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- Meat and poultry
- Braised beef
A savory stew including tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, and garlic. This very flavorful and economical cut of meat requires long, slow cooking.
3 people made this
- 4 tablespoons plain flour for coating
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 pinch freshly ground black pepper
- 1.8kg beef short ribs (Jacob's ladder), cut in half widthways or oxtail pieces
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 250ml water
- 225g chopped tomatoes
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 6 potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 3 onions, chopped
- 6 carrots, chopped
- 1 1/2 tablespoons plain flour
- 2 tablespoons water
MethodPrep:15min ›Cook:2hr40min ›Ready in:2hr55min
- In a bowl, combine the 4 tablespoons flour, salt and ground black pepper. Roll the ribs in the seasoned flour.
- In a large casserole pot, heat the oil and brown the ribs well on all sides. Pour in 250ml boiling water, tomatoes and garlic. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours, adding more water if necessary.
- Place the potatoes, onions and carrots in the pot. Continue to simmer for another 30 minutes to 1 hour, or until all vegetables are tender. Remove the beef and vegetables to a serving platter.
- In a separate small bowl, dissolve 1 1/2 tablespoons flour in 2 tablespoons water. Add this to the pot and stir well until thickened. Pour over meat and vegetables.
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The beef short ribs are number one of course. This (Chris’) recipe works perfectly with both bone-in, English cut short ribs and boneless beef short ribs.
As a refresher the short ribs are part of the ‘chuck’ section of the animal, they are the first five rib bones and are quite short relative to the rest of the ribs, hence the name.
If you find boneless – all you will have to do is braise them and they will be ready to serve.
If you buy bone-in short ribs, you will perform one (optional, but highly recommended) step at end – removing the bones and tendons.
This style of ‘chunky’ cut bone-in short ribs is known as English cut.
Next – the beer.
It is all about the flavor it will impart so choose wisely. We recommend styles brewed with dark malts in the grain bill.
Think styles such as dark lagers (dunkel or schwarzbier), brown ales and especially stouts and porters. The more malt forward and roasty, the better.
The ale we used for this post is a smooth, sweet, rich porter ale with very robust roasty notes. Founders Brewing Co. Porter is about as perfect of a beer for this recipe as it gets. It pours dark and velvety and we are pretty sure that the short ribs get excited about their own prospects when this porter comes into play:)
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 16 (4-ounce) pieces small, thick, bone-in beef short ribs (about 4 pounds total)
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 4 carrots, cut into large chunks
- 2 onions, quartered
- 1 bottle (750 mL) dry red wine, such as Merlot
- 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 can (28 ounces) whole peeled tomatoes, in puree
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place flour in a medium bowl season with salt and pepper. Toss ribs in flour mixture until well coated shake off excess.
In a 5- to 8-quart Dutch oven or heavy ovenproof pot, heat oil over medium-high. Cook ribs in two batches, turning until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes per batch transfer to a plate.
Add carrots and onions to pot. Cook, stirring and scraping up browned bits, until vegetables are lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Add wine, broth, thyme, and tomatoes (breaking them up). Arrange ribs in pot bring liquid to a boil. Cover, transfer to oven, and cook 1 hour. Reduce heat to 350 degrees cook until fork-tender (but not falling apart), about 1 hour more.
Using tongs or a slotted spoon, transfer ribs to a plate. Moisten with cooking liquid cover with aluminum foil to keep warm. Strain remaining liquid through a fine-mesh sieve (discard solids) return to pot. Bring to a boil cook until sauce is slightly thickened and reduced to about 2 cups, 10 to 12 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve ribs with sauce. (Or return to pot, let cool slightly, cover, and refrigerator up to 1 day.)
How to make the best Slow Braised Beef Short Ribs:
Preheat your oven to 250 degrees.
Pull ribs out of the fridge about 20 minutes before cooking. You don’t want to put ice cold ribs on a hot pan because it could lead to an uneven browning of the meat. Season the ribs with salt and pepper on all sides.
In a bowl, mix remaining ingredients (except for the butter and oil).
Heat a large dutch oven or braiser over high heat on the stove. Once very hot, add the butter and oil.
Carefully sear the short ribs on each side for about 30 seconds. Once browned on all sides, remove ribs from pan and transfer to a plate.
Pour sauce into the same pan you seared the ribs in. Bring to a simmer for about 4-5 minutes. Transfer ribs back to the pan with sauce and cover with lid or foil.
Transfer ribs to the oven for 2 1/2 hours. When done, ribs will be very tender. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.
