Braised Beef Short Ribs


Braised Beef Short Ribs  |  Mashed Potatoes  |  Skillet~Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Intro Collage

“Nothing creates a sense of well~being like a barely simmering braise or stew cooking quietly on the stove or in the oven.  The warm aromas wafting in the air are deeply comforting.  Dinner is cooking.  A simple and economical cut of meat is slowly altering in moist heat, gradually reaching a state of falling~off~the~bone tenderness, surrounded by a rich and tasty sauce.”  

~ Alice Waters, The Art of Simple Food

If you follow me on Instagram, you saw these braised beef short ribs begin to take shape a couple of days ago.  Yes, a dinner that is two days in the making.  Sounds worse than it really is…most of the passing time is spent hands off by you.  And, once in the oven, these ribs are fairly independent, leaving you to tend to other matters for hours and they even get better with time…

“Once assembled, a stew or braise cooks in a single pot, largely unwatched.  It can be made ahead and reheated the next day, without a worry, and it will be even tastier.”  ~ Alice Waters, The Art of Simple Food

The rich, thick aroma of simmering beef on the bone, vegetables and herbs will permeate every inch of your home eventually seeping through the cracks surrounding windows and doors and infecting your neighborhood with the most intoxicating scent.  And the oven, which becomes the stage for this production for a few hours, will turn your kitchen into a warm retreat on the coldest winter day.

The recipe, which most closely follows this one I use for pot roast and incorporates the earthy flavor of porcini mushrooms from this ragú and borrows a finishing technique from over here, begins simply by seasoning the meat a day in advance of cooking…




The following day, the ribs are removed from the refrigerator about 45 minutes prior to cooking.  The ribs are then thoroughly browned, on all sides, in a bit of rendered bacon fat {I used some bacon drippings I had on hand from another dish but, if that is not the case for you, simply cook a few slices of bacon in the pot/pan you will be browning the ribs in; the bacon can then be removed leaving plenty of  “goodness” behind in which to sear the ribs}…you must realize that this is a very important step in the overall process; a really good searing {I am not talking golden brown here} takes some time but the crusting which forms on the surface of the meat during browning is not only what helps trap juices in the ribs keeping them moist during the long, slow cooking process but also adds flavor and color to the finished dish.  You may need to do this in batches, depending on how many ribs you are cooking and the size of your pot/pan.  

“Don’t crowd the pieces or they will start to sweat and will color only with difficulty.”  ~  Alice Waters

Seared Ribs Collage

Once all of the ribs have been seared they are removed from the pot to a waiting large bowl and the aromatic vegetables…in this case, carrots and onion with a kiss of whole clove.. are added to the pot for a quick browning before joining the reserved meat in the “holding area”.


The pan, which has been working so hard browning the meat and vegetables so far, is given a splash of brandy {or in our case, Madeira} along with some red wine for a deglazing, scraping up all of those flavorful brown bits which have taken up residence on the bottom of the pot.  Once the wine mixture has reduced, the ribs and vegetables are added back into the pot and stirred until everything has a good coating of the reduced liquid.  Then, tomatoes, garlic, orange zest, dried porcini mushrooms {which have been rehydrated in boiling water for a bit and then coarsely chopped} and a bouquet of herbs are added to the pot {along with a bath of beef or dark chicken stock} for the long slow simmer.

Tomato Mushroom Collage

Herbs Collage

The whole production moves into a 325°F oven at this point, tightly covered, for 3-4 hours.  To check for doneness, you can poke and prod the meat with a knife and if it readily gives and slides away from the bone it is done, but the best test is that of taste…take a small bite and decide for yourself.  Tender is good…tough is bad.

Act I of the production is now finished once the meat is thoroughly cooked and tender.  The pot is removed from the oven and set aside to completely cool before going into the refrigerator overnight during which a certain flavor saturation/magic happens.  The following day, remove the pot from the refrigerator 30 minutes prior to reheating and gently lift the layer of fat that has hardened on the surface of the braise and discard.  Over a medium~high flame, bring the contents of the pot back up to a simmer and then remove the pot from the heat, allowing the ribs to rest in the braising liquid for 10-15 minutes.  Preheat your oven to 400°F.

