Braised Short Ribs Done Right

Credit: Getty Images

Braising is best during winter months since it fills the house with an unctuous aroma and fills your belly with succulent, spirit-warming meat. The low and slow cooking method only works on meats with a solid fat quotient, breaking down the tough connective tissue until the collagen melts into gelatin. This leaves the meat fork-tender and full of flavors conjured by the braise — especially if you marinate overnight and sear your meat before the main event.

One of the optimal cuts for braising is beef short ribs. It’s important to get fat ones — you know, the three-inch-thick ones you find in butcher shops, not the measly ones wrapped in plastic at the supermarket. Trust us, it’s worth it: These slabs are easier to work with and cut down on your prep time. Here's how it's done:

Ingredients for the marinade and braise:

  • 4–5 pounds bone-in short ribs
  • One 750 ml bottle of dry red wine + two cups
  • Two medium yellow onions, medium diced
  • Three carrots, peeled and medium diced
  • Three ribs of celery, medium diced
  • Six cloves of garlic, smashed and chopped
  • Six rosemary spears, stripped and chopped
  • Six thyme sprigs, stripped and chopped
  • Three bay leaves
  • Five cups of beef stock
  • Canola oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Flour for dredging

Directions:

  1. Pour the bottle of wine into a large saucepan, bring to a boil, then simmer until the wine has reduced by 1/3.
  2. Once the wine is cool, add 1/3 of each vegetable and herb to the marinade.
  3. Put the meat into a large sealable bag (Ziploc’s fine).
  4. Add marinade to the bag, pushing out excess air before sealing.
  5. Let sit for at least 12 hours, at most two days.
  6. Preheat oven to 325.
  7. Remove the short ribs from the bag. Discard the aromatics and marinade.
  8. Dry the meat with paper towels, season thoroughly with salt and pepper.
  9. Dredge the meat in flour, patting off excess.
  10. In a large Dutch oven or ovenproof pot, add a layer of canola oil and heat until the oil is shimmering.
  11. Sear the meat on all available sides (about three minutes per) in batches until all are nicely browned.
  12. Remove to a platter.
  13. Lower the heat and add the remaining aromatics minus the herbs, stirring regularly until softened and lightly browned (about ten minutes).
  14. Add the herbs and two cups of wine to deglaze, stirring constantly, scraping bits off the bottom of the pan.
  15. When the wine has reduced by half, return the short ribs — bone-side down — and juices to the pan.
  16. Add beef stock to just above the bone level.
  17. Cover and put in the oven.
  18. Check in 15 minutes to be sure the liquid is gently simmering. Adjust heat if necessary.
  19. Braise until the meat is very tender (2.5-3 hours).
  20. Check after an hour and add more stock, if necessary.
  21. When the meat is fork-tender and falling off the bone, discard bones and remove the meat from the liquid.
  22. Set aside on a serving platter; cover with tented foil.
  23. Pour the liquid through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl (discard the aromatics).
  24. Skim off the fat that rises on the liquid.
  25. Return the remaining liquid to the Dutch oven and simmer on the stove top until it thickens into a sauce.
  26. Adjust seasonings to taste.
  27. Pour on top of the meat to serve.