To thicken the sauce, carefully remove ribs from dish and bring sauce to a simmer on your stovetop. Simmer, stirring occasionally until sauce thickens to your liking.
Serve short ribs over mashed potatoes with sauce and a sprinkle of fresh chopped green onions (optional).
How to make the short ribs in a slow cooker/crockpot:
After searing the ribs in your hot skillet and simmering the sauce, transfer ribs to your crockpot. Pour sauce over the ribs and cook on the low setting for 7 hours or on the high setting for 4 hours.
Side Dishes to pair with short ribs:
Brussels Sprouts and Sweet Potatoes – Tossed with crispy bacon, sweet cranberries and toasted pine nuts. Serve as super delicious healthy side dish recipe during the Holiday’s or anytime of year!
Balsamic Glazed Baked Asparagus – Delicious and easy oven baked asparagus finished with a mouthwatering balsamic glaze. Serve balsamic asparagus with your favorite main courses.
Three Cheese Mashed Potatoes – Amazing creamy mashed potatoes made with cheddar, parmesan and cream cheese. These potatoes make for a super easy and delicious side dish to pair with your favorite main courses.
Creamy Corn Casserole – Creamy and comforting corn casserole is slightly sweet, mostly savory and absolutely mouthwatering delicious! This recipe has quickly become one of my favorite side dishes.
Roasted Rosemary Garlic Potatoes – Fresh rosemary and garlic baked red potatoes with a light golden crisp on the outside and soft on the inside.
More Slow Cooked Meals:
Slow Cooker Savory Pot Roast – Tender and delicious pot roast made in a slow cooker/crockpot with boneless beef roast, carrots, and onion in savory gravy. This recipe is a super easy dinner packed with delicious flavors that scream comfort food.
Slow Cooker Tender Short Ribs – English cut short ribs seared in a cast iron skillet then cooked low and slow in a red wine sauce. If you are looking for a super easy way to make short ribs tender and delicious, this is the recipe for you!
French Onion Pot Roast – Tender and delicious pot roast recipe cooked to pull-apart perfection in a slow cooker layered with tender onions in a savory sauce. This pot roast is the ultimate easy comfort meal perfect for any night of the week!
Slow Cooked Tender London Broil – This London broil recipe is super easy and absolutely melt in your mouth delicious. The flavor is slightly sweet but mostly savory. If you are looking for a tender, pull-apart London broil recipe that takes very little effort from start to finish, look no further!
Short Ribs are best served with a glass of red wine, Mashed Potatoes, egg noodles, Creamy Polenta or French Fries and a salad like a Wedge Salad topped with Blue Cheese Dressing.
The only other thing to truly ensure amazing short ribs, is salt, pepper and flour each piece. Then tap off the excess flour and brown it in your dutch oven on all sides. YES, all sides, including the bone (this helps add flavor, I promise). Then when it braises, it will become this beautiful, crust-covered tender piece of meat.
The Secret to Restaurant-Quality Braised Short Ribs Is in the Sauce
I had one goal when developing this recipe for red wine–braised beef short ribs, and it was under no circumstances to churn out a copycat boeuf Bourguignon recipe where the beef just happens to be short ribs. Since boeuf Bourguignon is, in its simplest sense, beef braised in red wine, that may sound like a distinction without much basis. But there are a handful of things that to my eye signal boeuf Bourguignon territory—prime among them the not-too-thick stew-like braising liquids and an assortment of braised-vegetable accoutrements. A lot of red wine–braised beef short ribs lean too far in that direction, and I didn't want any part in it.
What I was after was something very different. I wanted pieces of bone-in beef short ribs braised until fork-tender, and I wanted them glazed in a deeply reduced sauce that's thick, glossy, and sticky. I also wanted the sauce's flavor to have clarity, so that what shines through is an intense red wine flavor, underpinned with a rich meatiness. What I wanted, in essence, is the kind of braised short rib dish you'd normally find only in a good restaurant.
What became clear after several rounds of recipe-testing is that if I braise the beef solely in red wine or a combination of red wine and stock, no amount of reduction could get me to the place I wanted to go. The braising liquid will reduce in volume, but its consistency will remain thin to the very end. (And oh god, the number of recipes I've seen that show a picture of a beautifully thick sauce but employ cooking methods that experience proves can't possibly yield those results is enough to drive me to abandon my mission entirely and just start drinking straight from the bottle.)
Beyond just the consistency and basic flavor profile of the sauce, I also wanted to make sure it wasn't too harsh. Aiming for a strong red wine character that's further concentrated through reduction can lead to a sauce with sharp edges from the wine's acids and tannins. Something has to round it out.
