Recipe File: Braised Beef Short Ribs

Been a while since I did a recipe file entry. I love braised beef short ribs. Cooked properly, this simple meal is like an uber-thick beef stew and is perfect either by itself with a small salad side or fantastic ladled over steamed jasmine rice.

I’ve been cooking some all day so let’s get to the recipe. Cook time is five(!) hours.


3 pounds cut beef short ribs
3 tablspoons extra light, extra virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion
3 medium size Yukon Gold potatoes
1 package whole mushrooms (washed)
1 celery stalk
1 whole carrot (peeled)
Three tablespoons crushed garlic
1/4 cup worcestershire sauce
2 large tomatoes, stewed (you can also use 1 can stewed tomatoes)
16 ounces red cooking wine
3 tablespoons fresh italian seasoning (dried can be used as well)
Fresh gound white pepper
Sea Salt

Stew the tomatoes any way you like, keeping in mind proper cook time all told for this recipe is five hours for best results so don’t go bonkers. I tend to be a kitchen prep fiend so while you’re stewing the tomatoes, go ahead and chop the celery into bite sized pieces and cut the whole carrot into 16’ths or so. Quarter and wash the potatoes, cut the onion into eighths. Leave the mushrooms whole.

Salt and pepper liberally the short ribs. We’re going to be browning them first. Since we won’t really be adding any salt to this dish beyond what we are doing here don’t skimp! Don’t cake it on, but it’s fine to use much more salt here than you really feel comfortable with. There’s going to be so much liquid and we’re not adding any more, that remember you are really seasoning a whole dish here not just the ribs.

Brown the ribs meat side down for 5 minutes in the extra light olive oil. Mind the heat so the oil and beef fat doesn’t brown, but the effect we are going for is that of almost seared meat. This takes a while to do three pounds so I usually split it up in two batches.


While the meat is browning I prepare a nice sized, fairly deep baking dish with the italian seasoning (just dump it in the bottom and spread it around), the Worcestershire sauce, and the crushed garlic. Today I tended to have some rib cuts that were really thin, so after I browned them again on the rib side (use about half the time) I lined the dish with them and the vegetables like so:


You want place them rib side down so the marrow from the bones leeches into the cooking sauce.

Then I layered in the meatier ribs in the center, again remember, rib side down. By now all vegetables and meat should be in the dish, I usually pour the stewed tomatoes on top. All you should be left with now is the 16 ounces of red cooking wine.

This I pour evenly over the whole baking pan. Ideally you should be looking at the pan being 50-75% level liquid wise if you are using a transluscent one like I am. Now, you can cheat and add some beef broth if you would like. It all depends on how much of a rush you are in and how big the bones are you are cooking off of. In this case I have a lot of time so we’re going commando as it were.

Ok cover the whole dish in foil. With your oven pre-heated at 250 put that baby in for a nice slow four hour cook time. The goal here is that right about 2 hours the liquid is boiling low but nicely and starting to really reduce. Over the next two hours the water content from the mushrooms and onion will really offset the reduction to the point that at hour four you’re looking not only at fork tender meat that’s flavorful but a nice thick sauce that’s heaven in a spoon from the reduction and marrow, but not overcooked or scorched.

The meat should be off the bone fairly easily, discard the bones and ladle what you have left over rice. Enjoy!

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