Occasionally, I’ll share that a recipe is one of the best things I’ve made recently. But guys, this one…this is the one. This is the best recipe I’ve got in my back pocket, and truly the most requested dishes from friends. These braised short ribs are literally showstoppers.
When I invite friends over and tell them I’m thinking about braising short ribs, they’re all over it! Everyone close to us really love these, you must try them!
The first time I had a braised short rib was at Founding Farmers in DC, about 5 or 6 years ago. All I can say is, “wow.” I mean. A revelation. Thus began my journey perfecting a red wine braised short rib, that’s a little inspired by Boeuf Bourguignon. This is a really, really excellent dish to have in your pocket. It feels elegant, it’s absolutely delicious, and everyone will love it!
I think one of the things that imparts incredible flavor in the dish is starting with bacon. Just three slices, chopped into tiny pieces. The fat renders into the pan, and then you sear your short ribs in those juices along with a little more butter. And then. Then you drop in your mirepoix and get those veggies completely coated in butter and bacon fat and a little salt. This is the magic folks, and it all starts with the bacon! Don’t skip it.
I think it’s also important to tell you that the same proportions here for 8 short ribs I’ve also used for 12+. You just need enough liquid to almost completely cover the short ribs, and of course a pot large enough to hold them all. So, if you make more than 8 you don’t really need to make more of the veg and sauce ingredients – you will likely just need to bake longer. Just start checking the ribs for falling-of-the-bone-ness at 2.5 hours, and then check every 15-30 minutes for doneness.
The other key to an excellent red wine braised short rib is, of course, your choice in wine. You definitely want a dry red, but it really does have to be good. Please don’t put work into these short ribs and pour in a $3 bottle. It won’t be the same. I usually reach for a cab, and at about the $12-$15 price point. It makes all the difference to have a good bottle of wine in here.
My last two tips, before we part ways here, is to read these steps thoroughly and to prepare all of your ingredients ahead of time. Prep your vegetables, have your seasoning ready, prep your bouquet garni, measure your broth and tomato paste and flour. It makes it so much easier and quicker to move through the recipe.
Red Wine Braised Short Ribs
- 3 slices of thick cut bacon
- 2 tbsp butter, plus more on hand to keep the pan from drying
- 8 pieces of short ribs see notes
- Salt & Pepper
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 2 carrots, finely chopped
- 2 stalks of celery, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 3 tbsp flour all purpose
- 1 bottle dry red wine (recommend a Cabernet Sauvignon)
- 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 2 sprigs of fresh oregano
- 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
- 6 cloves of garlic, smashed
- 4 cups beef broth or stock
- Prepare your bouquet garni by assembling sprigs of herbs together with kitchen twine. Set aside (see note).
- Prepare your vegetables and chop bacon and measure other ingredients. Set aside.
- In a dutch oven or large, heavy bottomed oven proof pot, melt 2 tbsp of butter over medium heat.
- Add chopped bacon and cook in the butter, about 3-5 minutes. Remove bacon from the bot, reserve for later.
- Salt & pepper all sides of your short ribs; add short ribs in batches to the pan to sear each side until caramelized, about 8-10 minutes. Do not crowd the pan, continue to caramelize the sides of your short ribs until you’ve worked through all pieces.
- Add butter to the pan as necessary. Set aside your short ribs on a plate.
- To the pot, add your vegetables and coat in the accumulated juices. Cook about 5 minutes until all the vegetables are very soft, over medium low heat, taking care to not burn the vegetables.
- Add tomato paste and flour, stir to combine until all vegetables are coated and red.
- Add wine.
- Add short ribs and bacon back to the pot.
- Lower to a simmer and allow the wine to reduce by about 1/4, for 25 minutes. See note.
- While your dutch oven is simmering, heat the oven to 350.
- After 25 minutes, add the beef stock and gently stir to combine. Taste for salt and pepper, adjust accordingly.
- Add bouquet garni to the pot.
- Place the lid on the pot and tuck into the oven for 2-2.5 hours, or until short ribs are falling off the bone. If they do not seem tender after 2.5 hours, continue to cook in 15 minute increments until short ribs are falling off the bone.
- Remove bouquet garni before serving.
- Serve over mashed potatoes with the sauce from the pan.