These incredible Red Wine Braised Short Ribs are a gourmet main course that you can make in the comfort of your own kitchen! The robust flavor of the beef blends with dry red wine, plenty of garlic, and fresh herbs to make a beautiful sauce and ultra-tender braised beef.
The Best Braised Short Ribs in Wine!
Short ribs are a special cut of beef, one that most of us don’t usually make unless it’s a special occasion. There isn’t much meat on a short rib, and what meat there is takes a long time to cook. However, because of the rich marbling of fat, short ribs are extremely flavorful, and a long, slow braise really brings out the best in them.
When combined with the classic trio of celery, onion, and carrot, as well as a good dry red wine and whole garlic heads, short ribs cook down and become meltingly tender, practically falling apart! The wine and veggies blend with the beef flavor to make a sauce that’s just out of this world, crying out for mashed potatoes or crusty bread.
This is a special dish that’s perfect to make for a holiday, or to celebrate a long weekend. It’s also great for a Sunday dinner! Anytime you just want a mouthwatering, comforting classic, red wine braised short ribs are the way to go.
What You’ll Need
This dish might be a French-style gourmet recipe, but it’s mostly made with ordinary, everyday ingredients! The only “special” items are the ribs and the wine. Easy!
- Short Ribs: Short ribs are always generously marbled with fat, but at the same time, it’s a good idea to choose the meatiest ribs that you can find, and avoid ribs that are mostly fat. I like to use boneless ribs for easy cutting.
- Salt and Pepper
- Olive Oil: For browning the ribs and vegetables.
- Onions: Any kind of onion will do, whether sweet, red, white, or yellow. Just peel them and cut them into large chunks.
- Garlic: Don’t bother separating the cloves, just cut off the top of the garlic heads to expose the cut cloves.
- Carrots: Wash and peel or scrape the carrots, and cut them into large chunks
- Celery Stalks: Again, wash and snap or cut into big pieces.
- Flour: All-purpose flour is fine.
- Tomato Paste: Along with the wine, tomato paste adds a ton of flavor to the sauce, and therefore to the ribs!
- Wine: Make sure the wine is dry. I prefer dry red wine such as Cabernet Sauvignon.
- Fresh Herbs: For this recipe, you’ll need a bunch of fresh flat leaf parsley, some sprigs of thyme, and a few sprigs of rosemary and oregano.
- Bay Leaves: Dried bay leaves give a pungent fragrance and help cut the richness of the dish.
- Beef Broth: Along with the wine, broth forms the braising liquid to get the ribs nice and tender.
Are beef ribs and short ribs the same?
Actually, they are very similar! Depending on how beef ribs are cut by the butcher, they’re labeled flanken, spare ribs, or short ribs. Short ribs, of course, tend to be short, somewhat square pieces of rib. They’re very tough unless cooked low and slow, as in this easy braised recipe!
How to Make Braised Short Ribs
The oven does most of the work when it comes to braising short ribs! All you have to do is sear the meat, cook the veggies and the sauce for a short time, and then let it all cook slowly in the oven until the beef is tender and it’s time to strain the sauce.
- Prep the Ribs and Veggies. Before you start cooking, cut the short ribs crosswise into 2-inch pieces, and season each one well with salt and pepper. Roughly chop all of the vegetables—you don’t need to be too neat here, because they won’t be eaten.
- Sear the Ribs. In a large Dutch oven, over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil, and add the short ribs, working in batches if necessary. Sear the ribs on all slides for 7 – 8 minutes, and then move them to a plate and set aside while you work on the veggies.
- Cook the Vegetables. Spoon out the drippings, leaving about four tablespoon’s worth in the pot. Stir the garlic into the pot, and cook on medium heat for a minute or so, to release the garlic fragrance. Then add the rest of the veggies and cook gently until they begin to soften, about 5 to 10 minutes.
- Make the Braising Liquid. Sprinkle the flour over the cooking veggies and dripping, and stir it in well. Add the tomato paste, and stir that in also. Finally, pour the wine and broth over everything, stir well to combine, and cook for about 20 minutes or until the liquid has reduced by half.
- Braise the Ribs. Preheat your oven to 350°F, and position the oven rack in the center of the oven. Turn off the stovetop heat, and place the ribs back into the Dutch oven with the herbs. Cover and place in the oven to braise for 3 hours. Make sure to check on it from time to time, stirring as needed. Don’t leave the oven unattended for extended amounts of time!
- Finish the Dish. Once the short ribs are nice and tender, remove them from the oven. Place them on a serving platter or dish, and then strain the vegetables out of the sauce. Discard the veggies, and place the ribs and sauce back into the Dutch oven. Serve warm, with your favorite side dishes.
Tips for Success
I have several important tips to share for this recipe! From browning the meat to making the sauce, here are my top tips for a great finished dish.
- Read Ahead: Read the recipe through before starting, to get a clear picture of how each step will go and how best to start.
- Wine Choice: For the best flavor, use a good drinking wine. The best wine I have found for this recipe is a Cabernet Sauvignon.
