Braised Beef Short Ribs are tender, savory, saucy deliciousness. They burst with flavor. These succulent beef ribs literally fall from the bone. The sauce is made from the braising liquid and it’s deeply beefy, rich and complex.
I suppose you can’t really call ribs an elegant meal. But, Braised Short Ribs is definitely a special meal, for a couple of important reasons.
First of all, we all know that as cuts of meat go, ribs can be pricey. They’re not an every day in the budget meal. But, when they are, mmmmm.…what a scrumptious and indulgent treat! (You can use this same process, substituting a beef chuck roast for equally delicious and more economical results.)
Secondly, I would actually classify Braised Beef Short Ribs as date-night-comfort-food-special. It’s an elevated and deeply flavorful meal you’ll want to share with someone you love and appreciate.
It only takes about 15 minutes to prep this dish. The slow braising magic happens in the oven — all hands-off and no additional work for you. When the ribs are done, just reduce the liquid to create your sauce and serve.
At first glance, the list of ingredients seems long, but really look it over. Half of them are seasonings. And other than the ribs, themselves, all the ingredients are typical pantry items.
I can’t wait for you to enjoy this sumptuous, beefy dish with your someone special!
Beef Short Ribs: Look for pieces 2 — 3 inches long that are thick and super meaty. Sometimes, they come pre-packaged and you’ll find a thinner piece or two mixed in. Select a package with the greatest number of larger, thicker pieces. If you’re lucky enough to know your butcher, request thick, meaty short ribs.
The Aromatics: Vegetables that add deep, rounded flavors to a dish. This quad of veggies is a fairly common aromatic base for savory dishes. You’ll use red onion, carrots, celery and garlic.
Avocado Oil: You’ll only use a couple Tablespoons for searing off the ribs before popping them in the oven.
The Liquid for Braising: I used a combination of beef stock and red wine. You can use all beef stock, if that’s your preference. The alcohol evaporates over the long, slow braising period, though. So, if you do use wine, you will enjoy the earthy fruitiness and complexity it adds to the Braised Beef Short Ribs. I used Cabernet Sauvignon.
Tomato Paste: Tomato paste adds richness and umami to beef dishes. In addition, it helps to meld the fats, aromatics and spices to create a balanced sauce or braising liquid.
The Seasonings: Salt, Pepper, Bay Leaves, Parsley, Tarragon, Thyme and Coriander. I used all dry herbs. They are easy to find and to store. You can adjust the seasonings to what you have available. The herbs I chose for Braised Beef Short Ribs complement each other and the beef, perfectly. They enhance and further develop the rich flavor of the braising liquid.
Optional: My beef stock was purchased, not homemade. It lacked the flavor I wanted, so I added 1 Tablespoon of Better than Bouillon beef base to my stock. If yours has good flavor, you won’t need it.
What Is Braising?
Braising is a simple process for cooking cuts of meat with more connective tissue which could make them tough using other cooking methods. It combines both dry and liquid cooking to create the greatest depth of flavor and the most juicy, succulent meat.
Braising involves first pan searing the meat on all sides, to caramelize the exterior. By doing this, you create flavor and lock in juices that will leave the meat mouthwateringly delicious, juicy and tender when it is finished.
The liquid portion of the cooking is the low and slow part that happens in the oven. The seared meat is submerged in a flavorful braising liquid whose ingredients, along with the heat of the oven, will start to break down connective tissues and add flavor. Even with the dish covered, the braising liquid will evaporate, seep into the meat and reduce substantially as it cooks. This concentrates the flavors even further and makes the meat superbly tender.
Braising tenderizes and creates extraordinarily juicy and flavorful meat. It works well with beef, pork, lamb and chicken. You can even braise vegetables! For an equally delicious dinner, that is more economical, try this process with a beef chuck roast. The results will be stunning!
How to Make Braised Beef Short Ribs
- Remove the ribs from the fridge 30 minutes prior to searing. Sprinkle all sides, generously, with salt and pepper. Set the ribs aside to come to room temperature while you prep the vegetables and get the oven ready.
- Check the rack in your oven and lower it below center to accommodate your Dutch oven. Preheat the oven to 325°. (Incidentally, my friend Jenn, over at Cook What You Love has recently done an Instant Pot Dutch Oven review. It looks like it would be perfect for making this recipe without needing the oven. Check out what she has to say.)
- I mince the veggies all together in the food processor to save time and get them small enough to melt away in the broth. You can hand cut them, if your prefer.
- Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Then add the avocado oil.
- Begin searing the ribs. Add 3 or 4 at a time to the pot, being careful not to overcrowd them. Repeat with all the ribs, searing off all sides of each piece. Set aside the ribs while you make the sauce.
- Add the minced vegetables to the oil and drippings in the bottom of your Dutch oven. Cook them on medium heat for 1 or 2 minutes. They will just begin to soften.
- Add the tomato paste and stir it into the vegetables, cooking another minute or so, until it is completely melted into the other ingredients.
