If I had to choose my favorite cut of beef, it would have to be short ribs. Sure I appreciate a beautifully seared steak now and again but I can never resist braised short ribs. The meat is always so tender and juicy. You can get tender beef from braising other leaner cuts but short ribs have a high-fat content, making them extra delicious. Today, I'm combining my favorite beef with my favorite citrus to make balsamic blood orange braised short ribs. The bright citrus paired with tangy vinegar adds so much flavor to the short ribs. Serve it with creamy mashed cauliflower and potato and you have one outstanding dinner!
Balsamic Blood Orange Braised Short Ribs
Balsamic blood orange short ribs
- 2 tbsp oil
- 3 lb short ribs
- salt and pepper
- 1 red onion sliced
- 6 garlic cloves smashed
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- 1 tbsp blood orange zest
- ½ cup blood orange juice
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 cup beef stock
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
Creamy mashed cauliflower and potato
- 1 medium head cauliflower cut into florets
- 2 lbs Yukon potatoes cut into 1 inch chunks
- ½ cup coconut cream
- 1 tbsp cream cheese
- salt and pepper
- Generously season the short ribs with salt and pepper.
- Turn on the instant pot on the saute settings. Heat 2 tbsp oil until hot. Sear the short ribs until browned and caramelized on all sides, about 10 minutes. Add the red onion, garlic, bay leaf, rosemary, blood orange zest and juice, balsamic vinegar, and beef stock to the pot. Put on the lid and put on the pressure cook setting for 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, make the creamy mashed cauliflower and potato. Put the vegetables in a large pot and add enough water to cover the vegetables. Cover the pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and continue to cook until the vegetables are fork-tender, about 15 minutes. Drain the water.
- Puree the vegetables in a food processor or blender with ½ cup coconut cream and 1 tbsp cream cheese. Add extra coconut cream if the vegetables are too thick. Season with salt and pepper. Keep warm.
- Release the steam from the instant pot. Remove the short ribs and set them aside. Discard the aromatics and skim the fat. Turn on the saute settings and add 1 tbsp sugar to the pot. Boil the braising liquid until it's reduced by about half, it should be slightly thickened.
- Portion the mashed cauliflower and potato into bowls and top with the short ribs. Ladle the sauce on top and finish with a sprinkling of sea salt. Serve immediately.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
Whenever you make short ribs, the procedure is pretty much the same. This also applies to these balsamic blood orange braised short ribs. Season the ribs, sear them and then braise in a liquid with aromatics.
For the best results, season the short ribs for at least 30 minutes before searing them. This way the salt will soak into the meat and give it more flavor. Although short ribs already have plenty of fat, add oil to the instant pot before searing. If you're planning on preparing this in the oven, heat the oil in a dutch oven and sear the meat over medium-high heat.
To take advantage of citrus season, I decided to utilize blood oranges as one of the main flavor components of this dish. The bright citrus and acid from the balsamic vinegar will balance the fatty short ribs beautifully.
Add the aromatics and liquids to the pot and pressure cook for 1 hour. Alternatively, add the ingredients to the Dutch oven and bring the liquid to a boil. Cover the pot and continue to braise the short ribs in the oven at 325 degrees F for 2 ½ hours or until the meat is fall-apart tender.
While the short ribs are cooking, make the creamy mashed cauliflower and potato. This is an optional side but I think short ribs and mashed potatoes go hand in hand. To change it up just a twist, I decided to add cauliflower to the mash. Boil the vegetables and puree them in a food processor or blender with coconut cream and cream cheese. Yes, these may be odd ingredients but both help make the mash oh so creamy. You can always opt for the traditional milk and butter too.
Now it's time to finish the dish. Remove the short ribs from the braising liquid and discard the aromatics. Skim the fat or use a fat separator to remove as much of the oil as possible. Then, add a touch of sugar to the liquid and reduce it by half. You can either reduce it in the instant pot on the "saute" settings or on the stovetop over medium-high heat. Give the sauce a final seasoning of salt and pepper and drizzle it over the short ribs.
I gotta say, just by the smell, I knew these balsamic blood orange braised short ribs were going to be fantastic. It has to be one of the most flavorful short ribs I've ever had. The citrus, vinegar, and rosemary all play beautifully together to dress up those tender ribs. This is easily going on the menu every time blood oranges are in season!
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