Braised beef short ribs are easily in my top 5 favourite dishes. This is true comfort food. Fall off the bone meat drenched in a rich sauce.
I often make these short ribs when we have guests over for dinner. It is easy to prepare, with most of the work done at the start. Also, once the ribs go in the oven, you have plenty of time to visit, while they slowly braise.
Every autumn, once the temperature starts to drop, I start making dishes using the oven again. The oven is ideal for slow braising, so these short ribs are perfect for a cool fall day that you do not mind having the oven on for a few hours.
Maybe you have never had braised short ribs. Many of my friends normally have short ribs using the classic Korean BBQ recipe: Kalbi – Korean BBQ Short Ribs. Short ribs prepared this way is delicious, but very different than cooked by braising. Kalbi is thinly sliced short ribs, marinated and then cooked on a grill.
Braised short ribs, on the other hand, are kept as larger portions of the beef ribs. They are seared first and then slow cooked in the oven in a sauce of red wine and beef broth with some onions, celery and carrots.
Short ribs are a cut of beef that benefits greatly from a slow braise. This breaks down the connective tissues and results in a meat that is so tender that is simply falls off the bone.
The way your supermarket or butcher sells the short ribs may vary. Sometimes they are already cut in the square portions that we are looking for. More often, though, they are sold in a long strip of 4 ribs as you can see in the picture above.
Simply slice in between each rib. You are looking for short rib portions that are about 1 1/2 inch square. Once the short ribs are cut and prepped, sprinkle them on all sides with the salt and pepper.
Heat the oil in a dutch oven over medium high heat. Before the short ribs go into the oven to braise, they need to be seared. Searing and browning the meat enhances the flavour of the finished dish.
Place the ribs in the dutch oven. You will need to sear the ribs in batches. Only place the amount of ribs in that will fit in the bottom of the dutch oven.
Let them sear for about 1 minute. Turn and sear each side. Once all the sides of the short ribs have been browned, remove them from the dutch oven and place on a plate. Sear the remaining short ribs the same way. Remove them all from the dutch oven…. for now!
Dump the diced onion, celery and carrots, as well as the garlic cloves. Let the vegetables sauté for about 5 minutes. Stir often, so they do not stick to the bottom of the dutch oven.
Now it is time to put the short ribs back in the dutch oven. Work them in, pushing them under the sautéed vegetables. Spread the short ribs evenly throughout the dutch oven. Depending on the size of your dutch oven, you will likely have two layers of short ribs.
Pour in the red wine, beef broth and tomato paste. I like to dissolve the tomato paste in the beef broth first, before pouring it into the dutch oven. Add the 2 bay leaves.
Put the lid on the dutch oven and place in a 350F oven for 2 1/2 hours.
After 2 1/2 hours of slow braising, the sauce will thicken and deepen in colour. The meat on the ribs will be so tender, that you need to remove them from the dutch oven gently or else they may fall apart. The aroma is incredible!
While the short ribs are amazing, the sauce is equally awesome. I like to serve the short ribs on a big scoop of Garlic Mashed Potatoes and ladle some of the braised vegetables and sauce over the mash. Be prepared for people going back to the dutch oven to get ‘a little bit more’ of the sauce!
These short ribs are so good and taste like something you would order from a restaurant. There is so much flavour packed into each bite, whether it is the beef, vegetables or the sauce.
Once you make this dish, you may very well plan ahead for the next time you will make braised short ribs again. I know I do!