Braised short ribs have become quite the rage with them appearing on restaurant menus and cooking shows a plenty. They can serve as a taco or steamed bun filling at some trending uber-chef place or sit atop a steaming pile of polenta at someplace less trendy.
Trendy doesn’t necessarily mean fast though. Many short rib recipes call for a low and slow approach; several hours in a 300°F oven then a rest overnight followed by of skimming and reheating. Which is great if you have the time.
I pulled some short ribs from the freezer Friday night because I knew I would have time today to cook them. Then time got away from me and I wanted a faster method. Enter the pressure cooker. Boon to time starved cooks around the world.
Here is the result, served over some reheated macaroni & cheese that my husband made last night.
Braised Short Ribs: pressure cooker style
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 90 minutes
- 1 tsp. vegetable oil
- 2 pounds beef short ribs, cut into 2 to 3 inch segments
- 2 Tbsp. plus 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 Tbsp. cracked black pepper
- 2 cups chicken broth or water
- 1 cup red wine (I used a red blend from California)
- 1 onion, medium chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1 tsp. dried)
- 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 2 Tbsp. cider vinegar
- Lay your short ribs out on a board and season with 2 Tbsp. of kosher
salt and the cracked black pepper. Be sure to season all of the
long sides. Hit the short sides too if you are inclined.
- Heat the pressure cooker over high heat for a couple of minutes.
Add a vegetable oil and heat until shimmering. Add short ribs in a
single layer and brown on the 4 long sides for 2-3 minutes each.
They should release from the bottom of the pan on their own rather
than being forced. Moderate the heat as needed so you don’t have
too much smoke. You’ll probably need to cook in multiple batches.
- After you’ve browned all the ribs drop the heat to medium-low and
add the onions and the remaining 1/2 tsp. of salt. Cook for 4-5
minutes until the onions start to turn opaque.
- Heat the wine and chicken broth in the microwave. My microwave has
a “beverage” button and I used that.
- Add the garlic, thyme and bay leave. Cook for another minute or
so until your start to smell the garlic.
- Add the heated wine/broth to the pressure cooker and bring to a
boil. Add the ribs back in and do your best to submerge them.
- Fit the cover on the pressure cooker and turn the heat back up to
high. Heat until you reach a strong level of pressure release and
then lower the temp so that you get a slow steady release. For my
cook top this means lowering the temp to low.
- Cook for 45 minutes at a slow steady release. Turn off the heat,
removing the pan from the burner if it remains hot after being
turned off. Let the pressure drop naturally which should take 15
to 20 minutes.
- Give the meat a squeeze with some tongs. It should be fall-apart
tender. If not slap the lid back on, put it back on the heat and
cook it for another couple of minutes.
- When the meat is cooked remove it from the bones to a dish and
dispose of the bones. Add the cider vinegar to the remaining
liquid, stir and transfer the liquid to a oil separator. Allow it
to sit for 5-10 minutes until the fat has risen to the top.
- Plate the rib meat over the starch of your choice. Pour as much,
or as little, sauce over the meat and serve.
I did find the sauce to be a bit salty and so I lowered the amount of salt in
the recipe. Enjoy with a glass of the wine you opened to make the dish and
the company of a good friend if possible.