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Barolo-Braised Beef Short Ribs
5 hours 50 minutes active
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.
ounce dried porcini mushrooms
cup boiling water