Braised Bear Short Ribs
Bear ribs are tough but flavorful. A great way to tenderize tough cuts is by slow cooking in a flavorful liquid, a process called braising. Grilling and smoking is the first choice in warm weather, but when the snowballs fly, braising is the way to go. And what a way to go!
Bear ribs are a desirable component in a braised dish because they contain so many flavorful elements, fat, connective tissue (collagen that turns to gelatin), marrow, and, of course, beef. This classic French stew from Provence fills the house with seductive aromas and, if you prepare it on Saturday, refrigerate it overnight, and serve it on Sunday, the house will smell great for two days straight. Besides, braised meat often tastes better the next day, after all their flavors have intermingled. Some recipes call for boneless ribs, but I say you should leave the bone in so the marrow can add to the richness of the stew. Deep, meaty, flavorful, and hearty, this is the ideal winter meal with a rich red wine to be followed by an evening wallowing on the couch with a movie.
Yield. Serves 3-4
Prep time. 30 minutes
Cooking time. 2 1/2 hours
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 pounds short ribs, bone in if you can find it, trimmed of excess fat and silverskin
Salt and crushed black pepper
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour, approximately
2 large onions, coarsely chopped
1 quart unsalted broth (beef, chicken, veggie, or a combo)
1 (14.5 ounce) can chopped or whole tomatoes
Salt and pepper to taste
8 ounces of egg noodles, about 1/2" wide
4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Optional. Add 1/2 cup Nicoise olives, pitted (small, brine-cured olives) to the beef.