Braised Short Ribs

Posted in food, home cooking at 3:48 am by wingerz


A few weekends ago I discovered the Holding Ranch meat stand at the Menlo Park farmer’s market. It’s got a lot of different cuts of beef, whole chickens, and sometimes pork and lamb. Everything’s frozen so you don’t have to worry about using it right away. I picked up a few pounds of short ribs (and all of the vegetables I needed for the recipe). The woman warned me to be careful of overcooking the grass-fed beef; it cooks faster since it’s got less fat.

(Incidentally, this is one of the cases where the healthier, more expensive option may not be the best one for the environment. I haven’t done a lot of research on this yet.)

I’ve reproduced the recipe unchanged below, but when I made it I lowered the temperatures. For the browning I had the oven at 430 deg F (instead of 450) and braising at 275 deg F (instead of 300). There was very little fat rendered by the browning process so I used a bit of canola oil to soften the mirepoix. After an hour and a half I checked the meat with a fork every 20-30 minutes; it ended up taking about 3 hours.

The end result was quite delicious, and the sauce had a nice, full body.

Short Ribs Braised in Red Wine with Bacon, Parsnips, and Pearl Onions
from Cook’s Illustrated

6 pounds bone-in English-style short ribs , trimmed of excess fat and silver skin, or bone-in flanken-style short ribs
Table salt and ground black pepper
3 cups dry red wine (full-bodied)
3 large onions , chopped medium
2 medium carrots , chopped medium
1 large rib celery , chopped medium
9 medium cloves garlic , chopped (about 3 tablespoons)
1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
4 cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes , drained
1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves
3 bay leaves
1 teaspoon tomato paste

Bacon, Pearl Onion, and Parsnip Garnish
6 slices bacon (about 6 ounces), cut into 1/4-inch pieces
8 ounces frozen pearl onions (do not thaw)
4 medium parsnips (about 10 ounces), peeled and cut diagonally into 3/4-inch pieces
1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon table salt
6 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Arrange short ribs bone-side down in single layer in large flameproof roasting pan; season with salt and pepper. Roast until meat begins to brown, about 45 minutes; drain off all liquid and fat with bulb baster. Return pan to oven and continue to cook until meat is well browned, 15 to 20 minutes longer. (For flanken-style short ribs, arrange ribs in single layer in large roasting pan; season with salt and pepper. Roast until meat begins to brown, about 45 minutes; drain off all liquid and fat with baster. Return pan to oven and continue to cook until browned, about 8 minutes; using tongs, flip each piece and cook until second side is browned, about 8 minutes longer). Transfer ribs to large plate; set aside. Drain off fat to small bowl and reserve. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees. Place roasting pan on two stovetop burners set at medium heat; add wine and bring to simmer, scraping up browned bits with wooden spoon. Set roasting pan with wine aside.
2. Heat 2 tablespoons reserved fat in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat; add onions, carrots, and celery. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until vegetables soften, about 12 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in flour until combined, about 45 seconds. Stir in wine from roasting pan, chicken stock, tomatoes, rosemary, thyme, bay leaves, tomato paste, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to boil and add short ribs, completely submerging meat in liquid; return to boil, cover, place in oven, and simmer until ribs are tender, about 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Transfer pot to wire rack and cool, partially covered, until warm, about 2 hours.
3. Transfer ribs from pot to large plate, removing excess vegetables that may cling to meat; discard loose bones that have fallen away from meat. Strain braising liquid into medium bowl, pressing out liquid from solids; discard solids. Cover ribs and liquid separately with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. (Can be refrigerated up to 3 days.)
4. To prepare garnish and finish dish: In Dutch oven, cook bacon over medium heat until just crisp, 8 to 10 minutes; remove with slotted spoon to plate lined with paper towel. Add to Dutch oven pearl onions, parsnips, sugar, and salt; increase heat to high and sauté, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 5 minutes. Spoon off and discard solidified fat from reserved braising liquid. Add defatted liquid and bring to simmer, stirring occasionally; adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Submerge ribs in liquid, return to simmer. Reduce heat to medium and cook, partially covered, until ribs are heated through and vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes longer; gently stir in bacon. Divide ribs and sauce among individual bowls, sprinkle each with 1 tablespoon parsley, and serve.


  1. joy said,

    February 23, 2009 at 11:49 pm

    ok, no joke, this was one of the best short rib preparations i’ve ever had (including in restaurants & my recent attempt at bouchon’s boeuf bourguignon recipe). using bone-in ribs was clearly key. i absolutely plan to try this recipe in the near future.

  2. wingerz said,

    February 24, 2009 at 3:28 am

    i’m flattered! glad you liked the short ribs so much. :)

Leave a Comment