Braised Short Ribs

11 12 2008


Braising is the perfect cooking method for cold winter days.  It’s a technique that involves searing meat in oil, adding a small amount of liquid and cooking in a covered vessel at a lower temperature for a long period of time.  Tough cuts of meat become tender and juicy and a rich sauce develops.  Although preparing a slow cooked braise requires some planning ahead and prep work, once it’s in the oven you can sit back and relax for a few hours.  This dish is ideal for entertaining because it tastes even better the next day.  Just reheat and serve with your favourite side dishes.

This recipe has been adapted from the short rib recipe at Balthazar restaurant in New York City.  It’s a French brasserie serving up such classics as steak frites and mussels.  The ribs pair well with mashed potatoes and sautéed winter greens such as swiss chard.

The secret to success with this dish is to use the meatiest short ribs you can find.  If you can’t find ones that are large and marbled with fat, increase the number of ribs used and reduce the cooking time slightly.  The recipe makes enough for 4 but it can easily be doubled.  Plus, it’s so delicious, you’ll probably want to have some leftovers to enjoy!

Some great side dishes that pair well with the ribs:

Try to find large meaty short ribs for this dish

Try to find large meaty short ribs for this dish

Braised Short Ribs

Makes 4 servings – can easily be doubled

  • 2-1/2 lbs. (about 1 kg) beef shortribs – about 2 to 3 large meaty ribs
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons neutral oil such as canola or safflower
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 shallots, chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup port
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 8 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 cups beef stock
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.   Cut each long rib in half and season with salt and fresh ground pepper.
  2. In an enameled cast iron pot, heat oil on medium heat.  Add the ribs to the pot and brown on all sides.  Once browned, remove from pot and set aside.
  3. Add carrots, onion, shallot, celery and garlic to the pot and sauté until softened and golden brown, about 7 minutes. Stir often to prevent burning.
  4. Stir tomato paste into vegetable mix.  Add flour and stir to combine.  Cook for another 2 minutes.
  5. Add wine, port and herbs.  Turn heat to medium-high and simmer for about 10 minutes, until mixture begins to reduce.  Stir occasionally to prevent sticking and burning.
  6. Add stock and return ribs to pot.  Cover tightly and put in the oven.  Cook for 3 hours, checking on them each hour to ensure nothing is burning at the bottom of the pot.  The meat should be very tender.
  7. Once the ribs are done, use tongs to remove the ribs from the sauce.  Place meat in a bowl and set aside.  With a mesh strainer or cheesecloth-lined colander, strain sauce into a saucepan, pressing on solids to extract all liquid.  Discard solids.
  8. Bring strained sauce to a boil and reduce for about 10 minutes.  Pour sauce over ribs and serve.
Braised short ribs with mashed potatoes and a rosemary sprig garnish

Braised short ribs with mashed potatoes and a rosemary sprig garnish

Bon Appétit and Enjoy!

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20 responses

11 12 2008

OMG I could never wait until winter for this meal! It is so mouthwatering…and I am so hungry!!!!

13 12 2008

Mmmm, that looks so tender and flavorful. I love braising meat!

29 03 2009

Very good recipe! Thank you. I added a bit of sugar and red hot pepper to the reduction to spice it up a little. Any other suggestions about possible additions?

11 11 2009
Peter Fast

I once was a weekend “cook”, because of this recipe I am now considered a weekend “CHEF”, our guests and ourselves absolutely were wanton for more.

11 11 2009

I’m pleased to hear that! I often make the ribs when I’m having company because I know they’re always a huge hit!

18 01 2010

This recipe looks delicious! I have been wanting to try braised short ribs for a while now, and I look forward to this one! A question though, can the ribs be cooked in a slow cooker instead of the oven?

20 01 2010

While I haven’t tried them in a slow cooker yet, I’m certain it can be done. The main issue is going to be the amount of liquid – there will likely be more liquid left over in the slow cooker than if done in the oven. However, because the braising liquid is reduced in a saucepan at the end, this isn’t really a problem – just let it simmer it a bit longer (until the sauce can coat the back of a spoon). This site gives some tips about converting oven braises to slow cookers:
Oven to Crockpot Conversion

The ribs and aromatics still need to be browned before they go into the slow cooker so unless you have a slow cooker insert that can go on the stovetop, it will be an extra step.

