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Barolo-Braised Beef Short Ribs

4 to 6 Servings

5 hours (50 minutes active)

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Brasato al barolo, or beef braised in Barolo wine, is a classic dish from Piedmont in northern Italy. Customarily, the beef is a roast that is slow-cooked, then sliced and served like a pot roast. The cooking liquid, rich with the essence of wine, beef and aromatics, becomes a resplendent sauce. For a more elegant take on the dish—one that can be the center of a special-occasion dinner—we opted for bone-in beef short ribs. Short ribs start out tough but are well marbled; slow, gentle braising renders them succulent and tender. Seek out meaty ribs—English cut (not flanken-style), if ordering from a butcher—that ideally are 4 to 5 inches in length so each rib is a single serving. The braise is named for the wine used in its making—Barolo, a deep, complex Piedmontese wine made from Nebbiolo grapes that lend generous tannins and acidity. But it isn’t cheap, so you might consider Barbaresco or Nebbiolo d’Alba, though any decent dry red wine works. The beef requires a few hours of braising, so instead of stovetop simmering, which demands a watchful eye and burner adjustments, we rely on the steady, even heat of the oven. The ribs won’t fit comfortably in a Dutch oven, so you will need a roasting pan, one that measures about 13 by 16 inches, plus heavy-duty, extra-wide foil to cover it. Polenta is a traditional accompaniment to beef in Barolo, but mashed potatoes would be equally delicious.

4 to 6

Servings

Tip

Don’t forget to lower the oven temperature after removing the aromatics from the oven. The aromatics brown at 475°F, but 325°F is the temperature for braising the ribs. Also, when reducing the wine, don’t simmer it vigorously. Allowing it to reduce slowly, at just below a simmer, preserves nuances and results in a smoother, brighter flavor.

5 hours (50 minutes active)

Ingredients

  • ½

    ounce dried porcini mushrooms

  • ¾

    cup boiling water

Directions

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Reviews
Celia O.
December 2, 2022
Incredibly good!
This recipe yields a beautifully flavorful sauce with fork tender short ribs. My husband has not liked short ribs in the past but he liked these. I ended up with less liquid than expected after baking the ribs. So, I pour beef stock through the roasted veggies and continued to squeeze until I got the proper amount. Looking forward to the leftovers!