This is one of my favorite dinner recipes. We make it maybe once a year, always in the winter, and I find it deeply satisfying every time. It's easy enough for a family gathering, nice enough to serve for a dinner party.
The short ribs get both roasted and braised, so you'll need a roasting pan and a pot that can go in the oven (we use a cast iron Dutch oven). The potatoes are also put through a potato ricer to give them a silky texture, which I find a nicer complement to the short ribs than just mashing the potatoes. Other than that, the techniques and equipment required are pretty basic, the results anything but!
Pot Roasted Short Ribs
6 to 7 1/2 pounds flanken short ribs
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 medium carrot, thinly sliced
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups beef stock or broth, heated
1 bay leaf
3 fresh thyme sprigs
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Pat short ribs dry and season with salt and pepper.
2. Arrange short ribs, meaty sides up, on a rack set in a shallow roasting pan and roast 45 minutes. Remove from oven and reduce temperature to 350 degrees. Transfer ribs to a plate and transfer 3 tablespoons drippings (augment with oil if not enough) to a 6-to-8-Quart heavy ovenproof pot, reserving roasting pan. Heat drippings over moderate heat, until hot but not smoking, and cook garlic, carrot, and sliced onion, stirring, until onion is golden. Reduce heat to moderately low. Stir in flour and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Add 1 3/4 cups hot stock in a slow stream, stirring constantly until well combined. Add remaining 1/4 cup stock to reserved roasting pan and deglaze over moderately high heat, scraping up any brown bits. Add to pot with ribs, bay leaf, and thyme.
3. Put pot in lower third of oven and cook ribs, uncovered, 5 minutes. Turn ribs over, then cook, covered, about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours more, or until meat is tender and pulls away from the bone. Let beef stand, covered, 15 minutes.
4. Transfer ribs to a plate and keep warm, covered. Pour gravy through a sieve set into a saucepan and skim off any fat. If necessary, simmer gravy until thickedned, then season with salt and pepper.
5. Place short ribs on a mound of potato puree with a little of the gravy. Top with spinach and horseradish cream.
1 1/2 pound Russet (baking) potatoes
1 1/4 pound Yukon Gold potatoes
3/4 cup whole milk
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
Cover potatoes with salted cold water by 1 inch in a 6-8 quart saucepan. Simmer potatoes, uncovered, until tender, about 25 minutes. Drain in a colander and cool 15 minutes, then peel while still very warm. Heat milk and cream until warm in a large heavy saucepan over low heat, then force peeled potatoes through ricer into pan. Add butter, a few pieces at a time, stirring until incorporated before adding next few pieces. Season puree with salt and keep warm, covered.
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 medium shallots, thinly sliced
15 ounces baby spinach
Heat oil in a cleaned 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then saute shallots, stirring, until golden, about 4 minutes. Add spinach and saute, stirring, until just wilted, about 2 minutes. Season with salt.
1/2 cup creme fraiche
1 tablespoon drained bottled horseradish, or to taste
Stir together creme fraiche and horseradish. Top each dish with a dollop of horseradish cream.