Braised Short Ribs with Pumpkin Orzo

Braised Short Ribs with Pumpkin Orzo

These braised short ribs are a one-pot meal. (Ok, fine. One pot and a skillet.) I’ve been making them for almost as long as I’ve been working on this site. They never disappoint.–David Leite

Braised Short Ribs with Pumpkin Orzo

  • Quick Glance
  • (5)
  • 1 H
  • 2 H, 45 M
  • Serves 4
5/5 - 5 reviews
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  • For the braised short ribs
  • For the pumpkin orzo
  • For the horseradish gremolata


Braise the short ribs

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).

In a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil until hot but not smoking. Season the ribs with salt and pepper and add them to the pot, being careful not to crowd them. Cook until they’re a deep brown on all sides, about 15 minutes total.

Transfer the short ribs to a plate. Add the carrots, onion, celery, and garlic to the rendered fat and oil in the pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are browned and softened, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Stir in the wine, tomatoes and their juices, stock, and herbs, scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen any browned bits.

Bring the mixture to a boil and return the short ribs to the pot. Cover tightly with foil and transfer to the oven. Braise for 2 hours, or until the meat is very tender and falling off the bones. Remove the pot from the oven and set it aside. Spoon off the fat on top.

Tester tip: Let the ribs and their cooking liquid cool then cover the pot and refrigerate overnight. When you’re ready to serve, skim any congealed fat from the surface and rewarm the ribs over medium-low heat. That extra bit of cooking makes the ribs that much more tender.
Make the orzo

Bring the chicken stock to a boil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the orzo and pumpkin purée and cook, stirring frequently to prevent the orzo from sticking, until the stock is absorbed, 8 to 10 minutes. If the orzo mixture is too thick, add a bit more chicken stock or water. Stir in the honey and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper.

Make the gremolata

In a small bowl, combine the parsley, lemon zest, and horseradish and toss by hand. Taste and adjust the amounts of ingredients accordingly.

Assemble everything

Divvy the pumpkin orzo among 4 warmed serving plates or bowls. Place a braised short rib atop each mound of orzo, top with some of the braising liquid and the gremolata. Serve immediately.

Print RecipeBuy the The Babbo Cookbook cookbook

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    Recipe Testers Reviews

    This braised short rib recipe was very easy to follow and yielded great results. The gremolata lent a very nice accent to the dish. I was amazed that such a simple garnish could result in such a nice overall flavor. The pumpkin orzo, on the other hand, was a nice accompaniment but was very time-consuming to cook. It took three different pans. I make risotto frequently and would have been happy with that as my filler. I assume I could make the orzo in a similar manner and yield good results.

    Braised short ribs: The short ribs were beautiful. The meat fell off the bone, as promised, and the sauce was wonderful for a crisp autumn evening.

    Gremolata: I was a bit disappointed by this. I love horseradish, but all I was able to taste was the parsley. I don’t know how to solve this, maybe add salt or lemon juice? I’ll experiment next time. I also ended up with way more of the gremolata than I needed. The amount of the gremolata could have been used on twice as many servings.

    Orzo: This is a great recipe. I love unique side dishes like this, which can serve as a bed for a piece of meat or fish. It’s particularly wonderful this time of year. My orzo got a little overcooked, because I was doing other things. I would have liked it if there was a time estimate in the recipe of how long it would take the orzo to absorb the chicken stock.

    Overall I give this recipe my highest recommendation. The long cooking time for the meat gives you a chance to prepare everything else. The final result is beautiful and satisfying.

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