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Dining Tip: Port-Braised Short Ribs with Cabernet

Hunker down with this satisfying beef dish with horseradish cream, and pair with a rich Cabernet Sauvignon
Photo by: Andrew Purcell
Braise these short ribs with Port wine and … Dr Pepper! The soda adds a hint of anise to the beef.

Posted: October 16, 2017

Note: This recipe originally appeared in the Nov. 15, 2017, issue of Wine Spectator, "Barbara Banke."

Recipe courtesy of chef William Bradley of Addison in San Diego

Port-Braised Short Ribs

• 3 tablespoons grapeseed oil
• 1 large six-bone section flanken-style short ribs (about 3 1/2 pounds)
• Fleur de sel, to taste
• 2 tablespoons tomato paste
• 5 whole garlic cloves, peeled
• 2 whole shallots, sliced
• 1 cup peeled, chopped carrots
• 1 cup chopped celery
• 1 cup Port wine
• 5 cups beef broth
• 1 can Dr Pepper  (1 1/2 cups)
• 3 cups heavy cream
• 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
• 1/2 cup grated fresh horseradish root

1. Heat a pan on low. Toast the peppercorns for 2 to 4 minutes, then process in a spice grinder.

2. In a small saucepot, combine cream, ground pepper and grated horseradish. Turn heat to medium. When cream begins to simmer, transfer to a nonreactive bowl. Let cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate 6 hours or overnight. Transfer to a chilled mixing bowl. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip to stiff peaks. Chill until ready to serve.

3. Preheat the oven to 250° F, with a rack in the lower third. Add oil to a large braising pan or Dutch oven and set over medium heat. (Cut rib rack in half if needed to fit in pan.) Season ribs with fleur de sel. Sear ribs, fatty side down, until well-browned, about 5 minutes. Remove ribs, leaving any pan drippings, and add tomato paste, garlic, shallot, carrot and celery. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes, or until vegetables are lightly browned. Return ribs to pan, seared side up. Add Port, beef broth and Dr Pepper to cover meat halfway (you may not use all liquid), and bring to a simmer.

4. Cover pan with a tight-fitting lid or wrap entire pan in aluminum foil, and braise until fork-tender and falling off the bone, 3 1/2 to 4 hours. Let rest for a half hour in the pan. (Ribs can be made ahead and reheated in a 250° F oven for 1 hour.)

5. Transfer ribs to a cutting board and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Strain braising liquid into a saucepan and heat over medium. Cook until thickened, about 15 to 20 minutes.

6. Cut ribs into 6 pieces. Serve each with some sauce and a small ramekin of horseradish cream. Serves 6.

Recommended wine pairings

Chef's pick: O'Shaughnessy Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain 2015

Wine Spectator alternates: Rombauer Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Diamond Selection 2014 (93, $80)
Viña Tarapacá Cabernet Sauvignon Maipo Valley Gran Reserva 2014 (91, $18)

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