Meltingly tender and oh so delicious, red wine braised short ribs are a family favorite. The meat falls right off the bone and the rich sauce is just amazing!
Why you’ll love it: Red wine short ribs are a low stress entrée, perfect for company or for special weekday dinners since you can put the ribs in the oven and basically forget about them until dinnertime.
How long it takes: 20 minutes to prep, 3 hours in the oven
Equipment you’ll need: large heavy pan with a lid, such as a Dutch oven
- 1 Recipe Overview
- 2 Succulent Red Wine Braised Short Ribs
- 3 What Is The Difference Between Ribs and Short Ribs?
- 4 Cooking Short Ribs
- 5 Ingredient List
- 6 More About Dutch Ovens
- 7 How to make Tender Braised Short Ribs
- 8 What to serve with red wine braised short ribs
- 9 What red wine is good for braising short ribs?
- 10 What Can I Substitute For Beef Short Ribs?
- 11 Make Ahead Ideas
- 12 Storage & Reheating Tips
- 13 More Braised Dinners
- 14 Get the Recipe: Red Wine Braised Short Ribs
If you want to feel fancy, this is the recipe for you. It’s perfect for celebrations or holidays, but it’s also perfect for a slow Sunday. There’s nothing better than the smells that fill your house from slowly braising something delicious. It’s the type of meal that you’ll want to share, savor, and remember forever.
Succulent Red Wine Braised Short Ribs
Here are a few reasons why you’re going to just love these braised beef short ribs:
- Braising the ribs makes them super tender. Beef short ribs are not a naturally tender meat. They have lots of connective tissue which can be tough if they’re not cooked properly. Braising is a two-step process that works wonders for short ribs (and other cuts, too). First, the ribs are browned to lock in the flavor and caramelize the surface. Second, the ribs are slow cooked in a savory liquid which melts the collagen in the connective tissue, transforming the tough meat into exquisitely tender meat.
- Braised ribs are not difficult to make. Even though this dish may sound kinda fancy, it really is quite simple. It only takes about 20 minutes to get the short ribs in the oven, from then on it’s all hands off. Easy!
- The sauce is amazing! You’ll pretty much want to slurp up this red wine enhanced sauce. It’s sweet, savory, loaded with umami and rich herbal flavor. Oh, so good!
What Is The Difference Between Ribs and Short Ribs?
Short ribs are taken from a different part of the cow than back ribs which include baby back ribs and spare ribs. Back ribs are found in the upper back of the cow; the meat is located between the bones and tends to be leaner. Short ribs are taken from the front section of the cow, the bones in the lower part of the rib cage. The meat is located on top of the bones along with a layer of fat. Both ribs benefit from a long slow cooking time because they have lots of connective tissue and fat marbling.
Cooking Short Ribs
Short ribs have a lot of connective tissue and fat marbling which makes them idea for long slow cooking. The longer you cook them, the more tender they get. The meat should be coming away from the bone and be fall-apart tender.
Make sure the ribs have plenty of liquid; they should not be allowed to dry out.
Be sure to refer to the recipe card below for specific ingredients and instructions.
- Beef Short Ribs: For this recipe, you’ll need about 5 pounds of ribs, or about 10 short ribs, for 5 servings of 2 ribs each. The ribs should look solid and meaty, with lots of fat marbling.
- Onion, Celery, Carrots: This trio of vegetables will provide a savory flavor base to the sauce. The French term is mirepoix and it’s commonly used in cooking.
- Tomato Paste: Just a tablespoon of tomato paste further enriches the flavor.
- Garlic: Choose fresh garlic for the best flavor. Start with 3 cloves but since garlic cloves can vary widely in size, use your own preference to judge the amount.
- All-Purpose Flour: The sauce is thickened with a bit of flour.
- Dry Red Wine: We recommend Pinot Noir or Cabernet Sauvignon, or another dry red wine. You’ll need 2 cups of wine. While you don’t have to choose really expensive wine to cook with, it should be a wine that’s drinkable. Read on for more information and suggestions.
- Beef Broth or Stock: A good quality commercial stock or broth is fine; you’ll need one cup.
- Balsamic Vinegar: Barrel-aged balsamic adds a fruity, woody tone to the recipe; it’s slightly tart and sweet.
- Worcestershire Sauce: Another pantry essential, Worcestershire sauce adds umami. It’s a complex blend of several ingredients.
- Bay Leaf, Rosemary, Thyme, Oregano, Parsley: Lots of herbal goodness! I prefer fresh for all the herbs except for the bay leaf; if fresh isn’t available, dried herbs are fine, too.
- Mashed Potatoes: Mashed potatoes are a traditional side served with braised beef short ribs. Try creamy Instant Pot mashed potatoes, crockpot mashed potatoes (so easy!), or mashed red potatoes. Polenta is a good choice, too!
How to make Tender Braised Short Ribs
Sear the ribs. Season the short ribs with salt and pepper while you heat up a large heavy pan on the stove. Brown the ribs in a splash of olive oil on all sides. You will have to do this in batches. Don’t overcrowd the pan.
The ribs won’t be cooked through but browning them gives a nice flavor and color. As the short ribs brown, remove them to a platter. Pour off the excess grease when you’ve finished. There should be a couple of tablespoons left in the pan.