Carefully transfer each beef short rib to a baking sheet and then place the baking sheet in the oven to roast for about 10 minutes or until the ribs have darkened and begun to crisp along the edges.



While the ribs roast, strain the braising liquid, return to the pot and bring to a boil.  The “sauce” is simmered for a few minutes to slightly thicken before it is removed from the heat.  For serving:  place a rib on each plate, drizzle with a bit of sauce and serve with mashed potatoes, Horseradish Cream, and skillet~roasted Brussel sprouts.



Braised Short Ribs
Serves 6
Succulent beef short ribs enjoy a slow braise and the test of time in order to become a rich, decadent dinner entree.
  1. 6 pounds, beef short ribs
  2. Salt & freshly ground pepper
  3. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  4. 3 slices of bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces {or 3 tablespoons of rendered bacon drippings}
  5. 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
  6. 2 onions, peeled & quartered
  7. 2 whole cloves {stick them into onion quarters}
  8. 2 carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
  9. 2 sprigs each of thyme, oregano & parsley
  10. 1 bay leaf
  11. 3-4 whole black peppercorns
  12. 3 tablespoons Madeira {or brandy}
  13. 1 3/4 cups red wine
  14. 1 pint, cherry tomatoes, halved
  15. 5-6 garlic cloves, peeled and pushed through a garlic press
  16. 1 thin strip of orange zest
  17. 2~4 cups, beef {or dark chicken} stock
  1. Place short ribs on a rimmed baking sheet and season them generously with salt and pepper. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and place in the refrigerator overnight. Remove the meat from the refrigerator 30 minutes prior to cooking.
  2. Place the dried porcini mushrooms into a large bowl and cover with 2 cups of boiling water and set aside for at least 30 minutes. When rehydrated, coarsely chop the mushrooms and set aside.
  3. In a large, heavy-bottomed pot heat the olive oil over medium-high heat and then add the bacon. Cook until the fat is rendered and the meat lightly browned {alternatively, heat 3 tablespoons of previously rendered bacon drippings in the pan}. Remove the bacon and add the short ribs {in batches if necessary}, browning well on all sides. Remove the browned meat from the pot and place into a deep dish or bowl.
  4. Pour off most of the fat from the pot, lower the heat and add the onions, cloves, and carrots. Cook until slightly browned and then remove from pot and add to the reserved bowl of ribs.
  5. Return the pot to the stove, raise the heat and pour in the Madeira {or brandy} {this may flame up so use caution} and then add the wine. Cook until the liquid is reduced by two-thirds, scraping up all the brown bits from the bottom of the pot. Return the short ribs and vegetables to the pot and toss to coat.
  6. Add the cherry tomatoes, 5-6 pressed garlic cloves, the orange zest and the reserved chopped porcini mushrooms to the pot. Add the peppercorns and 2 cups of stock. Check the level of the liquid in the pot; it should only come halfway up the layer of ribs. {Add additional stock if more liquid is needed}
  7. Tie the herbs {thyme, oregano, parsley + bay leaf} together with kitchen string and add the herb bouquet to the pot {and a few pieces of the cooked bacon if you would like} and then cover the pot with a layer of aluminum foil and a tight~fitting lid and cook in a 325 degree F oven for 4 hours or until the meat is fork tender, checking occasionally to make sure the liquid is simmering {not boiling} and that there is enough liquid to come half~way up the layer of ribs. When the meat is tender, remove the pot from the oven and allow to completely cool. Place the pot in the refrigerator and let sit overnight until ready to prepare dinner the following evening.
  8. 30 minutes prior to cooking, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F, remove the pot from the refrigerator and carefully remove the layer of fat that has hardened on the surface of the braise. Place the pot over a medium flame and bring the contents to a simmer. Remove the pot from the heat and let the ribs rest 10 minutes in their juices, and then transfer them to a baking sheet.
  9. Place the short ribs in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes to brown.
  10. Meanwhile, strain the braising liquid into a saucepan, pressing down on the vegetables with a ladle to extract all the juices. If the broth seems thin, reduce it over medium-high heat to thicken slightly. Taste the sauce for seasoning.
  11. To serve: place a short rib {or two} on individual serving plates and drizzle with some of the braising sauce, serve with mashed potatoes and a green of your choice.
K Initial


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