Beef short ribs are the absolute best cut of beef for slow cooking! The most tender and succulent fall apart beef you will ever have, you’d pay top dollar at fine dining restaurants for a plate of these Braised Beef Short Ribs.
Cooked long and slow in a rich red wine sauce, these beef ribs can be cooked in the oven, stove, slow cooker, pressure cooker or Instant Pot. Easy enough for midweek, and most definitely impressive enough for company!
Braised Beef Short Ribs – easy and luscious!
It looks like a lump of coal. Or, as one RecipeTin Family member said, hot chocolate fudge cake.
Photograph challenges aside, this is one of the most luscious slow cooked recipes that I know. The sort of food you will find at fine dining restaurants and quality steakhouses (albeit served alot more elegantly than the “rustic” approach I take ).
They’ll charge you top dollar for a single plate of Beef Short Ribs when you can make it at home for a fraction of the cost – and it’s very straight forward.
The red wine sauce in this recipe is amazing. The depth of flavour and the richness you can achieve with so few ingredients is incredible!
Introducing – Beef Short Ribs
But before we dive into how to make it, I just want to show you beef short ribs because it’s a cut of beef that is not yet mainstream here in Australia, albeit readily available at butchers.
Beef Short Ribs are the beef equivalent of pork ribs – but way meatier. They’re called “short ribs” in reference to the part of the cow they are taken from, not because they are “short” (though they certainly are far shorter than full length beef ribs!).
What are beef short ribs used for?
Beef short ribs are a prized cut for slow cooking. Cooking them slowly breaks down the tough connective tissues and the meat becomes fall apart tender. And because they are beautifully marbled with fat, they are more succulent and juicy than other slow cooking cuts of beef such as chuck and brisket.
In Asian cuisine, beef short ribs are sliced thinly so they can be cooked quickly rather than long and slow. Korean beef ribs is a popular example – – marinated thinly sliced beef rib meat cooked on tabletop grills. Any fans of Korean BBQ here?
Beef short ribs are usually cut into rectangle blocks, as pictured, though sometimes they are more square depending on the width of the bone.
They are also sometimes sold as a rack rather than pre cut individual pieces. In that situation, just cut between the bones to make individual beef short ribs.
How to make Braised Beef Short Ribs with Red Wine Sauce
As with all slow cooked dishes like Beef Stew and Pot Roast, we start by aggressively browning the beef short ribs. This is where we get a ton of flavour on both the beef and in the sauce (from the brown stuff – fond – left on the base of the pot).
After that, we slowly sauté garlic, onion, carrot and celery. The longer you take here, the better the flavour base!
Then add tomato paste (to thicken the sauce + a touch of sour), beef broth/stock, red wine, thyme (optional) and bay leaves (essential). Plonk the lid on and then either slow cook in the oven (my favourite), stove, slow cooker or pressure cooker!
Cheap or expensive wine?
I do not use expensive wines for SLOW cooking. I do not believe you can tell the difference if you made this with a discount end-of-bin $5 bottle or a $50 bottle – and the New York Times agrees….
Maybe you could tell the difference using a $100 bottle. But that’s not within my budget!
How long does it take to braise beef short ribs?
The time it takes for the beef to become fall apart tender varies depending on what cooking method you use:
- Oven – 3 hours at 160C/325F
- Stove – 2.5 hours
- Pressure Cooker – 1 hour on high
- Slow cooker – 8 hours on low, 5 hours on high
My favourite method is to braise using the oven because you get extra flavour from the beef and surface of the sauce caramelising in the oven, even though it’s cooked covered the whole time.
You’ll see in the video when I take the lid off after it comes out of the oven – it looks like a big pot with lumps of coal swimming in a pool of tar that is impossible to photograph nicely.
As unattractive as it might look, it’s a big pot of serious deliciousness. Just touch it with a fork, and THIS is what you see ↓↓↓
That’s my dinner right there. Literally my dinner – I made it this afternoon and I’m eating it tonight. Can’t wait!! – Nagi x
Slow Braised Beef Short Ribs
Watch how to make it
Braised Beef Short Ribs in Red Wine Sauce
Recipe video above. This is the sort of food you’ll pay top dollar for at fine dining restaurants but is actually very easy to make at home. Wine provides complexity and depth of flavour so you only need a few ingredients! Oven is best but stove/slow cooker/pressure cooker/IP also work, directions in notes.
