Short Ribs in Red Wine and Port

French Fridays with Dorie

Short Ribs in Red Wine and Port

There exists a tension in any food blogging household. (Mine can’t be all that unique.) First there is the chef’s earnest and primary desire to put out a great meal for friends and family. Then there is the secondary and often competing force associated with the blogger’s goal: getting a great photo. The bloggers reading this know exactly what I’m talking about when I say that the two goals are not always in sync! For us getting dinner on the table is not the usual end of the story — not by a long shot. We also have to construct an elaborate place setting or pretty-up a serving platter, stage it, set up a tripod or extra lighting and shoot it all in the name of getting that all important photo. More often than not my husband has to delay his nightly dinner approach while I struggle with the horrible lighting in our dining room or kitchen to get the “good shot”. “Baby, please is it ok to eat this now?”

This weeks French Friday with Dorie assignment, Short Ribs with Red Wine and Port, like many of Dorie’s main dish selections, screamed out for a houseful of my best friends to come over share it with. When it was time to eat I had to acquiesce and let everyone dig in despite my nagging desire to get a decent shot of this dish. If I had my way I would have dragged out my spotlights from the garage, set up the tripod and staged away. As it was I barely had a minute and managed to take only two pictures in low light without a tripod. The best shot of the two you see below. Its fuzzy and out of focus ’cause I was pushed out of the way by everyone advancing to the buffet table. (Eagle eye Doristas will spot last week’s Pancetta Green Beans in the frame as well. This dinner was made over a week ago but I didn’t have time to give the beans the post they clearly deserved — so they are sharing space here today with the ribs.) The shot at the top of this post is actually a leftover the next night. I’m thinking we will be seeing a lot more shots of leftovers on this blog! Even this rib, however, didn’t last long enough for me to get a better read on my lighting and settings. Hubby scooped it up and ate it as soon as he heard the camera click.

Short Ribs in Red Wine and Port

Short Ribs in Red Wine and Port

My thoughts on the actual recipe? Dorie’s recipe is nearly identical to several recipes I had in my ‘to do’ list including the one from my fave, The Balthazar Cookbook. Dorie’s innovation with the dish is the inclusion of the gremolata. The citrus-garlic gremolata is what takes this dish to to the next level so be sure not to skip it. (I even whipped up some for the leftovers, it was that important.) I stuck close to the recipe excepting for using veal stock as called for at Balthazar instead of the beef variety. On TV I once saw The Ina suggesting that one should tie the ribs to the bone with kitchen twine prior to braising in order to keep them attached. Its not necessary for reasons of taste but it makes for a better presentation — just in case one was inclined to make an attempt to get the best photo.

Short Ribs in Red Wine and Port Short Ribs in Red Wine and Port

Short Ribs in Red Wine and Port

Short Ribs in Red Wine and Port

(Dorie posted the recipe at Bon Appetit so I’m posting it here too…)

This is what you will need:

  • 2 fresh parsley sprigs
  • 2 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 2 Turkish bay leaves
  • 1 fresh rosemary sprig
  • 1 whole star anise
  • Leaves from 2 celery stalks
  • 8 3 1/2- to 4-inch beef short ribs (about 3 1/2 pounds), tough membranes removed
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil or canola oil
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 2 carrots, trimmed, peeled, thinly sliced into rounds
  • 2 celery stalks, trimmed, thinly sliced
  • 5 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 cups fruity red wine (such as Syrah)
  • 1 cup ruby Port
  • 3 cups low-salt beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated tangerine peel
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

This is how you make it:

