Relationships can be tricky. The one I have with beef is no exception. I love you, beef. I truly do. And although I sparingly bring you into my home does not mean that my regard for your beauty and worth has diminished. You are just too exceptional of a protein to overuse, and so it is on special occasions when you appear and shine like the culinary star you are.
My most recent use of beef was inspired by a visit from two of my dear Miami friends Paige and Robert. It was over a year ago that we met, and on the very first day of us all hanging out (thanks to a drunken decision to buy tickets to see The Counting Crows in concert), our friendship was solidified. I spent the day with them drinking one old fashioned after another that Robert deliciously crafted. I cuddled with their long-haired dachshund Thor whose personality rivals the godliness of the Marvel character after which he’s named. Day quickly turned into night, and we all found ourselves unexpectedly dining at one of my now favorite places to eat in their neighborhood of Coconut Grove.
Strada In the Grove is a quintessential stop for all of those that are in love with Italian food. It was the first official meal I had with Paige and Robert, and I’m thankful to say it has not been our last.
Memories of the deliciousness of that meal echoed while I was thinking of what to make for Paige and Robert during their visit to my apartment in Downtown Miami. It was their first time seeing my new space, which of course made this occasion something special.
Enter this recipe for Braised Beef Short Rib Fettuccine.
The only way I can describe this dish is one that brings you into the depths of earthy flavor. Utilizing elements from the braise creates a cohesiveness that pulls you down a path of richness and decadence. The feeling you get with every bite is tantamount to that of a warm blanket wrapped around your shoulders on a cold winter’s night.
This dish will bring you home, will make you feel comforted, and will have you craving more for days to come!
Braised Beef Short Rib Fettuccine
(recipe serving size: 4-6 people)
For the ribs:
3.5-4 lbs beef short ribs (bone-in)
2 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp cracked black pepper
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1-2 tb olive oil plus additional for pan
Coat the ribs with the olive oil and spices.
Heat dutch oven over medium to medium-high heat. Add additional olive oil to the bottom and sear the ribs on each side for 1-2 minutes until browned all over. Do this in batches as so not to crowd.
For the onions:
1 large onion, sliced
3 cloves of garlic sliced
2 tb butter
Remove the ribs. Add the onion, garlic and butter and sauté for 5 minutes.
For the braise:
3 cups red wine (Apothic Red)
2 cups beef stock
1 large can whole peeled tomatoes (fire roasted if possible)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 herb bundle (1 sprig rosemary, 15 sprigs of thyme, 1-2 sprigs of sage)
3 bay leaves
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Add the ribs to the onions along with the wine. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the beef stock and garlic and stirring gently to incorporate both elements. Nestle the herb bundle and bay leaves into the pot. Bring the liquid to a boil and place in the oven on the center rack for 3 hours.
Finishing the braise:
Salt to taste
Remove ribs and herb bundle from the pot. Strain the braising liquid carefully through a strainer or colander into a small pot. Reserve the onions and tomatoes that have been strained from the braising liquid.
Bring the liquid to a boil and lower the heat until the braising liquid is simmering vibrantly. Cook for about 10 minutes or until the sauce has reduced slightly and has thickened. Salt to taste.
Return the ribs and the sauce to an oven-safe pot and place back into the oven with the lid on. Keep heat at 350 degrees while making the pasta.
For the pasta:
1 box fettuccine
4 oz goat cheese, softened
1/4 cup chopped parsley
Reserved onions and tomatoes
Reserved pasta water
2-3 tb Kosher salt
1 tb Cracked black pepper
Season pasta water liberally with the salt and pepper. Add additional herbs to the water if you have some left.
Cook the pasta until al dente. Reserve 1 to 2 cups of pasta water and drain the rest. Add the tomatoes and onions from the braising liquid to the pasta along with the goat cheese. Drizzle in the reserved pasta water and toss until a light sauce has formed and is coating all of the pasta. Add the parsley and toss one more time.
Bringing it all together:
Additional softened goat cheese
Crushed red pepper flakes
Place a healthy amount of pasta at the center of a plate or bowl. Rest 1 to 2 short ribs against the pasta. Ladle a small amount of braising liquid from the pot of short ribs onto the pasta. Add a dollop of softened goat cheese. Sprinkle with the red pepper flakes and parsley and enjoy while warm!