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Recipe: Short ribs with mustard-Cognac sauce

Total time: 1 hour, plus 4 hours braising time

Servings: 4

Note: Adapted from Eric Greenspan. Boneless short ribs are stocked at Gelson's markets, Marconda's Meats in the Original Farmers Market in Los Angeles, and select Ralph's markets. You can request that the butcher remove the bones at many major markets. Veal stock is available at Bristol Farms and Gelson's markets, and at Surfas in Culver City; you may substitute beef broth.

2 pounds boneless beef short ribs

Kosher salt

1/4 cup oil

1 medium carrot, diced

1 large onion, diced

1 bay leaf

3 sprigs of thyme

2 cups red wine

1 quart veal stock

1/2 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1/2 cup Cognac

1. Season the short ribs all over with 1 teaspoon salt.

2. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottom, lidded skillet over high heat until shimmering, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the short ribs and sear until browned, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Add the carrot and onion to the pan and sauté until tender and slightly browned, several minutes. Add the bay leaf, thyme and wine and bring to a simmer. Cook until the wine is reduced by two-thirds, about 10 minutes.

3. Add the veal stock and bring to a simmer. Return the short ribs to the braising liquid, cover the pan and bring to a gentle simmer. Braise the ribs, turning occasionally, until tender, about 4 hours, taking care to keep the liquid at a gentle simmer (not a boil).

4. While the ribs cook, place the cream in a small, heavy-bottomed sauce pan. Heat to a gentle simmer, and cook several minutes, stirring frequently, until the cream is reduced by half, taking care that the cream stays at a simmer and avoiding curdling or scorching. Remove from the heat. Stir in the mustard.

5. In a separate small pan over low to medium heat, bring the Cognac to a gentle simmer. Simmer until it is reduced to about 3 tablespoons. Stir it into the cream. Season to taste with salt. Reserve in a warm place until the short ribs are ready.

6. When the short ribs are tender, remove the meat from the braising liquid. Strain the braising liquid from the pan into a bowl or large measuring cup, then return it to the braising pan and bring it to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cook until the liquid thickens to a sauce consistency, several minutes. Return the short ribs to the pan and brush the meat lightly with the sauce to give it a shimmer. Remove the meat to a platter and serve with the mustard-cream sauce.

Each serving: 726 calories; 37 grams protein; 12 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 44 grams fat; 16 grams saturated fat; 133 mg. cholesterol; 1,031 mg. sodium.

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