What Kind of Beef Short Ribs to Get for Braising
Before braising beef short ribs, you have to buy them. This can be a frustrating experience. Short ribs run a range of quality levels, and some of them aren't worth the trouble. I had several failed shopping excursions while developing this recipe because I couldn't find good ones. (I even had to cancel a photo shoot the first time around after wasting too much of the morning bouncing from butcher counter to butcher counter until finally giving up. And this was in New York City, a place where it's generally very easy to find great ingredients!)
What you want are short ribs that are meaty, with a solid inch and a half or more of meat on top of the bones. That meat should be visibly marbled with fat there can be a thin cap of fat on top of that, but it shouldn't be excessive. If you get short ribs that have striations of muscle that look extremely lean and then a thick fat cap on top, you're going to end up with meat that's tough and dry, not tender and melting.
Short ribs can be cut two different ways: flanken- and English-style. The flanken cut yields strips of beef with the cross-sections of multiple rib bones in it. That's what you see in the photo above, and it's the cut used in Korean barbecues for LA-style galbi. English-cut short ribs, conversely, divide each portion such that the slab of meat sits atop a single rib bone that runs the length of it.
Either cut works for a braise like this, though keep in mind that flanken-style are often portioned into much thinner slabs. If you get flanken-cut ribs, make sure they're about two inches wide, so that you get nice, thick hunks of meat. Flanken ribs can be sliced between the cross-cut bones to make individual bone-in portions, as shown in the photo above.
English-style short ribs don't need any special treatment. They're naturally thick enough because the width of each rib bone determines the thickness of each piece. I'd recommend getting English-cut ribs that are about four inches long each.
My preference for this kind of braise is English-style, only because I find it more visually impressive on the plate. Assuming you get sufficiently thick pieces of either kind, there's no other significant difference as you can see from the photos, the ones I used were flanken-cut, and it all turned out just fine.
Red Wine–Braised Short Ribs: The Secret in the Sauce
Most of this recipe follows the same basic template for beef stews and braises: brown the meat and aromatic vegetables, add the braising liquid, cook gently until the meat is tender. What I had to figure out for this recipe were the essential details: how much wine and how much stock to use in my braising liquid and then how to handle those liquids after the braising step, so that I ended up with the sauce I wanted, one that's thick and rich and intensely wine-y but without tasting harsh.
For liquid ratios, I started from a very practical place: I was going to use a single 750ml bottle of dry red wine for the braise itself. It's a sufficiently large quantity to give the sauce a predominantly red wine character, while still leaving room for just a little more liquid in the form of stock to bump up the savory base of the braise (exactly how much stock depends on whether you're cooking it in a Dutch oven or a pressure cooker a pressure cooker's max-fill line means there's less space for stock than a Dutch oven).
There are all sorts of ways to thicken a sauce. You can use starches like flour or cornstarch, rely on the gelatin from a good stock, use vegetable or fruit purées, gently cooked eggs (think custards and Greek avgolemono), or rely on emulsified fats, such as in a vinaigrette. Each comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages, and some methods are more appropriate than others depending on the situation.
My goal here was to braise the short ribs and then serve them with a sauce made from their braising liquid that had a very clear, very clean red wine character. I wanted it to glaze the meat too, with a richness that thinner, lighter broths can't deliver.
Using a starch-like flour or cornstarch was definitely on the table—I'm not opposed to them the way some people are, as I don't always mind the subtle starchy quality they add to a sauce. They can dull flavors, which isn't great, though I think this phenomenon is sometimes over-exaggerated by critics.
Of those two common household starches, flour is the guiltier party in terms of adding a distinct starchy taste. Cornstarch is cleaner, but when leaned on too heavily, it can lead to sauces that have a viscosity that's slightly slimy or even jelly-like, not thick in that lip-sticking kind of way. I knew I might use one of these thickeners in my sauce, but I also knew that if I relied on them alone, they wouldn't deliver the results I wanted.
I've turned to puréed vegetables before in a braised beef shank recipe, and it's delicious, but the sauce has a consistency that makes it pretty obvious there's some kind of purée doing the thickening. All that puréeing can also incorporate air into the sauce, lightening its color. Once again, that wasn't the rich, clear effect I wanted here.
What I really wanted was the thickening power of gelatin, which gives exactly the kind of viscosity I was after without adding any unwelcome flavors. In the world of sauces that means using a really good homemade stock, the kind that sets like a jelly in the fridge. You can also use store-bought stock, which is completely devoid of gelatin, and then add a packet of unflavored gelatin to it to compensate.