- Pour in the beef stock and wine. Be sure you check your beef broth for flavor before adding it. This is the point where I also added the beef bouillon base. You may or may not need it.
- Stir in the bay leaves and herbs. Then, bring the braising liquid to a boil.
- Once the liquid is boiling, shut off the heat and add the ribs back to the Dutch oven. Be sure each piece is submerged.
- Put a lid on the pot and place it in the oven. Cook the Braised Beef Short Ribs for 3 hours at 325°.
How to Make Sauce from the Braising Liquid
- The sauce is fairly simple. It is very similar to my Roast Beef Gravy recipe but without a thickening agent. The Braised Beef Short Ribs can be carefully removed to a plate or platter once you take the pot from the oven. They will be super tender, so don’t be surprised if a bone or two slides right out. I used tongs to lift them very gently and keep the tender ribs intact.
- Strain the braising liquid. Use a mesh strainer over a deep bowl. With the back of a spoon, you can press the remaining liquid out of the veggies.
- Put the clear braising liquid into the Dutch oven or a smaller sauce pan and bring to a boil over medium high heat. The goal is to reduce the liquid, slightly. This won’t be as thick as gravy, but after about 5 minutes of boiling it will be thicker than when you started and will coat the back of a spoon for just a second. It’s a beautiful and flavorful sauce. Drizzle it over the ribs as you serve them.
How to Serve Braised Beef Short Ribs
I can’t lie. Our favorite way to eat these delicious short ribs is over creamy, garlic mashed potatoes. However, they would be extraordinary served over creamy polenta or even rice. You could just serve them on the plate next to your favorite sides, too. Mac-n-cheese would not be out of the question. Nor would my favorite potato salad. Add some greens — a big salad, steamed broccoli, asparagus or green beans and you have a beautifully balanced meal that everyone will enjoy!
Deliciously tender, juicy and flavorful short ribs will make any night seem special. For a short fifteen minutes of prep work you will net a scrumptious and memorable meal. Serve with mashed potatoes, polenta or rice and your favorite green side.
- 4 to 5 lbs. beef short ribs
- 1 Tablespoon salt
- 1 Tablespoon black pepper
- 2 Tablespoons avocado oil
- 1 large red onion, minced
- 3 medium carrots, minced
- 2 celery ribs, minced
- 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
- 4 cups beef stock
- 2 cups dry red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot)
- 3 Tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 Tablespoons dried parsley
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried coriander
- optional, 1 Tablespoon Better than Bouillon beef base (I felt like my store-bought beef broth needed added flavor. If yours is good, this ingredient is not necessary.)
- Preheat the oven to 325°. Be sure that your middle rack has been lowered to a point where your Dutch oven with a lid on it will easily fit into the oven.
- Put beef out on a plate or baking sheet 30 minutes before beginning the sear. Sprinkle each piece on all sides with salt and pepper.
- Cut up the vegetables in small dice if you don’t have a food processor. I use my food processor to mince them fine, so that they will release all their flavor and liquid more quickly into the braising liquid. I also do it to save me time. I throw them all in at once and pulse until they are a fine mince.
- Heat the avocado oil over medium high heat in a heavy bottomed Dutch oven. When the oil is piping hot, add 3 or 4 ribs at a time and sear them to golden brown on all sides. Don’t overcrowd the pan. The beef will sear more easily with space in between each rib. Repeat with the remaining pieces.
- When all meat is browned, set it aside on a platter.
- Turn the heat under your Dutch oven to medium and add the minced onion, carrots, and celery.
- Cook them for 1 to 2 minutes, until they have softened and started to brown.
- Add the tomato paste and cook for 1 additional minute.
- Stir in the broth (and beef base, if using), wine, bay leaves, dried herbs and minced garlic. Stir until the tomato paste has completely melted into your broth.
- Add the seared beef, back to the pot. Be sure each rib is covered by the broth.
- Put the lid on your Dutch oven and place it in your preheated oven.
- Cook at 325° for 3 hours. The meat should be able to be easily pulled apart with a fork when it is done.
- Remove from the oven and place Dutch oven, on a wire cooling rack.
- Carefully remove the ribs from the pot, trying to keep the pieces intact. Don’t worry if the bones fall away. That happens when the meat is so tender. Put the ribs on a plate or platter and cover with foil to keep them warm.
- Use a mesh strainer to strain any remaining vegetables and the bay leaves from the braising liquid.
- Return the strained braising liquid to the Dutch oven ( or a small saucepan) and simmer over medium heat to allow it to evaporate down and thicken, slightly. The sauce will still be thin, but have some body to it. Stir and taste the sauce as it simmers. This is the perfect time to adjust seasonings, add salt and pepper, etc. if it’s needed.
- Ladle sauce over beef as you serve it.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 3 hours
- Category: Min Dish, Meat, Beef
- Method: Braising
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: beef, braising, short ribs