According to Anna Stockwell, who prepares this dish for her cookbook For the Table: “Most braising recipes instruct you to individually sear each piece of meat, but I don’t think that’s worth the fuss, time, or stovetop spatter mess (which can be significant),” Recipes for crowd-pleasing, adaptable meals. Instead, I suggest searing the entire batch simultaneously in the broiler. It’s much quicker, easier, and still has that delicious seared flavor.
- 6 lb.bone-in beef short ribs
- Kosher salt
- 1 tbsp.olive oil
- 2onions, halved through the roots, skins discarded
- 2heads garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
- 1(4.5-ounce) tube double- concentrated tomato paste
- 1(750-ml) bottle red wine
- 4sprigs thyme
- 1/2 tsp.crushed red pepper flakes
Heat broiler to high with the rack set about 5 inches from the top. Arrange ribs in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and season with salt. Broil, turning once, until deeply browned and crisped, 15 to 20 minutes. Set aside. Switch oven to 300°F.
Meanwhile, in a large Dutch oven or pot, heat oil over medium-high. Add onion halves, cut sides down, and garlic. Cook, until lightly browned and fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Add tomato paste and stir to coat. Increase heat to high, and add wine, thyme, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer until the steam coming off the pot no longer smells super-boozy and the wine has reduced slightly, 8 to 10 minutes.
Add short ribs (discard any fat on the sheet pan), and cover with enough water to submerge the ribs (5 to 6 cups). Bring to a boil, then transfer to the oven. Cook until beef is super-tender, 2 hours to 2 hours 30 minutes. Cool to room temperature, then chill overnight. (This overnight rest is essential to deepening the flavor and improving the texture of the meat.)
An hour or two before serving, scrape the congealed fat off the top and discard. Cook over medium-low heat just until the liquid is no longer congealed. Use a slotted spoon to scoop out the meat and transfer to a large bowl or sheet pan. Discard thyme and onion. Simmer braising liquid over medium-high heat until thickened and reduced slightly, 10 to 15 minutes. Once cool enough to touch, use your hands to pull meat off bones; discard bones and any cartilage. (Be careful not to shred the meat too much—you want it to be in nice, juicy chunks.)
Remove pot from heat. Add meat and gently stir to combine. Serve warm.