Weekly Swoon: Braised Short Ribs with Horseradish Bread Crumbs and Celeriac Puree
This classic is a must on your next snow day or holiday.
Everyone has a classic, go-to dish that makes a holiday — or simply a chilly night in — better. Whether it’s a perfectly-based turkey or a warm and welcome side dish, the Wintry “comfort dish” enhances the meal and makes the evening more cozy and satisfying. Allow us to introduce you to your next swoon-worthy entrée for your next holiday menu or evening in, red wine braised short ribs. Beyond the rich, silky flavor of the meat itself, you can brighten the meal up with the Italian staple, gremolata, and bring forward another texture to add to the experience. To switch it up this season, in place of traditional mashed potatoes, you can also purée them with some celery root for a more refreshing, nutty taste.
If you’re making this for the holiday and want to turn up the fancy factor, Athena Calderone recommends slicing your carrots on a bias to make them appear more elegant as you serve. It’s all in the details, right?
Braised Short Ribs with Horseradish Bread Crumbs and Celeriac Puree
For the short ribs
- 5 pounds (2.3 kg) bone-in beef short ribs, cut into 6 to 8 pieces
- Kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper
- ¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil
- 4 ounces (115 g) pancetta, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fennel seeds, toasted and crushed
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 5 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1 leek, halved and chopped
- 6 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 4 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) chunks on the bias
- 2 stalks celery, cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) pieces
- 1 (750-ml) bottle of full-bodied red wine
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 to 3 cups (480 to 720 ml) beef stock
For the celeriac puree:
- 2 cups (480 ml) whole milk
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1½ pounds (680 g) celeriac, peeled and cut into 1½-inch (4-cm) pieces
- 1½ pounds (680 g) Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 ½-inch (4-cm) pieces
- 1 leek, white, and pale green parts only, halved
- ½ stick (2 ounces/55 g) unsalted butter softened
- Salt and freshly ground white pepper
- Horseradish Bread Crumbs (page 271), for serving
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175˚C).
Make the short ribs:
- Season the short ribs with salt and pepper.
- In a large Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat.
- Working in batches, sear the short ribs until well browned on all sides, about 10 minutes.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer the short ribs to a large plate.
- Drain all but 1 to 2 tablespoons of fat from the pot and add the pancetta.
- Cook, stirring occasionally until it begins to brown, 5 to 7 minutes.
- Add the crushed fennel seeds, onion, garlic, leek, thyme, carrots, and celery.
- Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the leeks have softened.
- Add the wine, tomato paste, vinegar, and stock and bring them to a boil.
- Return the short ribs to the pot, adding extra stock just to cover if necessary.
- Cover the pot and put it in the oven.
- Cook for 2½ hours. Remove the pot from the oven and transfer the short ribs and carrots to a large platter; discard the thyme.
- Strain the cooking liquid through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, then return the strained liquid to the pot.
- Bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the liquid has reduced by half.
- Skim any excess fat on the surface.
- Return the short ribs to the pot, turn them so they’re evenly coated, and season with salt and pepper.
Make the celeriac puree:
- In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, salt, celeriac, potatoes, leek, and 2 cups (480 ml) water and simmer, covered, until the celeriac and potatoes are tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
- Drain the potatoes, reserving 1 cup (240 ml) of the liquid.
- Transfer the celeriac, potatoes, and leek to a food processor and puree them with the butter until they’re smooth, creamy, and free of lumps.
- If the puree is too thick, add some of the reserved cooking liquid. Season with salt and pepper.
- Divide the celeriac puree among individual plates.
- Top with the braised short ribs, carrots, and sauce and serve accompanied by the horseradish bread crumbs. Enjoy!