French Fridays with Dorie: Short Ribs in Red Wine and Port

A little while back, as a result of your votes in the contest poll, I cooked up Dorie’s Go-To Beef Daube, which I’ll tell you about at some point. I learned two things:

First of all, when Dorie says to cook something for 2-3 hours, 3.5 hours is too long. Okay, I probably knew that already.

my go-to beef daube, from dorie greenspan

Looks tasty, though, doesn't it?

And secondly, I just really don’t like the taste of wine in my food even if it’s food I otherwise love.

Beef stew is a fave; beef stew with wine in it just doesn’t appeal to me. Essentially, it’s a waste of money for me to add wine to my food.


Being the food geek that I am, when I saw that this week’s recipe required NINE POUNDS of short ribs — an amount that would require my very largest pot — I thought, Hey, why don’t I do half with wine and half without, and see how they compare?

So I did.

short ribs, potatoes, broccoli

Photo by Joan Ortiz

Honestly, we couldn’t tell much of a difference, which surprised me. Normally, anything cooked in alcohol is unpleasant to me, but this was good. However, it was just as good, as far as I could tell, without the wine.

James and the kid really liked this dish, and I can see why—they’re big fans of big piles of meat, and besides meat, the kid’s two favorite foods are broccoli and potatoes, which I served as sides.

All in all, I’m glad I made this, and was especially impressed with how attractive the short ribs looked. (I’ve never eaten short ribs before, and I think they taste a lot like chuck, but they look so cool, with their “handles”, that I think they’d make impressive company food.)

short ribs, broccoli, potatoes

Photo by Joan Ortiz

This was not a cheap dish to make. The meat itself was quite a lot more money than I usually spend on the whole meal, and the wine added a fair chunk of change to that. In the future, I’ve decided I’ll replace the wine in Dorie’s recipes with stock or water. Cheaper, just as tasty to us, and uses stuff I already have around.

For more treatments of this dish, head on over to the FFwD site and check out some other bloggers’ versions!

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  1. yummychunklet wrote on February 25th, 2011 at 5:59 am Uhr1

    Both of your meat dishes look delicious! And, I like the big stalks of broccoli with the ribs. And, kudos for you for attempting both dishes even though you’re not a fan of wine in meat!
    yummychunklet recently posted..ffwD- Short Ribs in Red Wine &amp No Port

  2. Allison wrote on February 25th, 2011 at 6:11 am Uhr2

    I love that you tried it both with and without the wine and didn’t really taste a difference. I mistakenly used white port instead of ruby, (because I had white port on hand and didn’t think to check to see if it was white or red before starting to cook) and hoped I hadn’t done something fatal. Now I’m quite certain I didn’t. You rock sista!

  3. Serene wrote on February 25th, 2011 at 6:24 am Uhr3

    Thanks, dearheart! You’re always so encouraging. I appreciate it more than you know.

  4. Serene wrote on February 25th, 2011 at 6:25 am Uhr4

    Yay, I’m so happy for such a creative and flexible team of co-cookers. :-) Thanks.

  5. Lola wrote on February 25th, 2011 at 6:58 am Uhr5

    Good for you trying it with and without the wine! We loved this dish but what we loved most was the gremolata!

  6. Clarkie wrote on February 25th, 2011 at 7:10 am Uhr6

    Nine and a half pounds! Oh my goodness. Well the end product looks delicious.

  7. Candy wrote on February 25th, 2011 at 7:46 am Uhr7

    How interesting that the wine didn’t impart that much flavor. I don’t like my food to tast too wine-y so I generally reduce it quite a bit and did with this one too.
    Candy recently posted..FFWD – Short Ribs in Red Wine and Port

  8. Adriana wrote on February 25th, 2011 at 8:00 am Uhr8

    Wow, your ribs are impressive! The ones I was able to get where the cross-sliced with a bit of bone. I’m jealous of the ‘handles’. ;-)
    Adriana recently posted..French Fridays with Dorie – Short Ribs in Red Wine and Port

  9. Betsy wrote on February 25th, 2011 at 8:26 am Uhr9

    I’m jealous that your ribs look so enticing. Mine tasted good but were drab to look at. Yours pop! I’m curious about what you used instead of wine for the “without” pot.
    Betsy recently posted..French Fridays with Dorie- Short Ribs in Red Wine and Port

  10. Cher wrote on February 25th, 2011 at 5:04 pm Uhr10

    That looks great with all the veggies surrounding it! Bravo for running a dual experiment. And I just love, love, love your pot…
    Cher recently posted..Old Places- New Friends Short Ribs in Red Wine &amp Port

  11. Karen wrote on February 25th, 2011 at 6:32 pm Uhr11

    Glad this turned out so well in each half that you made. Good to know that it would taste just as good without the wine! :)

  12. Serene wrote on February 25th, 2011 at 7:51 pm Uhr12

    Did you do it with cilantro? I did parsley, and it was okay, but not great. Then again, my clementines were small, so maybe I just needed more zest.

