Beef Short Ribs in Red Wine

Beef Short Rib Recipe

I grew up eating braised meat.  I don’t think it mattered what time of year it was, but at some point during each month, and usually on the weekend, my mom would make what she called a roast.  Although we don’t have them as frequently, it is something we enjoy.

Essentially, braising involves cooking in liquid — but there’s more to it than just putting a piece of meat in a pot and covering it with water.  Well, if you want it to taste satisfying, that is.  There are some basic steps to take when braising:  1)  Choose the right cut of meat; 2)  Brown seasoned meat on all sides in a bit of fat; 3) Brown the aromatics;  and 4) Add the liquid and cook low and slow.

At the expense of sounding like Alton Brown without the scowl, all four of the steps I mentioned are very important, and if one of them is left out, then you’ll end up with a grey chunk o’ meat — not very appetizing.

The nice thing about braising is that the best cuts of meat to use are those which are tough —    which translates to less expensive.  Easy on the wallet.  Cheap.  They’re all the parts of the animal that get the most exercise.  Chuck was my mother’s cut of choice, but a rump or brisket are also great.  Short ribs are another perfect choice for braising.  They’re squarish cuts of beef that include a portion of bone (ribs, right?) and usually come three to four in a pack depending on their size.

When I think of short ribs, I think of gravy and wide, flat noodles.  Completely delicious!

This recipe is an adaptation of a recipe from The Martha Stewart Living Cookbook


Beef Short Ribs in Wine Recipe


3 T extra virgin olive oil
8 good-sized short ribs (3″ square)
salt & pepper
1 bay leaf
1 T fresh rosemary
1 tsp. fresh thyme
2 sprigs parsley
2 medium carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 shallots, diced
1 T flour
1 T tomato paste
1/2 c. ruby port
2 c. red wine
6-8 cloves garlic, peeled
3-1/2 c. veal or beef stock
3 c. mushrooms
flat egg noodles


  1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees F.
  2. Sprinkle all surfaces of the beef with salt and pepper.
  3. In a Dutch oven or large lidded, oven proof pot, heat 2 T of the olive oil and brown the short ribs, turning each to make sure a nice, rich color is achieved on each side.
  4. Remove the ribs to a bowl as they finish browning before adding the remainder.
  5. After all the ribs have been browned, add the remaining 1 T of olive oil with the carrots, celery, onions, and shallots to the pot.
  6. Over medium heat, cook, stirring frequently until veggies have begun to soften, about 8-10 minutes.
  7. Stir in the flour and tomato paste, mixing well for about 1 minute.
  8. Add the port and stir, scraping the brown coating from the bottom of the pan.
  9. Add the red wine and allow to simmer until the liquid is reduced, 10-15 minutes.
  10. Add the garlic cloves, veal stock, herbs, and short ribs with juices to the pot and return to a simmer.
  11. Add the mushrooms, stirring into the mixture, place a lit on the pot and put into the oven for approximately 3 hours until meat is extremely tender.
  12. When ribs are done, remove from the pan to a serving dish and cover to keep warm.
  13. Place the braising liquid over medium high heat to thicken, about 10 minutes.
  14. Serve with wide flat egg noodles.







Beef Short Rib Recipe



Recipe Notes:

  • I often read that people have not made a roast before, or braised meat, and they’re unsure about it.  The best advice I can give is to begin with a basic recipe like this one.  The flavor is completely excellent.  There are plenty of great recipes available, so if you’re not sure about this one, just look for one with similar elements.  That’s what counts.
  • About the veal stock:  Use beef broth if you can’t find a nice demi-glace.  If you can find it, try it once just to see what it’s like.  The flavor is more intense and very special.  There’s an excellent cooking store very close to my house, so I go in once in a while and pick up a jar knowing that I’ll want to use it at one point or another. I only use it once in a while, though.  In a recent issue of Saveur, there’s a great article about making demi-glace, so guess what I’m going to try?  I already have the bones in my freezer just waiting.  It’s all a grand experiment to me and I’ve always wondered what the flavor would be like.
  • About the wine and port:  I have a cupboard full of booze.  It’s kind of hilarious, because we don’t drink it.  It accumulates over time because of my cooking, which makes it nice when I want to cook something special.  My mother didn’t cook with wine and her roasts were excellent, but I can say that red wine adds so much to the flavor of braised or stewed meat, I rarely try a recipe that doesn’t include it.
  • Speaking of stewing:  The difference between a stew and a braise is twofold — braises are larger pieces of meat in some liquid, stews are chunks of meat in more liquid.  I’d call that hair-splitting.
  • The biggest mistake you can make with this any recipe like this is to not brown the meat.  That nice coating that ends up on the bottom of your pan from this process helps the end flavor of the sauce so much, it’s worth the time.  Don’t underestimate here — it takes a good 15-20 minutes to do it right.
  • I know you’re thinking crock pot, right?  I do have a crockpot, but used it most often when I was working and needed to put a frozen roast in it with some liquid and veggies before running out the door to work.  It came in handy!  I have adapted recipes like this for the crockpot, but still do the browning on the stove — including the addition of the liquids so you can have all that nice flavor.  Then pour it in the crockpot.  Not exactly convenient when you figure about 30 minutes of prep to get it to that point before pouring it in the crockpot.  Without that prep, I’m not thrilled with the color and texture of the meat.  In the long run, you save some energy by using the crockpot, right?