Braised Short Ribs

Adapted by StarChefs from the James Beard Award-winning cookbook "Think like A Chef" (James Clarkson Potter/Publisher) by Tom Colicchio of Craft and Gramercy Tavern.

2 tablespoons peanut oil (a healthier neutral oil such as canola oil will do)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 large, meaty beef short ribs (about 4 pounds), cut in half
1 small onion, peeled and chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 celery stalk, peeled and chopped
3 garlic cloves, unpeeled
5 sprigs of fresh thyme
8 fresh hot cherry peppers (canned will do)
1/2 cup sherry vinegar
2 to 3 cups chicken stock (the richer the better)
2 sprigs of tarragon

1. Heat the oven to 350°F. Heat the oil in a large deep oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Salt and pepper the ribs and cook them, in batches, until they are nicely browned on all sides, about 20 minutes.

2. Remove the ribs and add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, 2 sprigs of the thyme, and salt and pepper to the skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes, then add the peppers (if you are using canned peppers, add them with the vegetables in step 4). Continue cooking until the vegetables are tender and browned, 5 to 10 minutes more.

3. Return the ribs to the skillet. Add the vinegar and enough stock to come up the sides but not over the ribs. Bring the braising liquid to a simmer. Add the tarragon and the remaining thyme, then transfer the skillet to the oven and cook at a very gentle simmer (just an occasional bubble) for 1 hour. Turn the ribs and continue cooking until the meat is tender and comes easily away from the bone, about 1
1/2 hours more.

4. Transfer the ribs and vegetables to a plate. Bring the braising liquid to a simmer and skim off the fat. Reduce the liquid slightly (just so it has a little body), then return the ribs and vegetables to the skillet. Simmer just long enough to reheat the ribs, then serve.


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