When it comes to comfort food, few dishes rival the rich flavor of wine-braised beef short ribs. This dish has stood the test of time and for good reason. Combine fall-off-the-bone meat with the complex flavors of a rich sauce, and you have an amazing meal that is perfect for a special occasion or a hearty meal on a cold night. Wine-braised short ribs are easy to make with simple ingredients. So, put on your apron and follow along in making this great recipe.
There are many ways to cook short ribs. They can be smoked, baked and even cooked in a wood-fired oven. I have tried a lot of cooking methods for short ribs and braising them is, by far, the best way to cook them. These braised beef short ribs are first seared and then braised in red wine and beef stock until they fall off the bone. Braised beef short ribs are comfort food at it best.
The secret to tender short ribs is the braising process. The short ribs, vegetables and liquid are placed in a Dutch oven with a tight fitting lid and cooked for three hours. The liquid essentially steams the ribs and breaks down all of the tough connective tissue. This is what makes them tender. By the way, this is the same process used in the 3-2-1 method of making baby back ribs where three hours of smoking are followed by two hours of braising then one hour on the grill. It's the braising that makes ribs fall off the bone.
This was inspired by my other recipes for short ribs including Gnocchi with Short Rib Ragù, Beef Short Ribs Smoked Then Braised in Wine and Beef Tallow, and Short Rib Ravioli with Creamy Mushroom Ragù.
- Vegetable oil
- Beef short ribs
- Yellow onion
- Roma tomatoes
- Red wine
- Bay leaves
- Beef stock
See the short ribs recipe card for quantities.
While the cooking process is simple, this dish would be a little dull if the short ribs were not seared first. A quick sear adds both flavor and color, and all those little burned bits on the bottom of the pan will dissolve when the Dutch oven is deglazed with red wine. Give yourself working room and try not to crowd the Dutch oven with too many ribs. It's better to have a little bit of room and work in batches.
Give the short ribs a quick sear by heating a little vegetable oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat and cooking the ribs until they begin to brown.
Turn the short ribs over and sear the other side. Don't forget to sear the small ends of the short ribs as well as the back of the bone. Sear six sides of each short rib. Remove the short ribs and set aside.
After the short ribs have all been seared, add the onion, carrot, leak, garlic and tomatoes to the Dutch oven and cook over medium heat until the vegetables have softened, about 10 minutes.
Deglaze the pan with some red wine and stir. Scrape up all the brown bits that are stuck on the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. There is so much flavor in those little bits.
Add the rosemary, thyme, oregano and beef broth and bring to a boil. Remove from heat.
Add the seared short ribs back to the Dutch oven. Push them down and make sure they are covered with liquid. The liquid should be at the top of the short ribs. Add water and a little more beef stock if needed. Cover the Dutch oven and bake for 3 hours at 350˚F.
After 3 hours of cooking time, carefully remove the Dutch oven and place it on your range top. Then skim off any fat that is floating and discard. The short ribs should be falling off the bone tender. Strain the braising liquid into a small saucepan and heat over high heat for about 10 minutes. Be sure to keep the ribs covered while the braising liquid is reducing. Serve with the braising liquid and maybe some creamy mashed potatoes.
Two tablespoons of tomato paste mixed in a little water can be used as a substitute for the Roma tomatoes. This dish could also be made with boneless short ribs if bone-in short ribs were unavailable. The texture may be different and the meat may not have as much beef flavor.
If you prefer a thicker sauce, remove a cup of the sauce, whisk in one tablespoon of corn starch, and add it all back to the sauce. Simmer until the sauce thickens.
A Dutch oven works great for this recipe. Just be careful to use oven mitts to lift the lid after it comes out of the hot oven. I have burned my hand more than a few times on that darn thing. A crock pot or other slow-cooking method would also work well.
Store leftover braised short ribs in an airtight container, along with the braising liquid, for up to three days. Reheat on a stove top in a deep pot. Add additional water if needed. The short ribs should be covered with liquid when reheating. This is one of those dishes where the braising liquid is better the next day.
Check the short ribs after one hour and again after two hours to make sure there is enough liquid, otherwise they can dry out.
For the best results, never use olive oil to sear meat. The smoke point of olive oil is substantially lower than that of canola oil and other vegetable oils. Olive oil will develop an unpleasant taste at high temperatures.
Wine-braised short ribs with a flavorful sauce are one of those classic comfort foods that make an amazing family dinner. While the taste, texture and depth of flavor is something to savor, the real treat is that your entire house will smell absolutely wonderful. So, get out your chef's hat, open a bottle of red wine, and give this short rib recipe a try.
Looking for other comfort food recipes like this? Try these:
These are my favorite dishes to serve with this recipe.
Wine Braised Beef Short Ribs
- Dutch oven
- 2 tbs vegetable oil
- 3 lb beef short ribs about 8
- ½ cup yellow onion chopped
- 1 each carrot chopped
- 1 each leek chopped, white part only
- 3 cloves garlic smashed
- 2 each roma tomatoes chopped
- 2 cups red wine
- 2 sprigs rosemary fresh
- 2 sprigs thyme fresh
- 2 sprigs oregano fresh
- 2 each bay leaves
- 2 cups beef stock
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Heat the vegetable oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the short ribs and sear them on all sides until browned. Remove the ribs from the pan.
- Add the onion, carrot, leak, garlic and tomatoes. Cook on medium heat until the onion has softened. Deglaze the pan with red wine and stir. Add the rosemary, thyme, oregano and beef stock and bring to a boil. Remove from heat.
- Add the seared short ribs back to the Dutch oven. Then add enough water to make sure the ribs are completely covered. Cover the Dutch oven and bake for 3 hours. Check the ribs after one hour and again after two hours to make sure there is enough liquid, otherwise they can dry out. Remove from the oven, skim off the fat and discard, and strain the liquid into a small saucepan. Keep the ribs covered. Heat the braising liquid on high for about 10 minutes.
- If you have leftover short ribs, be sure to keep any leftover braising liquid.