When in need, this recipe is comfort food at its best. Thick, meaty short ribs braised in red wine and beef broth makes for the most flavorful, fall-of-the-bone meat. The vegetables and fresh herbs add complexity to the rich sauce. This dish is delicious served over mashed potatoes, polenta, or buttered noodles.
Typically, this is one of those impressive dishes that you order in a fancy restaurant, pay a ridiculous amount of money, and wonder why you don’t make it at home.
But with a little prep work at the beginning and a bit of time at the end to finish, this ultimate comfort food recipe is really a ‘fix it and forget it’ kind of dish. It’s also just as tasty (maybe more so) than that fancy restaurant’s short ribs…and a lot cheaper!
WHAT IS A SHORT RIB?
Short ribs come from the chuck portion of the animal. They are the part of the rib section that is too small (short) to be harvested for steaks.
They can be cut English style, which is cut parallel to the bone, with one bone per piece and a large meaty slab on top.
The other cut is called flanken or BBQ cut. This cut is across the bones with each slice having 3 or 4 small bones with meat around them.
Whether you prefer English or flanken style, short ribs are perfect for slow cooking. The low and slow method breaks down their tough connective tissue, making them very tender. The fat marbling in the meat makes this cut succulent, juicy, and incredibly flavorful.
LET’S TALK ABOUT BRAISING
Braising is a two-part cooking technique using both dry and moist heat. Meat is first seared in a skillet (dry heat) and then cooked in liquid for a long period of time in low heat (moist heat). This cooking method is especially useful for tough cuts of meat.
For the deepest flavor, braise your meat in the oven. However, you can also braise in a slow cooker or on the stovetop.
TIPS FOR MAKING THIS DELICIOUS COMFORT FOOD
- Be sure to season the meat on all sides and sear them in the same Dutch oven that you will be braising in. You want all of those yummy browned bits from searing the meat to add flavor to your sauce. This article from TheKitchn.com demonstrates how to perfectly sear your short ribs.
- Use a good red wine that you would enjoy drinking on its own. It doesn’t have to be expensive. Any dry red wine would work. You could also use additional beef stock if you don’t have/want red wine.
- You’ll want to separate the meat drippings from the fat before making the sauce. Pour the liquid into a fat separator or into a large measuring cup. Allow the cup to sit until the fat rises to the top and spoon it off. The result is a rich, meaty liquid that will make the most luscious sauce.
The short ribs are wonderful served alongside a mound of roasted garlic horseradish mashed potatoes or basic biryani rice. Add a side of easy sugar snap peas or lemon parmesan roasted asparagus for a pretty and tasty green side.
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The ultimate comfort food, this recipe for Cabernet braised short ribs brings the expensive steakhouse meal into your kitchen. Tender, meaty ribs and luscious sauce are delicious served atop a bed of polenta or mashed potatoes.
- Cooking spray
- 2 pounds beef short ribs
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 ½ cups beef stock
- 1 ½ cups cabernet or dry red wine
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 stalks celery, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 large carrots, cut into 1-inch rounds
- 4 garlic cloves, sliced
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 4 fresh rosemary sprigs
- 4 fresh thyme sprigs
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
- Sprinkle the ribs on all sides with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Set aside.
- Coat a Dutch oven with cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat. Add ribs to the pan and cook for 8 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove the ribs from the pan.
- Pour the beef stock and red wine into the pan. Using a spatula, scrape all of the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Bring the liquid to a full boil.
- Whisk in the tomato paste, worcestershire sauce, red wine vinegar, and balsamic vinegar.
- Add the chopped vegetables to the pan and place the ribs on top of the vegetables. The meat should be at least partially covered in liquid. Lay the rosemary and thyme sprigs on top. Cover the Dutch oven and bake in the preheated oven for 3 ½ – 4 hours until the meat is very tender.
- Remove the pan from the oven. Using a slotted spoon, lift out the ribs and vegetables. Place on a large platter and cover with foil to keep warm.
- Strain the cooking liquid through a fine mesh sieve over a large measuring cup.
- Pour the liquid into a fat separator or allow the liquid to separate in the measuring cup and spoon off as much of the fat as possible. Discard the fat and set the braising liquid aside.
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and cook until the flour is just beginning to turn a pale golden color. Be sure to keep the flour moving to avoid scorching. Carefully pour in the braising liquid and whisk until smooth.
- Continue to cook, whisking constantly, until thickened and all flour taste has cooked off – about 5 minutes.
- Serve the short ribs along side a bit of the vegetables and drizzle the sauce on top.
- Serving Size: 1