  13. Serene wrote on February 25th, 2011 at 7:51 pm Uhr13

    :-) Thanks. Yeah, it was more meat than I’ve made all the rest of this month put together!

  14. Serene wrote on February 25th, 2011 at 7:52 pm Uhr14

    Did you replace the liquid with stock or water, or…?

  15. Serene wrote on February 25th, 2011 at 7:53 pm Uhr15

    Oh, those ribs you used? I use them for kalbi (Korean ribs), and they’re SPECTACULAR, but I’ve never braised them. I’m heading off to read your post; hope they were yummy anyway! :-)

  16. Serene wrote on February 25th, 2011 at 7:55 pm Uhr16

    Gosh, I don’t think yours look drab at all!

    I just used water in addition to the beef stock in the recipe. I measured out the wine for one half, then used that same amount of water for the other half.

  17. Serene wrote on February 25th, 2011 at 7:55 pm Uhr17

    Thanks so much! My ex-wife gave it to me, and I love it so much!

  18. Serene wrote on February 25th, 2011 at 7:56 pm Uhr18

    Thanks! I will probably continue to use marsala in my tiramisu, but for most things, I just prefer them without alcohol.

  19. Teresa wrote on February 25th, 2011 at 10:58 pm Uhr19

    Great experiment. It’s interesting that there wasn’t a discernible difference between the two batches. I’ve still got quite a lot of port left over, so want to try the braising liquid with another (cheaper) cut of meat.

    I love the shot of your finished dish with the cookbook.
    Teresa recently posted..FFWD- Short Ribs in Red Wine and Port

  20. Tricia S. wrote on February 26th, 2011 at 4:29 am Uhr20

    Great idea to do the comparison- I usually chicken out and try to do the recipe “exactly”. That is until I find out I ran out of an ingredient ;) My family loves broccoli too and that is a great choice – looked wonderful in your photos. Nana and I had a great time with this one and I know I will be doing much more braising in the future. Another FF, another thing or two learned….

  21. Adriana wrote on February 26th, 2011 at 9:15 am Uhr21

    Could you recommend a kalbi recipe? I still have a package I didn’t use in my freezer. Thanks for the lovely comment and for the Twitter follow.
    Adriana recently posted..French Fridays with Dorie – Short Ribs in Red Wine and Port

  22. Serene wrote on February 26th, 2011 at 9:47 am Uhr22

    Yes! My brother’s Korean mother-in-law told us how to make them, and they’re OUTSTANDING:

    The marinade is 1 part soy sauce, 1 part sugar, and 1 part water. I usually use a cup of each. You can add garlic (freshly minced or powdered) if you want, but it’s optional. The trick is to marinate them for at least a day; my mom does 2 days, usually.

    They’re best on a grill, cooked briefly until they caramelize, but they’re okay — not great, but okay — broiled in the oven.

    This has been a family fave since we learned to make it (my brother married his wife in 1993 or so, so it’s probably been almost 20 years); I should blog it. :-)

  23. Serene wrote on February 26th, 2011 at 9:48 am Uhr23

    I would totally do this recipe with chuck; the flavor was really similar, I think.

    And thanks. :-)

  24. Serene wrote on February 26th, 2011 at 9:49 am Uhr24

    I know, isn’t FFwD such an enriching project?

  25. Krissy wrote on February 27th, 2011 at 7:37 pm Uhr25

    Your post is great! We are an alcohol free house so I reinvented this recipe just for us…like BBQ, but I had not thought to just cook in the beef broth mixture…someone else did that too. And if you could tell no difference…..
    I love that you shared this info. Thanks!

  26. Flourchild wrote on February 28th, 2011 at 8:38 am Uhr26

    No booze in my house:) I made it with the beef broth and it came out fine! Im glad you enjoyed this recipe, the ribs, the meal…well it just looks outstanding!
    Flourchild recently posted..MAC Attack

  27. Lana wrote on March 1st, 2011 at 4:33 pm Uhr27

    Oh, you are the adventurous one! I will make two takes on one dish if I have to separate spicy from bland, or if I have to omit an ingredient Husband is allergic to, but I have never done it just to experiment and compare. Hats off to you!
    I wish now that I had separated my ribs, as they are more photogenic that way. And it would have helped if I had not forgotten the gremolata.
    But, it was very tasty and popular with the whole family, girls included.
    Lana recently posted..Periodically

  28. Lola wrote on March 1st, 2011 at 10:30 pm Uhr28

    I used cilantro. I’ve since made it with parsley and lemon. Its good on so many different things. Just brightens and freshens!
    Lola recently posted..Hard Hat Area – Under Construction

  29. Serene wrote on March 2nd, 2011 at 7:37 am Uhr29

    Cool; I’ll give it another try.