  1. Position rack in top third of oven (about 6 inches from heat source); preheat broiler. Line large rimmed baking sheet with foil. Lightly dampen large piece of cheesecloth and place on work surface. Place parsley, thyme, bay leaves, rosemary, star anise, and celery leaves in center of cheesecloth; gather cloth around herbs and tie bundle at top with kitchen string, enclosing herbs completely.
  2. Arrange short ribs, bone side up, on prepared sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Broil ribs 5 minutes. Turn ribs over and broil on meat side until browned and sizzling, about 10 minutes. Transfer ribs to large bowl. Position rack in center of oven and reduce oven temperature to 350°F.
  3. Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, sliced celery, garlic, and ginger; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sauté until vegetables are softened and browned in spots, about 10 minutes. Add tomato paste; reduce heat to medium and stir constantly for 2 minutes. Add wine, Port, and herb bundle. Increase heat to high; boil 5 minutes. Add ribs, bone side up and in single layer, to pot; add broth and bring to boil. Cover pot with foil, then lid; transfer to oven. Braise until meat is very tender and falls off bones, about 2 hours.
  4. Transfer ribs to large bowl. Spoon off fat from surface of pan juices and reserve 1 tablespoon fat (discard remaining fat). Pour pan juices through strainer set over medium bowl, pressing on solids to extract liquid. Discard solids. Return juices to pot; boil until reduced to 2 cups, about 15 minutes. Whisk reserved 1 tablespoon fat with 1 tablespoon flour in small bowl; whisk flour mixture into juices and boil until sauce thickens, about 2 minutes. Season with pepper. Return ribs to pot.
  5. Gremolata:
  6. Mix parsley, tangerine peel, and garlic in small bowl. Divide ribs and sauce among 4 plates. Sprinkle each serving with gremolata


DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool slightly. Chill uncovered until cold, then cover and keep chilled. Before continuing, rewarm ribs in sauce until heated through, 5 to 10 minutes.

About Trevor Kensey

To be truthful, I don't know what “Sis. Boom. [blog!]" means either. The name implies something explosive just happened I suppose I would like it if each post would make made a small 'boom' in your day or at least a fizzle. Even though a recipe is included with every post I have a hard time calling this a "food blog" or even myself a "food blogger".

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  1. People should just accept that good food comes at the cost of waiting, sometimes… I totally left all the gremolata ingredients sitting on the counter – I think the gremolata would have helped me enjoy the dish more.

  2. I think your photos are pretty darn good. I had a heck of a time because mine turned out so very dark…Eeesh! I love your first paragraph as it expresses exactly what happens every week and sometimes the food is actually cooled off by the time we sit down to eat. This was a perfect recipe to serve buffet style and I bet were delicious with the green beans and pancetta.

  3. How funny about the bloggers’ “tension” with a dish. I completely agree! As usual, our photos look amazing, so I better see them on foodgawker! Great post! I’m glad your hubby enjoyed every last one of them.

  4. But your photos are still lovely! That’s so funny, though, about the conflict between wanting the photos but also wanting to eat the dang thing. Love your post.

  5. Ha! I always try to hide some food to photograph in good light the next day. That, or I make a buttload of food on Sundays. Can’t wait for summer when it stays light lobger. I am living vicariously through everyone’s posts on this one, as I just couldn’t justify spending all that dough on shortribs when I’ve got meat in the freezer as it is … I love the image of you getting practically knocked over while your greedy guests make a beeline for the grub. So funny!

  6. I love your new layout!
    I’m drooling over the ribs, too…
    I couldn’t do this week’s challenge, but I’m definitely looking forward to making this dish!

  7. Thanks for another entertaining, but one we can relate to, post! I didn’t make this dish but I think your first photo presented the dish better than Dorie did.

  8. Your get a good photo vs. getting down to eating comments made me chuckle! The leftovers photo looks fabulous (at first I thought that was your rushed, not-very-good photo and I was feeling a bit bad about my photos). I agree that the gremolata makes this dish!

  9. Enjoyed your post. I go through the same thing trying to get pictures:) Wasn’t the gremolata amazing!

  10. I love the photo on the right that says Beware of Doristas! Perfect! Beautiful photos of your ribs and beans, too. I get way more photos of the recipe in progress than I do of the finished dish.

