What’s for Sunday Dinner – Braised Short Ribs

Short ribs!  Always be on the lookout for when these go on sale at the grocery store, when there is one they disappear quickly.  Short ribs are delicious, juicy, and tender.  These are wholly unrelated to “boneless short ribs” which aren’t even from the rib area.  They’re packed with layers of fat which melts away and shrinks the meat on the bone, so you’ll need at least 2-3 per person depending on the size of the short ribs.  Marinating and braising them in some wine makes for a very comforting Sunday dinner. 

One of the first special dinners I made for Cheryl was short ribs.  I can’t remember the actual occasion (showing off?) but I’ve got a very funny memory of it.  If you’ve made short ribs before you know they look like big chunks of meat before cooking but can lose a lot of their size when cooked.  When I served her the short ribs there was one on her plate which was really small, so small it was almost all bone.  She looked at it funny but didn’t say anything and ate it.  I’m eating and waxing poetic on how tender they are, Cheryl’s quiet.  Finally, she says she didn’t see what the big fuss was about short ribs, there’s not any meat at all on them.  I looked and saw what she had and laughed a bit, telling her there were some bigger ones in the pan.  She went over to the pan and laughed too when she realized she had an oddball short rib.  After eating a much meatier one she realized the fuss!

Use a dry red wine in the marinade and braise, one you’d normally pair with beef, like a Cabernet.  I like serving these short ribs with mashed potatoes, polenta, or egg noodles.  The sauce goes well with any of them.

For the marinade

  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp green peppercorns
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 onion sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 6-9 beef short ribs

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl or Ziploc bag.  Add short ribs, making sure they are covered by the liquid.  Cover with plastic wrap/close bag, refrigerate overnight.

For the braise

  • 4 Tbs butter
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • The marinade
  • 2 carrots large cut into chunks
  • 1 large parsnip cut into chunks

Pre-heat the oven to 350°F.  Remove the short ribs from the marinade and pat dry.  Season meaty side with salt.

Heat a heavy bottomed pot or pan (one with a lid) on the stove-top over medium-high heat.  Add oil and 2 Tbs butter.

In batches of 2-3, brown the meaty side of the short ribs and set aside.

Pour the marinating liquid into the pot/pan and bring to a boil.

Place short ribs into hot liquid meaty side down making sure they are covered by the liquid.  If not fully covered add some water or stock to raise the braising liquid level.

Place the chopped carrots and parsnips on top of the short ribs, cover and place in oven.

Cook for 90 minutes, then remove lid and cook uncovered for 30 minutes.

When cooked to desired tenderness remove short ribs from pan and set aside.  Strain cooking liquid to remove solids.  Reserve carrots and parsnips.  Drain off fat and pour liquid back into pan.

Over medium–high heat reduce liquid by half.  Whisk in 2 Tbs cold butter.  Return short ribs, parsnips, and carrots to pan and coat with sauce.  Serve with mashed potatoes, polenta, or egg noodles.

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4 comments

  1. I do not cook short ribs often, but when I do I find that it is worth the effort to cook them at 200 degrees for 10 – 12 hours. Although, I have to admit that most ‘normal’ people probably think it is a little obsessive.

      1. I remember the conversation. I think we talked about pork spare ribs also… Another fatty cut for braising (but much cheaper than short ribs). Unfortunately for me I do not really eat pork anymore, but perhaps I can live vicariously through your blog?

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