I would like to try making them in a slow cooker soon so I will post my findings once I give it a try. Good luck!

22 01 2010

Made this recipe today for the first time. My husband and kids thought it was the best dish ever. My previous recipe was from the NY Times magazine and this one surpassed it big time. This will be a new favourite in our household.

23 04 2010

Great recipe. I strained the sauce through a bigger strainer and did not completely crush the vegetable mix and served a spoon of this on the side. I think it added to the dish but each to their own….

22 11 2010

First time ever cooking short ribs also fIrst time ever cooking / braising …… my response to this is WOW what a great recipie !!! My husband loved it too!!
Would like to say I’ll look for ward to the left overs unfotunantly not much left over; next time I’ll have to double the recipie.
Also firt time on this web site, will not be my last!
Great looking recipies I’ll have to try more of them, thanks!!!!!

22 11 2010

Hi Elaine,

I’m glad you enjoyed them! It’s definitely one of my go-to recipes when I want something foolproof and impressive. I will be featuring a couple more tasty braises as we move into winter so be sure to check back!


29 11 2010
Dan O'Leary

I’ve made this twice now, and it’s fantastic!
However, I always serve it as soon as it’s done, so it’s hot.

I want to make this in advance then reheat later for guests – how would you recommend doing that? (I don’t have a microwave, btw).

29 11 2010

Hi Dan!

I’m glad to hear that you enjoy the ribs! I think they’re even better the day after they’re made because the flavours have time to come together and you can scoop off any excess fat that will rise to the top of the sauce and harden as it cools.

To re-heat them, I usually just put the ribs with their sauce in a pot on the stovetop and gently heat through on medium heat, stirring occasionally. It should only take a short time to re-heat them and they can be left covered on very low heat while guests are being seated and you plate their meals.

Good luck!

5 04 2011
Sylvia Maher

Hello Trish,

I have made this recipe and it worked out perfectly. So delicious and tender ribs. I made it in the crock pot and it worked out fine. I was wondering if you thought it would work with a blade steak bone in. I am looking for something really yummy and thought this might work out. Your thoughts?

5 04 2011

Hi Sylvia!

I’m glad you enjoy the ribs! Unfortunately, I haven’t tried it with blade steak but it should work – blade steaks and roasts are well suited to braising. I have attached a link from a local butcher that discusses various cuts and how they are best cooked. The braising time may need to be adjusted, depending on the size of your meat. Best of luck – I’d love to hear how it turns out!


20 08 2011

I can’t wait till winter trying them tonight. Now I can’t wait till tonight.

26 10 2011

I just made this, both the husband and I really enjoyed it. Will keep this in the future. Also, had a question, could I cut the sauce in half and have similar results? I just don’t need that much sauce left over at the end. Thanks!

26 10 2011


I’m glad you enjoyed the ribs! I haven’t had too much of a problem with excess sauce but the lid of my pot isn’t super snug so the volume does reduce quite a bit during cooking. I haven’t tried cutting the amount of liquid in the recipe but if you’re not losing much to evaporation, you could always give it a try. If you do so, check the ribs each hour to make sure they’re not getting dry. I find that reducing the sauce after straining (boil it until the volume is significantly reduced) also helps cut down on the amount of sauce and makes it very silky and flavourful. Good luck – I hope that helps!


20 02 2012
Dawn Tyson

There are so many types of Port. Would you please tell me the best type for this dish before I head to the liquor store? Also, the ribs I’ve purchased are boneless. Will that work in this prepareation? Thanks…this looks wonderful.

14 03 2012

Hi Dawn,

I would just use an inexpensive port – don’t bother with anything too fancy! I’ve been using a bottle that cost about $15 but was given to me as a gift. If you don’t want to spend the money on port, just use a little extra red wine.

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