches of snow, then 1/2 an inch of ice and 24 hours of rain. With this sort of weather it has me thinking of something braised and meltingly tender from hours of low, slow cooking.

Braised beef short ribs with vegetables and pan sauce

2# beef short ribs

2 large oxtails

1 large onion quartered

1# chopped carrots

3 celery stalks

4 cloves garlic

1 cup tomato paste

3 cups red wine

2 cups beef broth

1 cup AP flour

2 bay leaves

3 sprigs fresh thyme

Salt and pepper to taste

3 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. In large heavy bottom sauté pan over medium high heat, add olive oil. Season short ribs and oxtails with salt and pepper, dust with flour. Sear all sides of short ribs in hot oil until golden brown. Place in oven-proof baking dish. Sear oxtail in same hot pan until golden brown. Remove to baking dish, add vegetables to sauté pan and sauté. When vegetables start to get soft add tomato paste and caramelize. When tomato paste and vegetables are lightly caramelized add them to short ribs and oxtails in oven-proof pan, add crushed garlic, bay leaves and thyme to sauté pan. Deglaze sauté pan with red wine, scraping all the bits from the bottom of the pan. Add beef stock and red wine reduction to oven-proof pan with vegetables and meat. Cover tightly with foil and place in pre-heated oven and braise for 3 to 4 hours or until bones pull easily from short ribs.

Set ribs aside, pull vegetables from braising liquid, discard bay leaves and thyme stems. In food processor pulse vegetables until rough paste, season with salt and pepper. Skim fat from broth and discard. Place de-fatted braising liquid to clean pot and reduce by half. Season with salt and pepper.

Place short rib on plate, make a quenelle of vegetable puree and drape plate with reduced sauce. Enjoy with a nice glass of dry red wine or a dark rich beer!