Recipe: Wine-Braised Beef Short Ribs
I made wine-braised beef short ribs a few nights back, and “Wow,” oh my goodness, they were mouthwatering—and I’m not exaggerating at all. Talk about tender and super flavorful, and if you cook them right, the meat just melts in your mouth.
Bone-in short ribs are generally used in the classic recipes. However, I prefer to use boneless short ribs, I mean… who needs the bone anyway? The boneless ones are less fatty, and they cook a bit quicker. Moreover, there is no bone to get in the way of all that tasty meaty goodness.
Tougher cuts of meat like short ribs require quite a bit of time to become tender. Searing them first, and then simmering them in liquid (braising) for an extended time will allow them to become pleasingly tender.
Cooking vessels for wine-braised beef short ribs ranges from slow-cookers to dutch ovens, to a deep heavy skillet (my favorite choice). I prefer to get a nice sear on my meat, so it can have a vibrant brown color. And sauteeing the veggies creates a more concentrated flavor. Also, there is stovetop braising and oven braising. To be honest, I have always used the stovetop method, but I am sure the oven method works just as well.
One quick tip to remember always use good red wine. Make sure the wine is one you would drink. After all, you want the dish to taste incredible, don’t you?
For this recipe, I jazzed the dish up a bit by serving the beef over a bed of bucatini pasta drizzled with braising liquid. But, of course, there are tons of serving options—polenta, rice, beans, potatoes—to complete the meal. Creativity is the key… or not.
Let’s get started shall we?
What You Will Need
Wine-braised beef short ribs do not have to be complicated. In fact, the simpler and fresher the ingredients, the better I think they taste. Just make sure you pick out the best short ribs you can find; we will talk more about that later.
You will need carrots, fresh thyme, onion, celery, garlic, bay leaves, beef stock, tomato paste, salt and pepper (not pictured), and of course, wine. Also, have some good olive oil on hand to sear the meat and sauté the veggies.
Buying Beef Short Ribs
Now, let’s talk about the meat. Short ribs are sold both boneless and bone-in. Look for the best quality beef short ribs you can find. Avoid pieces with lots of fat. The flesh should be bright red in color, and look moist. Pay close attention to the marbling in the flesh and the size of each piece. Good marbling (flecks of fat found within the muscle) in the meat will help reduce cooking time and ensure good flavor. Uniform size will ensure each piece cooks equally.
Heat oil in a heavy large deep pan or dutch oven over medium high heat. Season the ribs with salt and pepper and sear until browned on all sides. About 30 seconds on each side. Remove them to a plate.
Leaving the brown bits in the pan, add the vegetables and garlic. Stir them, and continue to cook until just softened. Now, Add the tomato paste, and stir for another minute. If you are using a slow cooker, now is the time to place everything into the cooker.
Pour in the red wine, and the beef stock. If you don’t have beef, chicken stock is just fine. Bring the mixture to a soft boil, and add the seared short ribs back to the pan. Now add the fresh thyme and dried bay leaves to the pan.
About The Wine
Wine Tasting Notes: Black and red fruits, vanilla, and cedar on the palate. Candied spices and sweet tobacco with subtle herb accents. Lovely Bordeaux that is beautifully balanced with pleasing acidity and firm tannins. Highly recommended.
Place the lid on the pan, reduce the heat to a low simmer; you should see minimal movement in the liquid (see video below). Place the pan in the oven if you prefer the oven method. Allow the meat to braise until very tender. Remove the beef to a plate. Clean out the pan, and return half of the strained liquid to the pan. Allow the liquid to reduce by half.
Cook the pasta according to direction on the package.
Place the short ribs over the bed of pasta, drizzle on a bit of the reduced braising liquid and garnish with fresh parsley.
Wine-Braised Beef Short Ribs
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3-4 pounds boneless beef short ribs
- 3/4 bottle dry red wine optional
- 3 carrots chopped into 2-inch pieces
- 2 stalks celery chopped
- 3 cloves garlic chopped
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 cups beef broth
- 1 medium yellow onion chopped into large chunks
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- parsley for garnish lightly chopped
- 4 servings bucatini pasta cooked according to package instructions
- Heat oil in a heavy large deep pan or dutch oven over medium high heat.
- Season the ribs with salt and pepper and sear until browned on all sides. About 30 seconds on each side. Remove them to a plate.
- Leaving the brown bits in the pan, add the vegetables and garlic. Stir them, and continue to cook until just softened. Now, Add the tomato paste, and stir for another minute.
- Pour in the red wine, and the beef stock. Bring the mixture to a soft boil, and add the seared short ribs back to the pan.
- Add the fresh thyme and dried bay leaves to the pan.
- Place the lid on the pan, reduce the heat to a low simmer; you should see minimal movement in the liquid. Place the pan in a preheated 300 degrees F. oven if you prefer the oven method. Allow the meat to braise until very tender.
- While the short ribs braise, cook the pasta according to the directions on the package.
- Remove the beef to a plate. Strain the liquid in the pan. Wipe out the pan, and return half of the strained liquid to the pan. Allow the liquid to reduce by half.
- Place the short ribs over the pasta, drizzle on a bit of the reduced braising liquid, and garnish with fresh parsley.
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