My challenge here was that the only way a good stock could sufficiently thicken the sauce was if I used a lot of it, reducing it down until the gelatin was very concentrated. Not only is that not practical at home, but it works against another of my goals: a sauce with a very clear red wine flavor, since more stock in the pot means less room for red wine. I wanted plenty of red wine.
That meant that the stock could only be a part of my solution, but not the entirety of it.
My secret weapon to get my sauce all the way to where I wanted it to be: a bottle of port. While the beef is braising, I take an inexpensive bottle of ruby port and gently simmer it in a saucepan until reduced to a mere 1/2 cup. This concentrates the port's jammy wine flavor along with all its sugars, creating a viscous syrup that tastes kind of like wine honey.
After the ribs are braised, I remove the meat from the pot and set it aside, then strain out all the aromatic vegetables. I reduce the braising liquid down as well to concentrate the wine and gelatin from the stock (and any additional gelatin that the short ribs added). Then I stir in the half cup of reduced port wine. Its honey-like consistency thickens the sauce, its jammy flavor makes the sauce taste even more intensely like red wine, and its sugars round out the red wine's sharper acidic and tannic edges.
At this point, if you want any additional thickening, you can add a small amount of cornstarch slurry to get you the rest of the way there, just enough to ensure your sauce coats the back of a spoon but not so much that it's obvious cornstarch has been used.
Adapting Red Wine–Braised Short Ribs for the Pressure Cooker
While developing this recipe, I also worked on a pressure-cooker version. The pressure cooker saves some time, which is always welcome, though it doesn't turn this recipe into a 30-minute weeknight meal.
The time-savings a pressure cooker does offer are during the beef-braising portion of the recipe, which trims two to three hours of standard braising time down to about 45 minutes. Otherwise, you still have to spend some minutes browning the beef, and all of the reduction of the port wine and braising liquids still has to happen as well—a pressure cooker only works when it's sealed, making evaporation (and thus reduction) impossible.
I learned the hard way that you also need to spend a few extra minutes before sealing the cooker to boil off most of the wine's alcohol. If you don't, your short ribs will come out smelling strongly of alcohol, and no amount of reduction at that point can get rid of it. A strong red wine flavor in the sauce is great, but a strong punch of ethanol is not.
No matter which method you choose, the result can not be mistaken for boeuf Bourguignon. These short ribs are their own dish entirely, and they're delicious.
- 5 pounds (2.25kg) beef short ribs (see note)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons (30ml) neutral oil, such as vegetable or canola
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 3 tablespoons peeled and grated fresh ginger (from about one 3-inch knob)
- 6 large cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon (12g) Chinese five-spice powder
- Zest of 2 oranges, one in wide strips, one finely grated, divided
- 1/2 cup (120ml) fresh juice from about 2 medium oranges, divided
- 1/2 cup (120ml) Shaoxing rice wine (or dry sherry)
- 1 cup (240ml) low-sodium soy sauce
- 1/4 cup (60ml) unseasoned rice wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup (120ml) honey
- 2 tablespoons (30ml) sambal chili paste or Chinese chili-garlic sauce
- 1/4 cup (60ml) hoisin sauce
- 3 1/2 cups (830ml) homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock or water, plus more as needed
- 1 1/2 tablespoons (18g) cornstarch mixed with 1 1/2 tablespoons (20ml) cold water
- 3 scallions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced, for garnish
Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Alternatively, plug in a slow cooker.
Pat short ribs dry with clean towels. Lightly season short ribs on both sides with salt and more generously with black pepper. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add short ribs in a single layer, working in batches if necessary to avoid crowding the pot. Brown well on all sides, then transfer to a plate and set aside. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons (30ml) fat from Dutch oven.
Add onion, ginger, garlic, and five-spice powder to Dutch oven and cook over medium-high heat, stirring, until onions are slightly softened and fragrant, about 4 minutes.
Add strips of orange zest and 1/4 cup (60ml) orange juice along with rice wine or sherry, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, honey, chili paste, hoisin, and chicken stock or water. Stir to combine. Return ribs to Dutch oven along with any accumulated juices. (Alternatively, add ribs, vegetables, and liquid to slow cooker.)
If Using a Slow Cooker: Set slow cooker to high and cook until meat is tender and frees easily from bones, 6 to 8 hours.
If Using a Dutch Oven: Bring contents to a boil, cover, and transfer to oven. Cook until short ribs are tender, about 3 hours. Check periodically during cooking process and add more stock or water if needed. Remove lid during the last 20 minutes of cooking. The meat should be very tender but not completely falling apart.
