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Red Wine Braised Short Ribs


Serves six.

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 103

Braising short ribs in red wine gives them deep, dark color and flavor, and fall-off-the-bone tenderness. Customize your own braised short ribs with the Recipe Maker

  • 4-1/2 to 5 lb. English-style beef short ribs (8 to 12 ribs)
  • 3 Tbs. vegetable oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • 2/3 cup medium-diced carrots
  • 2/3 cup medium-diced celery
  • 2/3 cup medium-diced onions
  • 2 whole dried bay leaves
  • 1 Tbs. finely chopped garlic
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • 3/4 cup lower-salt beef broth
  • 1 to 2 tsp. red-wine vinegar

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 325°F. In an 8-quart Dutch oven, heat 2 Tbs. of the oil over medium heat. Season the ribs with 2 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. pepper. Add half of the ribs to the pot (or as many as will fit without overlap), and cook, turning with tongs, until nicely browned on all sides, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer the ribs to a platter and repeat with the remaining ribs. Pour off all but a thin layer of fat from the pan.

Add the remaining 1 Tbs. oil, carrots, celery, and onions to the pan. Season with 1/2 tsp. salt. Cook, stirring and scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan, until the aromatics are soft and lightly browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Add bay leaves and garlic and cook, stirring, until well distributed and fragrant, about 1 minute.

Pour 1/2 cup of the red wine into the pot and cook, stirring to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot, until the liquid is reduced to about 2 Tbs., about 1 minute.

Transfer all the ribs (and any juices that have accumulated) back into the pot. Pour 1-3/4 cups water, the beef broth, and the remaining red wine over the ribs and using tongs, arrange the ribs as evenly as possible and no more than two layers deep.

Bring the liquid to a simmer, cover, and put the pot in the oven. Cook, turning the ribs with tongs about every 40 minutes, until they are fork tender, about 2-3/4 hours. (The meat may fall off most of the bones about midway through cooking; this does not mean that the ribs are fully tender.)

Transfer the ribs to a serving platter or dish. Let the sauce and solids sit in the pot for a few minutes to cool and with a shallow spoon, skim off as much of the fat as possible from the surface. Season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper, and add the vinegar.

Serve the ribs with the sauce spooned over.

Make Ahead Tips

It's best to braise short ribs a day (or at least several hours) ahead for a couple of reasons. First, this allows you to chill the sauce so it can be defatted thoroughly. Also, the flavors only get better with time. To reheat, arrange the meat snugly in a baking dish, cover with foil, and put in a 350°F oven. Reheat the sauce on the stovetop.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 450, Fat (kcal): 25, Fat Calories (g): 220, Saturated Fat (g): 8, Protein (g): 35, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 11, Carbohydrates (mg): 7, Polyunsaturated Fat (mg): 3.5, Sodium (g): 570, Cholesterol (g): 80, Fiber (g): 1,

Photo: Scott Phillips

The braising liquid for this recipe is fantastic and very flavorful. I chose to braise on the stovetop instead of in the oven because I can monitor it more closely. If I make it again I will sear a bit more and use a slightly higher temperature to fully cook off the fat. I used flanken cut because that was all my butcher had, it was still amazingly flavorful. I served it with a puree of mashed potatoes and parsnip as well as a winter root vegetable hash with chicken and apple sausage. I got rave reviews. It was great paired with a rioja wine. We also served a syrah but I think the syrah didn't pair as well.

Thanks a lot, Fine Cooking. A special trip to the butcher, a half hour of prep, three hours in the oven and the whole meal was inhaled by my kids faster than a re-tweet of a Kim naked selfie! Why don't the quick weeknight meals meet with so much enthusiasm?! "Better than the restaurant," said my teenager. Delicious results... will definitely make again (when I have another day to kill).

Dredged flour. I used all broth and wine instead of water. Also, added three sprigs of thyme, 1 tablespoon of tomato paste. Reduced braised liquid until thick, then added red wine and 2 T butter. Fantastic recipe!

I made these for Christmas dinner and received rave reviews. Super tender and flavorful.

I first made this recipe as a trial run before preparing it for company and it was wonderful! My husband actually said it was "restaurant quality"! I served it with creamy goat cheese rosemary polenta. Very nice combination. I made it again last night to serve for company today. Serving it again with the goat cheese polenta and sauteed green beans. I love the fact I can prepare it the night before so I'm not in the kitchen the day of! It also plates very well for a nice presentation.

I made this from the magazine, which "made" me to choose ingredients instead of giving the red wine version. Outstanding! Read my full review and what I chose at:

I made this with lean stew beef and it was fantastic. I only browned half the beef to save time and that worked out well. Excellent recipe; will definitely make again.

I have made this twice and it is excellent. I did need to give the sauce a little 'body' with a beurre manie. I made it a day ahead of time, and was able to really get all the fat off. Great flavor and the meat just fell off of the bone. Will try the other renditions after my cholesterol count recovers!

This is an excellent recipe. I substituted a few ingredients to keep it local and it was really delicious. I made it for the Dark Days Eat Local Challenge meal of the week. If you're interested, I posted about it on Late Bloomers Farm, my local food blog (

Husband and I loved it!! Really good with mashed potatoes. My only complaint is the recipe in the actual magazine is a bit vague on the ingredient amounts - which makes it fun to play with - but may yield inconsistent results.

The day that that I saw this recipe, we were in the middle of a major snow event and going out to get short ribs was not an option. However, that recipe really got a hold on me and so I cut up a chuck roast in pieces approximating short ribs and applied your method. I made it with beer as the braising medium and finished it with a touch of balsamic vinegar. Best beef braise that I had ever made. Taking the time to really layer the flavors adds such dimension to the outcome. I served it with horseraddish mashed potatoes and it was a hit. Hardly any leftovers... we were such little piggies. I have since made it with the real thing. This recipe is a keeper!

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