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

Short ribs: half in wine, half not. Guess which we liked best?

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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.

However.

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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Author: Serene

I run The Mom Food Project, which was born out of love for my mom and a desire to preserve the recipes of my childhood, which didn't actually exist in written form until I quizzed my mom and wrote the recipes down.

29 thoughts on “French Fridays with Dorie: Short Ribs in Red Wine and Port”

  1. 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!

  2. 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!

    1. 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.

      1. I used cilantro. I’ve since made it with parsley and lemon. Its good on so many different things. Just brightens and freshens!

  3. 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.

  4. 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’. ;-)

    1. 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! :-)

      1. 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.

        1. 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. :-)

  5. 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.

    1. 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.

  6. That looks great with all the veggies surrounding it! Bravo for running a dual experiment. And I just love, love, love your pot…

  7. 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.

  8. 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….

  9. 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!

  10. 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!

  11. 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.

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