- 5 – 6 beef short ribs (, 300-400g/10-14oz each (Note 1))
- 1.5 tsp each salt and pepper
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves (, crushed)
- 1 large onion (, chopped (brown, yellow or white))
- 2 celery ribs (, chopped)
- 2 carrots (, chopped)
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 cups (500ml) dry red wine ((Note 2))
- 2 cups (500ml) beef stock/broth, low sodium
- 2 sprigs thyme ((optional))
- 2 bay leaves
Preheat oven to 160C/325F.
Sprinkle beef all over with salt and pepper.
Heat oil in a large ovenproof pot over high heat. Add half the ribs and brown aggressively all over (~5 – 7 min in total). Remove and repeat with remaining ribs, then remove.
- Turn heat down to medium. Add onion and garlic into the same pot and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add carrot and celery, cook for 5 minutes until carrot is softened and sweet.
- Add tomato paste and cook for 1 minute.
- Add wine, broth, thyme and bay leaves. Stir until tomato paste is dissolved.
Return beef into liquid, arranging them so they are submerged (Note 3).
Cover with lid and transfer to oven for 3 hours, or until the meat can easily be pried apart with forks. (Note 4 Other cook methods)
- Remove beef carefully, keeping the meat on the bone. (Note 4) Cover to keep warm.
Strain all liquid in the pot, pressing juices out of the onion, carrot etc. Return sauce into pot, bring to simmer and stir. Adjust as necessary – simmer to reduce/thicken, add water to thin, season with salt and pepper if needed.
Place beef on serving plate, spoon over sauce. Serve!
1. Beef Short Ribs – 300g/10oz bone-in weight raw should be enough per serving as they are rich. But recipe makes enough sauce for up to 400g/14oz ribs.
2. Red Wine – Use a good value full bodied red wine, like cabaret sauvignon or merlot. Shiraz is ok too. No need to use expensive wine for slow cooked recipes like this (and the New York Times agrees). Use discount end of bin specials (I get mine from Dan Murphey’s). Pinots not suitable, too light.
99% of the alcohol in the red wine evaporates during cooking. The sauce does not taste winey at all, it completely transforms.
3. Cooking vessel / liquid level – the liquid should cover the meaty side of the ribs, if necessary, top liquid up a bit with water, then at the end if Sauce is too thin, just simmer it to reduce. If you don’t have an ovenproof pot large enough, transfer everything to a casserole dish that the ribs fit in snugly, place the ribs meat side down and pour the liquid over.
4. Other cook methods:
- Stove – 2.5 hours on low simmer, lid on
- Slow cooker – 8 hours on low, 5 hours on high. Sear beef and sauté vegetables in a skillet, add the liquid, bring to simmer then tip it all into a slow cooker. When beef is fork tender, strain liquid into a large skillet and simmer liquid rapidly for 10 minutes or until it reduces down to a syrup consistency. Optional: spray beef lightly with oil and grill/broil on high for 5 minutes to brown.
- Pressure cooker – 1 hour on high, follow slow cooker directions above. Depressurise naturally for 10 minutes, then release valve.
- Instant Pot – Follow slow cooker directions above but do the searing in your Instant Pot. Cook using slow cooker or pressure cooker function using above times.
5. General notes:
– Sauce: reduces by half so should be thickened to syrup consistency. If not, simmer on stove for a bit.
– Sauce excess fat: If the sauce is too fatty for your taste, pour it into a jug and leave for a bit so the fat rises to the surface, then scoop it off.
– Bone attachment: In order for the meat to be fork tender, it needs to be cooked far enough so that the connective tissue holding the meat to the bone becomes tender. So the meat is not really attached. But if you handle it carefully, it stays together.
– Remove bone: At some fine dining restaurants, beef short ribs are served without the bone. The bone is removed, the fatty bit on the underside of the meat that was attached to the bone is cut off and the meat is served by itself. It looks quite posh!
6. Nutrition assumes all sauce is consumed which it probably will not be. Does not take into account any fat discarded from sauce.
Life of Dozer
I returned home from grocery shopping to howling coming from the bedroom – the wind had slammed the door shut and trapped him in there (for a whole 30 minutes max).
He was very relieved to be rescued – upon which I promptly shoved him back in there to re-enact it for this photo