Cook the chopped onions, celery, and carrots in the same pan for about five minutes or until the onions turn translucent and begin to soften.
Add the flour, tomato paste, and garlic to the pan. Cook, stirring constantly, until the vegetables are coated. The mixture will turn brown and smell very savory.
Add the remaining ingredients. Stir in the liquids (wine, broth, balsamic vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce). Scrape the bottom of the pan to remove the browned bits (de-glaze the pan).
Nestle the ribs into the sauce, along with any juices on the platter. Add the bay leaf, rosemary, thyme, and oregano (save the parsley for later on). Over medium-high heat, bring the contents of the pan to a simmer.
Bake the ribs. Cover the pan and put it into a preheated oven (300ºF). This is the second part of the braising process: low and slow cooking. Cook the ribs for 2 ½ hours or until the ribs are very tender. If you add a little more time, that’s fine, the ribs are very forgiving. Just make sure they don’t dry out.
Reduce the sauce. Remove the ribs to a clean platter; cover with foil to keep warm. Over medium heat, cook the juices in the pan for about 10 minutes, uncovered, or until the sauce thickens slightly.
Serve. We like to serve braised short ribs in a shallow bowl or rimmed plate. Start with a generous scoop of mashed potatoes, then add 2 ribs per person, and a spoonful or two of the savory sauce.
What to serve with red wine braised short ribs
Serve the short ribs and mashed potatoes with a fresh arugula salad or a fresh green salad dressed with red wine vinaigrette. The salads should be fairly simple and not too rich in order to balance out the meal. Sautéed Brussels sprouts, air fryer green beans, or sautéed summer squash and zucchini ribbons go well, too.
What red wine is good for braising short ribs?
Look for a dry red wine such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Noir. Other options are Cabernet Franc, Merlot, or Chianti. Avoid sweet wines which will make the meat taste overly sweet. You don’t have to buy an expensive wine but it should be a wine that you would drink.
More about Finest Reserve Wine
- Finest Reserve’s available varieties are Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, and all 3 are harvested and made by winemakers in California.
- This wine delivers premium quality at a value price! Wines retail for $13.99 a bottle and is currently only available in Michigan and Nebraska.
What Can I Substitute For Beef Short Ribs?
Chuck roast, pork shoulder, or lamb shanks: Any of these cuts benefit from a long, slow cooking time. Beef short ribs and chuck roasts are very similar cuts, in that they both come from the same part of the cow and chuck roasts may be more affordable. A pork shoulder or lamb shanks are good alternatives, too.
Make Ahead Ideas
Make Ahead: Red wine braised short ribs can be made ahead. Cool the ribs in a shallow pan, then refrigerate for up to three to four days. The flavors actually improve as the meat continues to absorb the sauce.
Get a Head Start: If you want to get started on the recipe ahead of time, prep the carrots, celery, and onions. Refrigerate in a covered container. Wash the herbs and set aside what you’ll be using in the recipe.
Storage & Reheating Tips
Refrigerate/Freeze: Braised short ribs will keep for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator or up to 2 months in the freezer (use a freezer-safe container or resealable bags).
Reheat: If desired, scrape off the layer of hardened fat. Put the ribs in a baking dish, add a splash of water or broth, cover with foil. Bake in a preheated oven (300ºF) for 30 minutes or until heated through. You can also reheat them in a covered pan on the stove over low heat. Red wine braised short ribs really taste amazing reheated! In fact, you may want to make a double batch so you’ll have plenty to eat later.
- 5 pounds bone-in beef short ribs (about 10 short ribs)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ cup finely diced onion (1 small onion)
- 1 cup finely diced celery (2 to 3 stalks celery)
- 1 cup finely diced carrots (2 carrots)
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups dry red wine (we recommend Pinot Noir or Cabernet Sauvignon)
- 1 cup beef broth or stock
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary (or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary)
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
- 1 sprig fresh oregano (or ½ teaspoon dried oregano)
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- Mashed potatoes for serving
- Preheat oven to 300ºF.
- Season both sides of short ribs with salt and pepper.
- In a large Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Brown short ribs on all sides, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Work in batches if needed, being careful not to overcrowd the pan. When the short ribs are browned (they won’t be cooked through), transfer to a plate.
- Pour off all but about 2 tablespoons of oil/drippings from the pan. Add onions, celery, and carrots to the pan. Cook, stirring frequently, until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add flour, tomato paste, and garlic and cook, stirring constantly for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Stir in wine, broth, balsamic vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce, scraping any brown bits off the bottom of the pan.
- Add short ribs and any accumulated juices back into the pan, nestling into the sauce. Add bay leaf, rosemary, thyme, and oregano. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cover the pan and transfer it to the oven.
- Bake for 2 ½ hours or until beef is very tender, falling apart and pulling away from the bones. Carefully transfer short ribs to a clean platter.
- Strain fat from sauce if possible. Return the pan to medium heat and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently, or until reduced slightly. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Stir in parsley.
- Serve in shallow bowls or plates with rims. We recommend serving the ribs with mashed potatoes. Spoon the sauce over the ribs and potatoes.
- Nutrition information does not include mashed potatoes.
- Storage: Cool ribs in a shallow pan, cover tightly and refrigerate for 3 to 4 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
- If beef short ribs aren’t available, a chuck roast, pork shoulder, or lamb shanks can be substituted.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.
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