Weekly Winner: A Big Steaming Pile of Umami Goodness

IMG_0431I don’t do restaurants for Valentine’s Day.  I would much rather cozy-up at home with something wonderfully homemade.  As I have often mentioned, hubby is a meat and potatoes kind of guy.  So for this Valentine’s Day, I decided to make Short Rib Stew.  Absolutely luscious.  Soul-satisfyingly delicious.  Super cozy.  But I’m still not entirely sure it counts as actually “cooking”.  Apart from browning the short ribs, all I really did was chop some veggies and stir.  That’s it.  The perfect definition of a one-pot wonder.  And wonderful it was.  I decided to buy bone-in short ribs and cook them intact.  The bones literally slipped out clean after the 2 hours of cooking and then I just cut the short rib meat into bite size pieces.  But in keeping the bones in, it produced the most amazingly umami-rich, gelatinous broth.  The recipe came from Food & Wine magazine and it is phenomenal.  I cannot wait for the leftovers this weekend.

Short Rib Stew

Serves 8


3 1/2 pounds boneless beef short ribs, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces (I used bone-in and just cut up the meat after it was cooked – bones fell right out)

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 cups dry red wine

3 cups veal or chicken stock

6 carrots, cut into 1/2-inch dice

1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice

3 medium parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice

1 large onion, cut into 1-inch dice

1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, quartered

1 tablespoon thyme leaves, chopped

8 sage leaves, coarsely chopped

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. In a large bowl, toss the short ribs with the flour. In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat the oil. Working in batches, cook the short ribs over moderately high heat until browned all over, about 6 minutes per batch. Discard the oil.
  2. Return the meat and any juices to the casserole. Add the wine and boil until reduced by half, 8 minutes. Add the stock and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook over low heat until the meat is tender, 2 hours.
  3. Skim any fat from the stew. Stir in the carrots, potatoes, parsnips, onion, mushrooms, thyme and sage. Cover and simmer over low heat until the vegetables are tender, about 35 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

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