When meat is cooked, remove ribs and keep warm in a serving dish. Strain braising liquid into a fat separator (or strain braising liquid, then spoon off as much fat as possible), then pour strained, defatted sauce back into pot. Discard aromatic vegetables. Stir in remaining 1/4 cup (60ml) orange juice. You should have about 3 cups (720ml) total braising liquid if not, simmer until reduced to 3 cups. Whisk in just enough of cornstarch mixture to slightly thicken sauce, adding it in 1-tablespoon increments (you may not need the whole amount).
Return short ribs and reduced sauce to Dutch oven, coating short ribs well with sauce. Sprinkle with scallions and remaining grated orange zest and serve with mashed potatoes or polenta. Leftover ribs can be reheated before serving, or meat can be boned, shredded, tossed with braising liquid, and folded into tacos.
Braised Beef Short Ribs
1. Pat the meat dry with paper towels and season well on all sides with salt and pepper.
2. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over moderate heat until hot but not smoking. Add the ribs and brown on all sides, about 8 to 10 minutes total.
3. Transfer ribs to a plate and add the onions. Cook onions until soft and translucent, about 8 minutes. Add wine to pot and bring up to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer until you have about 1 cup of liquid left in pot.
4. Add the broth and add ribs back to the pot and cover tightly. Place pot in the middle of the oven and cook for about 2½ to 3 hours. The meat should be falling off the bone.
5. Transfer ribs to plate and let cool. Strain the liquid in the pot and return the liquid back to pot. Bring up to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer until you have about 2 cups of liquid left. Season with salt and pepper. Discard the bones from ribs and trim. Place ribs on plates and pour sauce over ribs.
- 1 ⅛ ounces all-purpose flour (about 1/4 cup)
- 8 (2 1/2-ounce) beef short ribs, trimmed
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ¾ cup diced onion
- ⅓ cup diced celery
- ⅓ cup diced carrot
- ¼ cup chopped leek
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 10 whole black peppercorns
- 5 juniper berries
- 3 fresh thyme sprigs
- 2 bay leaves
- ¼ cup veal demi-glace
- ¾ cup hot water
- ½ cup dry red wine
- Thyme sprigs (optional)
Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cup level with a knife. Place flour in a shallow dish. Sprinkle beef evenly on all sides with salt and pepper dredge in flour. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan, and swirl to coat. Add beef to pan sauté for 8 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove beef from pan.
Add diced onion, diced celery, diced carrot, and chopped leek to pan sauté 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic sauté 1 minute, stirring frequently. Place peppercorns, juniper berries, 3 thyme sprigs, and bay leaves on a double layer of cheesecloth. Gather edges of cheesecloth together tie securely. Place herb and spice bundle in pan return beef to pan. Dissolve demi-glace in 3/4 cup hot water, stirring well. Add demi-glace mixture and wine to pan bring to a boil. Cover and bake at 350° for 2 1/2 hours or until beef is fork tender. Remove beef from pan strain cooking liquid through a fine-mesh sieve over a bowl. Discard solids. Serve cooking liquid with beef. Garnish with thyme sprigs, if desired.
Wine note: With the richness of short ribs, you need to pull out a cabernet as an accompaniment. (Well-marbled beef loves to tame this grape's tannins.) Slingshot 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon is a Napa bottle that, at $23, won't break the bank. But it offers beautiful nuances of cedar, spice (juniper's a big player), and aromatic dried cherries, with bright acidity. &mdashSara Schneider
10-Hour Guinness-Braised Kobe Beef Short Ribs
These meltingly tender kobe short ribs are ever-so-slowly braised in a fragrant broth of Guinness, veal stock, and port.
- 6 pounds Kobe beef short ribs
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 celery ribs, chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 24 ounces Guinness Stout
- 1 1/2 cups veal stock
- 1 cup port
- 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 sprigs thyme
Season the short ribs with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Sear short ribs on all sides until well browned, about 10 minutes. Remove short ribs from pan and transfer to a large, ovenproof Dutch oven.
Add carrots, celery, and onions to the Dutch oven and cook over medium heat until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Add Guinness Stout, veal stock, port, balsamic vinegar, and thyme and bring to a boil. Cover and place in the oven.
Braise the short ribs until the meat falls off the bone and they are tender to touch, 8 to 10 hours. Remove from oven and take short ribs out of pot. Remove meat from the bone, discard bones, and set meat aside. Place the cooking liquid on the stove and cook over medium-high heat until reduced by half, about 25 minutes. Strain sauce and return to pot. Adjust seasonings if necessary. Return meat to pot and reheat.