Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Recipe Review

For Valentine's Day dinner, I had decided to try my hand at Braised Short Ribs.  I had a recipe picked out and figured it would be as good of a day as any to test it on my family.  Then we ended up having friends coming for dinner as well.  I don't know about you, but the last thing I wanted was to test a completely new recipe out on friends!

I had everything purchased though, so Braised Short Ribs were still on my menu.  I just needed a recipe from a trusted source!  Who else other than The Pioneer Woman could fill that need?!  I just knew that she had to have made these at some point and placed it on her website.  So, I went digging around and sure enough, Bingo, Braised Short Ribs

One thing that I love about The Pioneer Woman's Cooking section has to be her photographs.  She shows a photo of every step, and her cookbook, The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes from an Accidental Country Girl, is the same as well.  If you click on the short rib link above, you will understand what I mean, if you have been living under a rock somewhere and have no idea who The Pioneer Woman is.

So, with my laptop in hand in the kitchen, I set off to make my first ever batch of braised short ribs.
Well, let me back up just a step.  I knew I needed a larger dutch oven for this adventure.  My Le Creuset just wasn't large enough.  And since I'm not currently working, purchasing a larger Le Creuset was not going to happen.  I ventured off to Walmart and found this Better Homes and Gardens version.  I have used it a for a few other recipes and I am quite pleased with it!

The recipe has multiple steps that actually move rather quickly once you get started.  For that reason, I gathered, chopped, prepared and dredged everything before I was ready to cook.

Carrots and Onions, chopped

Sprinkle salt and pepper on ribs then dredge in flour

Slice up pancetta

Now I was ready to start cooking!

I added the pancetta to the pan to fry until it was crispy.  With these enamel dutch ovens, they heat quickly and my kitchen got quite smokey until I was able to get the heat regulated.  Medium worked just fine for me!

Once the pancetta is crispy, remove it from the pot, leaving the rendered fat that is left behind.  Add in some olive oil to the pan and add the ribs to brown them on all sides.  I worked in batches of 4 since I had 12 ribs that I was cooking and I didn't want to overcrowd the pan.

Okay, well this photo shows 3, I must have removed one before taking this photo.  You only need about a minute on each side.  Not really cooking them here, just browning to seal in the flavor.

Once all the ribs are done, place them aside and add carrots and onions to the pot.  Cook only for a few minutes.

I then added red wine to deglaze the pan.  Make sure you scrape around the bottom of the pan to get all of the good stuff.  I let this come to a boil and then added in beef stock.

After all liquid is in, place ribs back into the pot, put the lid on it and put it in the oven for an hour and a half at 350 degrees.  Then turn down to 325 degrees for another half hour.

I really wish they would create scratch and sniff computers.  I'm telling you these smelled fabulous!  The flour from the ribs allowed the liquid to thicken a bit, and the ribs just fell off the bone!

I made potatoes and broccoli to go along with it.  Then made up a huge thing of strawberry shortcake with homemade whip cream for dessert.  I'm still stuffed!

This meal was a huge success and I strongly urge you to visit The Pioneer Woman recipe page to take a gander at her photos.  They make mine look like a 4 yr old took them!

I found the recipe to be easy to follow and comprehend.  And the final result was super delicious.  I have made numerous recipes from both her website and her cookbook and haven't had anything bad yet!


  1. Looks good! I wish I could scratch and sniff too!

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  3. That sounds fabulous! I love Pioneer Woman!
    I'm following from the
    blog hop. I'd love a follow
    back at

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  6. This sounds incredible. I love anything with pancetta in it! My husband would die of happiness if I made a dish like this....let's not tell him about it!

    Your newest follower, found you through the blog hop.

    Please stop by my place!