Braised short ribs are a favorite cool-weather comfort food. Beef short ribs are braised until tender in a sauce made from carrots, celery, onion, and herbs and are perfect served over mashed potatoes, polenta, or rice.
Few things smell better than, or as good as, short ribs braising in the oven.
Braised short ribs are one of those meals that are both simple and decadent all in one.
The ingredients are simple, as is the preparation, but the outcome is just so special.
We love to serve braised short ribs with garlic mashed potatoes, creamy polenta, or egg noodles. And if you’re looking for a noodle and short rib dish there is nothing better than our short rib ragu with pappardelle!
Our recipe includes instructions for a gremolata, but this condiment is entirely optional. More on that below.
Table of Contents
How to make braised short ribs
Each number corresponds to the numbered written steps below.
- Dice 3 medium onions, 4 medium carrots, and 3 celery ribs. Smash 10 cloves of garlic and trim the excess fat and silverskin from 4 1/2 pounds of English-cut short ribs. Note: Short ribs are very fatty, so it is recommended to well trim the exterior before searing. (Photo #1)
- Preheat the oven to 300f and set the rack to the middle level. Heat a large stainless steel pan to medium heat. Dry the trimmed short ribs with paper towels and season them with salt and pepper on all sides. Dredge the ribs in flour and shake to remove the excess. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the pan and sear the short ribs on all sides until well browned working in batches to avoid crowding the pan. Once the ribs are seared, remove and set them aside. Note: This recipe can be also prepared completely in a Dutch oven. (Photo #2)
- Remove all but approximately 3 tablespoons worth of fat from the pan and turn the heat down to a touch less than medium. Add the onions, carrots, and celery and saute for about 10-12 minutes or until very soft. Then add the garlic cloves and cook for about 2 more minutes, or until lightly golden. (Photo #3)
- Add 2 tablespoons of tomato paste and frequently stir for 3-5 minutes. (Photo #4)
- Add 2 cups of dry white wine and turn the heat up to high, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to dislodge the brown bits. Bring the sauce to a boil for 5 minutes. (Photo #5)
- Reduce the heat to a simmer and add 14 ounces of crushed plum tomatoes, 2 medium bay leaves, 3 sprigs of thyme, and 2 sprigs of rosemary. Taste test and season with plenty of black pepper and a touch of salt, but not too much as the sauce will reduce and concentrate. (Photo #6)
- Pour the sauce into a roasting pan or baking dish and place the short ribs on top. Pour enough low-sodium chicken stock to almost submerge the short ribs (about 2-3 cups worth). (Photo #7)
- Cover the pan tightly with foil and place in the oven for 3 hours turning the ribs over at the halfway point. After 3 hours, remove the foil and continue to cook until the ribs are fork-tender but not yet falling apart (approximately 30-60 minutes). Once tender remove the short ribs from the oven and place them on a platter tented with foil. Degrease the sauce with a fat separator, paper towels, bulb baster, or just skim with a spoon. Remove and discard the herbs. To thicken the sauce, transfer to a pot and turn the heat to high, or serve as is. Taste test the sauce and make any final salt and pepper adjustments. Serve the short ribs over mashed potatoes, polenta, egg noodles, rice, or with crusty bread and top with the optional gremolata if desired. Enjoy! (Photo #8)
Making the gremolata
Since these braised short ribs are made in a style similar to that of osso buco, you may wish to serve them with a gremolata.
A gremolata is a condiment that’s made with fresh chopped parsley, garlic, orange zest, olive oil, and salt and typically accompanies rich meat dishes with high-fat contents. The fresh parsley and citrus combo cut the fat so to speak.
To make the gremolata, simply combine 1/2 cup of minced Italian flat-leaf parsley with 1 minced clove of garlic, 1-2 teaspoons of orange zest, 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt, and 1-2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.
- The ribs. We used English-cut short ribs for this recipe but you can definitely use flanken if that’s what is available to you. One 3-4 inch long English-cut short rib is a great portion size. If the ribs are smaller, you may wish to serve 2 per person.
- The fat. Short ribs are very fatty and for that reason, we recommend trimming a good deal of the fat prior to searing. Depending on the size and fat content of your ribs, they may need more or less than 3 1/2-4 hours of braising time since you’ll want to cook them until the fat has mostly rendered and the ribs become very tender.