  11. Forgot to say that I love your new blog design! The header/banner is really cool!

  12. Great post, as usual, Trevor! My husband knows better than to pick up his fork before a snap a shot of his plate – LOL! But, he’s started helping me arrange things when he cooks which is just so great. I absolutely agree about the Gremolata!

  13. Success! You got a GREAT photo of this rather unattractive dish. What’s the shredded side dish? Hilarious post, as always!

  14. So good to see you back this week…and your blog is looking fabulous!!! LOL at the photo taking…I think we can all relate! I know your company enjoyed this and the beans…fun to share with friends~

  15. I agree. There is always a battle around here between the eaters and the chef/blogger :).

  16. I get the, “Can’t we just eat?” line too. I think your pics are great!

  17. Your photos look fantastic! You would never know your guests pushed you out of the way to get to the buffet! 🙂 Glad these turned out so well! They do look perfect!

  18. Great photos! I too struggle with feeding the family and trying to take photos for my blog. One of the reasons I post so many desserts…

  19. hehehehe. At lease your man asks. Min will just reach over my shoulder and sneak bites or dip his finger in the pot and lick it off. Sometimes I get lucky and Ella demands her father’s attention. Only then can I futz with the dishes, the linens and the lighting.

  20. I love the new layout, especially the header.

    I struggle with photographing the food, too. I don’t have any lighting equipment and the natural light leaves our place in early afternoon, so many of my shots are either too dark or stark from the use of the flash. Like Trix, I’m looking forward to the longer days. I just can’t bring myself to make dinner at 11 a.m. on a Saturday! I think your photos turned out well despite the stampede and eagerness.

    I promise to make the gremolata next time – it looks delicious in your photo.

  21. I broke my camera, it was pointless to worry with the camera phone.

    You and Ina, tying the short ribs. Amazing.

  22. I absolutely identify with the photo issue! Your photos are excellent! Nice post.

  23. What a wonderful post! And I completely agree with the bloggers dilemma. However I don’t know if it’s my super supportive parents or I’m just too much of a demanding diva (my sister would says diva) but I involve my dinner guests in getting the shot. Truthfully I don’t have a high powered light to get to the garage and I just bought a little tripod, so it’s more about moving the plates to find the light. I actually find with their support the final shot is kind of fun. My parents also know from years of my art projects that I have final say, but enjoy suggestions along the way. Maybe they are just trained to deal with the diva.

  24. First of all, I LOVE your new blog and of course your photos are always so beautiful, they look as though I could just reach out and prendre un goût.

    Secondly, I’ve watched a number of cooking shows in my years, but I think the best one would be watching you. It would be like going to a symphonie raffiné.
    Bon appétit!

  25. Your photos are wonderful. They ribs look fantastic. I loved the
    idea of tying the ribs up, Tricia and I had a lot of ribs without
    the bones. We did not make the gremolata, but yours looks
    great. Definetly will try this next time.

  26. Great post. I didn’t get to this week because I was in Puerto Rico for work (not the worst trade-off, since I can still make these now that I’m back). Inspired by your efforts. Of course, now I’m -even more intimidated… tri-pods, lighting…

  27. I love the food bloggers’ dilemma! My husband kids always get annoyed with me when I slap away their hands so I can take a picture! Your picture is gorgeous today!

  28. The new blog design is great and I love the Doristas! We have the same issue at my house, but more often than not, it’s me who is starving after cooking all day, and I decide to just take a quick shot and eat the darn thing!!!

  29. Your “leftovers” photo is a beauty! Thanks for the tip about tying the ribs…I would do that for a company dish. Looks really good. Your blog logo is really great, too!

  30. All I can say Trevor is your my man even tho you all ready have one. Loved it. B:)

  31. Totally agree! I have to worry constantly about my “subject” staying alive and not getting devoured before I take a shot:)
    And I forgot my gremolata completely, even though I had prepared it:(
    Great dish, I concur.