- Heavy Bottomed Pot: You will want a pot with a good heavy bottom for even cooking. I highly recommend a nice enameled dutch oven! They don’t have to cost a lot, in fact, this one I used for this recipe is from amazon is affordable and great quality: Dutch Oven.
- Brown the Ribs: Make sure not to overcrowd the meat when browning. If you crowd it, the ribs steam instead of browning, making it tough and failing to build up a good flavor in the pot.
- Veggie Options: You can chop your vegetables smaller, if you like! Since I strain mine out of the sauce, I chop them roughly so they are easier to strain out at the end. Of course, you can eat the veggies, but after cooking for hours, they are pretty mushy. Straining them out leaves a nice gravy for the meat. Alternatively, try using an immersion blender to blend them into the sauce!
- Fresh Herbs: Use fresh herbs, if possible. They add so much flavor to this dish!
To serve your red wine braised short ribs, I recommend at least one starchy side to soak up the wine sauce! Additional veggies are always welcome, too. These are some of my family’s favorite side dishes:
- Mashed Potatoes: Garlic Mashed Potatoes are probably one of my family’s favorite side dishes! They go with everything, but especially with a robust beef dish with gorgeous gravy, like this one.
- Asparagus: Fresh and green Air Fryer Asparagus make a healthy and satisfying addition to the menu! With a sprinkling of parmesan and a cook time of 10 minutes, this is an easy side dish for any meal!
- Candied Carrots: Another favorite, all you need are a few simple ingredients to make these sweet Candied Carrots, and they go beautifully with beef and red wine.
- Garlic Bread: And of course, soft rolls or some yummy Goat Cheese Garlic Bread is a great addition to anything with this much savory gravy!
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
To refrigerate, place leftover short ribs and sauce in an airtight container and refrigerate for 3 – 4 days.
Reheat by placing the desired portion of ribs and sauce in a covered saucepan or skillet over low heat, and cook until just heated through.
To freeze, remove the meat from the bones, and place with any sauce in airtight containers. Freeze for up to 2 months, and thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.
Red Wine Braised Short Ribs
- 4 – 5 pounds short ribs
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 large onions, peeled and cut into large chunks
- 2 whole garlic heads, tops cut off
- 3 large carrots, cut into large pieces
- 3 celery stalks, cut into large pieces
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 750 milliliter bottle dry red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon or other)
- ¼ bunch flat leaf parsley
- 8 fresh sprigs thyme
- 4 fresh sprigs rosemary
- 4 fresh sprigs oregano
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 cups beef broth
- Cut the short ribs crosswise into 2-inch pieces, and season with salt and pepper.
- Roughly chop the vegetables. These won’t be eaten, they just flavor the sauce.
- In a large Dutch oven, over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. Sear the short ribs on all slides for 7 – 8 minutes, working in batches. Don’t overcrowd the pan with each batch. Transfer the browned short ribs to a plate, and set aside.
- Once all batches are browned, spoon out all but 4 tablespoons of the drippings from the pan. Add the garlic, and cook on medium heat for 1 minute.
- Add the remaining vegetables and cook until softened, about 5 – 10 minutes over medium-high heat. Add the flour and tomato paste, and cook for an additional 2 – 3 minutes.
- Add the wine and broth, and stir well until combined and cook until reduced by half, about 20 minutes over medium heat.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F, and position the oven rack in the center of the oven.
- Turn off the stovetop heat, and place the ribs into the Dutch oven. Add in the herbs.
- Place the lid on the Dutch oven, and place in the oven to braise for 3 hours. (For safety and quality, check on the short ribs occasionally during this time. Stir gently if needed.)
- Once the short ribs are nice and tender, remove them from the oven. With a slotted spoon, remove the short ribs to a plate.
- Strain out the vegetables and herbs through a colander, keeping the sauce. Add the ribs back to the Dutch oven, and pour the sauce over with a spoon.
- Serve with mashed potatoes or rice, with your favorite vegetables.
- Read the recipe through before starting, to get a clear picture of how best to start.
- Use a good drinking wine. The best wine I have found is a Cabernet Sauvignon.
- Don’t overcrowd the meat when browning. Instead of browning, the meat will steam, making it tough.
- You can chop your vegetables smaller; I choose to do medium size so they are easier to strain out at the end.
- The veggies can be eaten, but after cooking for hours, they are pretty mushy. Straining them out leaves a nice gravy for the meat.
- Use fresh herbs, if possible. They add so much flavor to this dish!
- Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 – 4 days.
- You can reheat in the microwave, on the stovetop, or in oven.
- Leftovers can be kept in the
- for up to 3 months.
More Beef Dinner Ideas
- Juicy Flank Steak
- Beef Picadillo
- Instant Pot Beef Stew
- Homemade Bolognese Sauce
- Chunky Beef Chili
- Easy Baked Italian Meatballs
- Instant Pot Beef Tips
- The Best Steak Kabobs
- The Best Tender Beef Pot Roast
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