- Making ahead. If you can swing it, it’s even better to prepare the ribs a day ahead of time. This will allow the flavors to concentrate and will make removing the fat from the sauce even easier. To make ahead, once cooked, separate the ribs and the sauce and store in the refrigerator. The next day, the fat will have risen to the top of the sauce and can easily be spooned off. Reheat the ribs and the sauce together over medium-low heat prior to serving. This is the perfect make-ahead dinner party dish!
More comforting recipes
We’ve got you covered if you’re looking for hearty comfort food. Here are a few of our favorites.
- Brasato al Barolo – Italian-style braised brisket in the most delicious sauce.
- Peposo – beef braised in a Tuscan red wine and black pepper sauce.
- Italian beef stew – chuck beef braised with vegetables, wine, and herbs.
- Shepherd’s pie – the classic with ground lamb, peas, and carrots with Guinness, and mashed potatoes.
- Classic pot roast – with potatoes, carrots, herbs, and chuck roast braised in red wine.
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Braised Short Ribs
- 4 1/2 pounds English cut short ribs trimmed of silverskin and excess fat – see notes below
- 1/2 cup flour for dredging only
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 medium onions diced
- 4 medium carrots diced
- 3 celery ribs diced
- 10 cloves garlic smashed
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 14 ounces crushed plum tomatoes
- 2 cups dry white wine
- 2 medium bay leaves
- 3 sprigs thyme
- 2 sprig rosemary
- 2-3 cups low sodium chicken stock or enough to almost cover the ribs
- 1/2 cup Italian flat-leaf parsley minced
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1-2 teaspoons orange zest
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat oven to 300f and set the rack to the middle level.
- Heat a large stainless steel pan to medium heat. Trim short ribs of any silverskin and excess exterior fat. Dry the short ribs with paper towels and season with salt and pepper on all sides. Dredge the ribs in the flour and shake off the excess. Add the olive oil to the pan and sear the short ribs on all sides until well browned. Work in batches, if required, to not overcrowd the pan. Set all of the seared short ribs aside.
- Remove all but 3 tablespoons of the fat and oil from the pan and turn the heat down to a touch less than medium. Add the onions, carrots, and celery. Saute for about 10-12 minutes or until very soft. Once soft, add the garlic cloves and cook until golden (about 2 minutes).
- Add the tomato paste and stir frequently for 3-5 minutes. Next, add the wine and turn the heat to high. Scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the pan and bring to a boil for 5 minutes.
- Lower the heat to a simmer and add the tomatoes, bay leaves, thyme, and rosemary. Taste test the sauce and season with a bit of salt and plenty of pepper. Don't use too much salt at this time since the sauce will reduce and concentrate.
- Pour the sauce into a roasting pan or baking dish. Place the short ribs into the pan. Pour enough chicken stock to almost submerge the short ribs. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 3 hours, turning the ribs over at the halfway point. After 3 hours remove the foil. Continue to cook until the meat is fork-tender but not falling apart (~30-60 minutes).
- Once tender, remove the short ribs from the oven and place them onto a platter tented with foil. Degrease the sauce with a fat separator, paper towels, bulb baster, or just skim with a spoon. Remove and discard the herbs. To thicken the sauce, transfer to a pot and turn the heat to high or if satisfied with the sauce's consistency just serve as is. Taste test the sauce and make final adjustments to salt and pepper.
- Serve the braised short ribs over egg noodles, mashed potatoes, polenta, or with crusty bread. Top with the gremolata if desired. Enjoy!
For the gremolata (optional)
- Mix together the minced parsley, garlic, orange zest, olive oil, and salt. Taste test and adjust salt and/or orange zest if required.
- One large 3 to 4-inch long English cut short ribs is a perfect portion size. If the ribs are smaller, 2 or more per person might be needed. For this reason, pounds were specified over the number of short ribs.
- Cooking time is a rough estimate. Cook until the fat has rendered and the ribs are very tender. Depending on the fat composition and size of the short rib more or less than 3 1/2 hours of braising time might be required.
- Serving the short ribs the next day is even better if you have the time! The flavors will concentrate and you can remove most of the fat from the sauce. Separate and refrigerate both the ribs and the sauce. The next day, all of the fat will have risen to the top and can be easily spooned off and removed. Reheat the ribs and sauce together over medium-low heat.
- Leftovers can be refrigerated for up to 3 days and can be frozen for up to 3 months.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.