Today's version of this recipe came from Things Cooks Love by Sur la Table. I received this as a gift from my brother Larry and his wife, Mary and I do love it. It is broken up into recipes cooking vessels, implements and tools that cooks have in their kitchen. This recipe came from the Dutch Oven section. I was lucky enough to get a Le Creuset Dutch Oven from Frank many years ago for Christmas. Let me just say that I LOVE that pot. It is heavy and enamled cast iron. It has been well used and it is now very discolored and has a few chips in the enamel but it still cooks a beautiful braise. Someone told Frank that we can send it back since it chipped and it will be replaced but I have not checked into that yet.
Now I need to confess, that when I was doing my Weekly Menu I saw this recipe for Oven Braised Short Ribs with Fennel and never bothered to read through the recipe since, as stated earlier, they are all basically the same. So I marked it, set it aside and picked up fennel when I was at the grocers. Today when I opened the recipe it did not call for fennel at all but only fennel seed LOL. I had some fennel seed but I would much rather have the fresh fennel which cooks up into a lovely sweet bite of deliciousness, so I did as I always do and adapted the recipe to suit me.
Sometimes I serve my shortribs with mashed potatoes but today I served them over egg noodles. I sauteed up some broccoli in a little butter with pine nuts and dinner was served. YUM!!
Oven Braised Short Ribs with Fennel
adapted from Things Cooks Love- Sur la Table
3-4 lbs meaty short ribs
salt and pepper to taste
2 T. coconut oil
1 small oven, diced
1 stalk celery, sliced
1 carrot, scraped and sliced
1 head fennel, fronds removed, cored and sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 c. red wine
2 bay leaves
1 qt tomatoes with their juices
Pat dry and season the ribs with salt and pepper on each side. Heat a large dutch oven over medium heat. Add the coconut oil. When hot add the ribs, being careful not to crowd them, or they won't brown properly. Brown them, in batches if need be on both sides. Remove from pot and set aside on a plate.
Add the onion, celery, carrots and fennel to the pot and cook over med low heat, stirring, for about 8 minutes until golden and starting to soften. Add the garlic and cook for a few moments until fragrant. Add the wine and stir, scraping up any brown bits stuck to that pan. Boil until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Add the bay leaf and the tomatoes with their juices. Return the ribs to the pan and submerge into the liquid. Cover and place in a preheated 325* oven for 2-3 hrs, until the meat is pulling away from the bones.
Remove the ribs to a platter, discard any loose bones. Pour the remaining contents of the Dutch oven through a strainer set over a large bowl. Discard the bay leaves and then spoon the strained vegetables over the ribs. Defat the juices and pour over the ribs, you can make gravy from the juices if you prefer but today I left them brothy to be served over the noodles.