Decadent Braised Short Ribs

Fabulous Recipe: Decadent Braised Short Ribs

While this recipe does take some time to cook, the actual preparation is simple, straightforward, and quick (about 20 minutes), and the rewards are tremendous. There is nothing quite as tender, juicy, and heart-warming as a hearty braised meat dish like this one. The pot liquor makes a rich, savory sauce. Since it’s cooked for close to 2 hours, the juices will concentrate very nicely, especially with the addition of the tomato paste. If you like your gravy a little thicker, dredge the meat in the flour, then pat it dry before browning it. Just the residue of flour in the pot will make a difference over the long, slow cooking period.


  • 12 to 18 ribs of beef (approximately 1 ½ inches thick by 3 to 4 inches long)
  • 1 Tablespoon coarse sea salt
  • 1 Tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 medium yellow onions, peeled and cut into 8 pieces
  • 3 celery stalks, cleaned and cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 2 large carrots, cleaned and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 whole garlic head, skin on and halved
  • 3 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 (750-milliliter) bottle of full-bodied red wine (merlot, cabernet sauvignon, or some equivalent)
  • 1 ½ cups veal stock, plus more as needed (recipe follows)
  • 1 bouquet garni
  • 1 teaspoon coarse seas salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 batch of sautéed mushrooms
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped parsley, for garnish

1. Preheat the over to 350 °F.

2. Season the ribs generously with salt and pepper. Place the vegetable oil in a roasting pan or heavy-bottomed pot large enough to hold all the ribs over medium-high heat. When the oil becomes smoky hot, place the ribs in the pot in a single layer and brown well on all four sides, approximately 5 minutes per side. IF necessary, brown in batches; set aside each cooked batch and repeat until all ribs are browned.

3. Skim the excess fat from the pot using a large, flat spoon or ladle, lower the heat to medium, and then add the onions, celery, carrots, and garlic. Cook the vegetables until golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes.  Deglaze the pot to remove any burned bits. Add the tomato paste, stir well, and continue cooking for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the red wine, reduce the heat to low, and scrape up any brown bits with a wooden spoon.

4. Return the ribs to the pot. Add just enough of the veal stock to cover the ribs. Add the bouquet garni, the 1 teaspoon coarse salt, and the ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Bring to a boil and cover. Place the pot in the over and braise for 1 hour and 45 minutes to 2 hours, or until the meat is tender. Turn the ribs after 45 minutes. If the liquid starts to dry up, add more stock as needed. (Alternatively, the roast can be cooked on top of the stove over low heat.)

5. Remove the ribs from the pot and strain the remaining liquid through a sine sleeve. Discard the vegetables. Return the liquid to the pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce for 5 to 10 minutes, or until thickened to a sauce-like consistency. Skim the fat with a large, flat spoon or ladle, and place the ribs in the pot. Add the sautéed mushrooms and mix well.

6. Transfer the ribs and sauce to a large platter, sprinkle with parsley, and serve.  

-Colin Cowie

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