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    Notes - October 29, 2014

    Photo: (L to R) Mark Donaldson, Chris Churchill and Brad Barker pontificating on all things wine and music


    Once a month, Chris Churchill, Mark Donaldson and Brad Barker educate and entertain us as they talk about what is happening in the world of fine wine and music. And of course, they drink while they entertain. On this episode, Chris and Mark talk about Hermanos Lurton Tempranillo 2011, Animus 2012  Douro DOC, Kunde Estate Chardonnay 2012, and Château de Panigon 2010 Médoc AC Cru Bourgeois.

    Have a listen!





    Sign up now for the Imbiber’s Report! Impress friends and family with your knowledge of wine. Attend an exclusive Portfolio Tasting in May. Plus be on the lookout for your chance to be a guest Sommelier on Notes with Brad Barker, Chris Churchill and Mark Donaldson.

    Braised Short Ribs
    Serves six


    - 4-1/2 to 5 lb. English-style beef short ribs (8 to 12 ribs)
    - 3 Tbs. vegetable oil
    - Kosher salt
    - ground black pepper
    - 2/3 cup medium-diced carrots
    - 2/3 cup medium-diced onions
    - 2/3 cup medium-diced celery
    - 2 whole dried bay leaves
    - 1/2 oz. dried mushrooms, steeped in hot water until soft, then coarsely chopped
    - 1 Tbs. finely chopped garlic
    - 2 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
    - 1/2 to 1 tsp. ground allspice
    - 1/2 cup dry white wine
    - 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
    - 1 cup diluted lower-salt beef broth (mix equal parts broth and water)
    - 1 cup dry red wine
    - 1 to 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
    - 1 to 2 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley


    Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 325°F. In an 8-quart Dutch oven, heat 2 Tbs. of the oil over medium heat. Season the ribs with 2 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. pepper. Add half of the ribs to the pot (or as many as will fit without overlap), and cook, turning with tongs, until nicely browned on all sides, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer the ribs to a platter and repeat with the remaining ribs. Pour off all but a thin layer of fat from the pan.

    Add the remaining 1 Tbs. oil, carrots, onions, and celery to the pan. Season with 1/2 tsp. salt. Cook, stirring and scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan, until the aromatics are soft and lightly browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Add bay leaves, chopped dried mushrooms, garlic, rosemary, and allspice, and cook, stirring, until well distributed and fragrant, about 1 minute.

    Pour the 1/2 cup white wine into the pot and cook, stirring to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot, until the liquid is reduced to about 2 Tbs., about 1 minute.

    Transfer all the ribs (and any juices that have accumulated) back into the pot. Pour the beef broth, red wine, and tomatoes and 1 cup water over the ribs and using tongs, arrange the ribs as evenly as possible and no more than two layers deep.

    Bring the liquid to a simmer, cover, and put the pot in the oven. Cook, turning the ribs with tongs about every 40 minutes, until they are fork tender, about 2-3/4 hours. (The meat may fall off most of the bones about midway through cooking; this does not mean that the ribs are fully tender.)

    Transfer the ribs to a serving platter or dish. Let the sauce and solids sit in the pot for a few minutes to cool and with a shallow spoon, skim off as much of the fat as possible from the surface. Season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper, and add the vinegar.

    Serve the ribs with the sauce spooned over, sprinkled with chopped parsley.

    Note: If you would like a little sweetness in this dish, add one cup of dried figs, dates, prunes or apricots along with the herbs and spices.

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