Friday, August 17, 2007

A Night In Provence

Yesterday Adam and I both took a day off from work in anticipation of the delivery of our new love seat and to get some errands and stuff done around the apartment that we never seem to have time to do on the weekends. This also gave me the opportunity to indulge in some slow-cooking. Some of my favorite meals to make require at least 2-3 hours of time to prepare and that is a luxury I just don’t have on weeknights. So after perusing, I came across their luscious recipe for Short Ribs Provencal which involved two of my favorite things

1) slow cooked meat
2) using my brand new Dutch Oven!

So Adam and I hit up the supermarket to pick up all the ingredients and in the afternoon when he headed off to Physical Therapy I hunkered down in the kitchen for an afternoon of French Country style cooking. This recipe, though it seems kind of lengthy, is actually pretty easy and is definitely made more so if you have a chopper (I just snagged a Kitchen Aid one from TJ Maxx for $10!). The other bonus of this recipe is that beef chuck short ribs are really inexpensive (I got about three lbs for $8) but the slow cooking and decadent flavors give it such a tender buttery taste and texture you would never know!

Short Ribs Provencal (from

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 pounds individual short ribs
3/4 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
1 celery rib, finely chopped
12 garlic cloves, peeled
1 tablespoon herbes de Provence
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups hearty red wine, such as Zinfandel or Shiraz
1 3/4 cups beef stock
One 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice, drained
1 bay leaf
8 ounces baby-cut carrots
1/2 cup Mediterranean black olives, such as Ni├žoise, pitted

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 300°F.

Heat the oil in a large (at least 6-quart) Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season the short ribs with the salt and pepper.

In batches, without crowding, add the short ribs to the pot and cook, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, about 8 minutes.

Using tongs, transfer the ribs to a platter.

Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat from the pot. Add the onion, chopped carrot, and celery to the pot and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, herbes de Provence, and flour and stir until the garlic gives off its aroma, about 1 minute.

Stir in the wine

(I used a bottle of Covey Run Shiraz that I had sampled the night before at a wine tasting class. It has these fabulous rich and spicy undertones that make it PERFECT for slow cooking beef) and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.

Cover tightly, transfer to the oven, and bake, stirring occasionally to change the position of the ribs, until the meat is falling-off-the-bone tender, about 2 1/2 hours. During the last 15 minutes, add the baby carrots.

Transfer the short ribs to a deep serving platter and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm. Skim off the fat from the surface of the cooking liquid, and discard the bay leaf. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until the liquid is reduced to a sauce consistency, about 10 minutes (the exact time depends on the size of the pot). Add the olives and cook to heat them through, about 3 minutes. Season the sauce with salt and pepper.

Serve ribs with sauce on top. I served mine with smashed potatoes. Crusty bread on the side is a MUST for sopping up all that amazing sauce.

Pour yourself a glass of the leftover Shiraz and enjoy!


Meg said...

That looks so good. Nevermind that it's 8:30 am.

Libby said...

You're not kidding, Meg! That looks fantastic- what a perfect 'it's going to be fall any second now' kind of meal.

Sarah said...

its TOTALLY a great fall meal. I was kind of rushing it doing it in August but I just could not help myself. :-)

Anonymous said...

i dont read a lot of these recipies because i dont cook. ever. but! looking at that oh so rounded mound of mashed potatoes made my mouth water. delicious! <3 danielle