red wine braised short ribs with rosti potatoes

I get a lot of magazines. Like more than a dozen. And perhaps more than that. I really like getting mail. But sometimes I just can't keep up with all the mail and it piles up big time. Normally, I will just grab an issue or two for the commute but thanks to a terrible run of sickness and cold weather... I am nearly at the bottom of my pile. The benefit of this exercise is some great recipes that I'm excited to try - including this one.

I actually got the meat for this meal probably about a month ago and tossed it in the freezer. Then it just never seemed like the right weekend for it until it was below zero outside and the only appropriate activities were cooking and watching Netflix. Despite most often cooking for one, I bought two short ribs for this meal so it seemed appropriate to invite over a guest... my mom. 

While rarely does braising meat disappoint, this turned out so phenomenal. The short ribs were perfect and the sauce beyond flavorful. I normally will taste a sauce one or two times but I kept coming back for this one. I am trying to reduce some of my food waste so it was a little disappointing to not utilize the braising veggies during the meal but you forget that as soon as you start eating.

I will admit I was a little discombobulated when I was preparing this but there are only a few main components so just keep calm. All in, this is not a challenging meal at all. Essentially toss everything in a pot for a couple hours, reduce a sauce, and serve... almost. But here are a few other notes:
  • Frozen shredded potatoes // I don't see a world in which it makes sense to shred your own potatoes. I've done it once and it was a miserable arduous task. Potatoes won't crisp as long as there is moisture and they naturally have a lot of moisture to them. Frozen potatoes are a wonderful shortcut. Don't look back.
  • Cooking for 2 // This style of serving potatoes works great if its just for 2 people. If you are cooking for more than 2, you might decide to do this on a sheet pan in the oven to make a larger batch or come up with a different style of serving.
  • Meat // The recipe called for bone-in short ribs but the Whole Foods butcher didn't give me that. I think its fine and actually a bit easier. Bones give you something to clean up.
Here's how it goes:
(Step 1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and heat a large Dutch oven over medium on the stove. Season the meat with salt and pepper and cook until browned on all sides, 5 to 6 minutes; transfer to a plate.

(Step 2) Add the next 4 ingredients; season. Cook, stirring, 3 minutes. Add the wine; bring to a boil. Cook until the wine reduces, 10 minutes. Add the stock and rosemary; bring to a boil.

(Step 3) Add the meat, bone side up (if your meat has bones... mine did not). Cover and cook in the oven until the meat is fork-tender. This will be about 2.5 hours.

(Step 4) While the meat cooks and you have about 25 minutes left, you can make the potatoes and then just keep them warm in the oven until you are plating. In a small nonstick skillet, heat 1 tbsp. oil over medium. Add the potatoes; season generously. Using a spatula, press the potatoes firmly into a flat disk. Cook until browned, about 15 minutes. Off heat, invert the rosti onto a plate. Return the skillet to medium, add the remaining 1 tbsp. oil and slide the rosti back into the skillet to cook the other side. Cook, pressing often, until browned, about 15 minutes.

(Step 5) When the meat is done, pull from the oven and transfer the meat to a plate. Strain the sauce into a bowl; discard the solids. 

(Step 6) Using the same potato skillet, add a little oil and the sliced onions. I wanted a little crunch to this portion of the dish. So I cooked them on high heat until they got a tiny bit burnt, then to medium-low to soften. Pour the sauce into the skillet and bring to a gentle simmer over medium-high. Cook until the sauce reduces and thickens, about 5 minutes. 

(Step 7) Return the meat to the skillet and spoon sauce over top.

(Step 8) Cut the rosti into 6 wedges; divide between plates. Top with the onions, meat, sauce and parsley.

Shopping List (for two based on this original recipe)
2 large meaty short ribs (3/4 lb. total)
2 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 ribs celery, coarsely chopped
1 small onion, peeled and quartered
2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
2 cups dry red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon
2 cups chicken stock
1 small sprig rosemary
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
freezer shredded potatoes, defrosted
1/2 medium onion, sliced
chopped parsley, for garnish

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