Low and slow is the ticket to this fantastic dish, and reminiscent of an osso buco, the beef ribs add a flavor that's all their own. Add whatever vegetables are in season, and you will have a whole meal ready at the same time. What could be easier?
This recipe calls for a hot grill to start, and a cool grill to finish, so set the grill up for a modified two-level fire, but plan on letting it burn down and cool off after about 45 mins to an hour. They will braise for several hours - you'll know they're done when you can wiggle a an end bone, and it will slide out. If you like a toothier rib, remove them when you lift one end of the rack and the meat pulls away from the bones at the point where it bends.
We've had a hard time finding beef short ribs at our local grocery, so we call ahead to the butcher to make sure they can cut some for us. If your butcher can't provide a rack, the single cut short ribs will do (sometimes they're already packaged this way when they reach your grocery store.) While calling ahead makes it hard to be spontaneous, the results are worth the time and effort. We think you'll agree!
Disposable metal pan that fits your grate
Heavy-duty foil to cover pan
Rack of beef short ribs
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp fresh thyme
1/2 tsp fresh oregano
Seasonal vegetables (onion, garlic, spring onions, potatoes, carrots, mushrooms, parsnips, turnips...) chopped into near-bite-sized pieces
1 cup of Swanson's Beef Stock
1 cup hearty red wine (like cabernet)
When you're ready to grill, take the ribs out of the fridge and let them come to room temp. While that's happening, clean and prep the vegetables - covering with water, if necessary to prevent browning.
Mix the flour, sugar, salt, pepper, thyme and oregano. Rub the ribs with the mixture, coating well.
Start the fire, and oil the grate well. Put the ribs over the hot fire and allow them to brown very well on both sides (the outside color should be darker than peanut butter, but not as dark as chocolate). This may take anywhere from 5-15 mins, depending on the heat of your fire. Watch closely because the sugar will tend to burn. When they are brown, put them into the disposable pan (you can cut the rack in half, if you need to.)
Add the vegetables, wine, and beef stock. Leave the pan over the hot side until the liquid is hot, and allow the fire to cool down. Then cover the pan with the foil and move to the cool side of the grill. Allow to cook for at least 2 hours, opening the grill as little as possible. When you check for doneness, add more stock, as necessary, to keep some liquid in the bottom. The fat from the ribs, along with the flour and liquid, will form a rich, dark gravy.
Remove the ribs to the kitchen and cut them into individual ribs for serving. Plate with the vegetables and top with the gravy.
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