Braised short ribs are one of my most-very-favorite things.
If you've never tried braised short ribs in a restaurant, I highly recommend it. Imagine a super-tasty piece of beef smothered in a rich and meaty sauce. Beef short ribs are usually served over mashed potatoes and sometimes polenta.
And braised beef short ribs are SUPER EASY to make – so don't run away! Try them, I promise you can do it! My favorite way to prepare these is with a dutch oven, but can also use a slow cooker, a pressure cooker or an Instant Pot.
The great thing about a recipe like this is that it requires very little hands-on time.
Beef short ribs take a long time to cook, but they are just hanging out in the oven! After all that time in the oven, beef short ribs are nothing less than delicious. Meaty, juicy, fall-off-the-bone goodness!
Over the years I've anointed myself a connoisseur of certain things, and braised short ribs are one of these things. A few other things that I am an expert on is the Rueben sandwich (steak of course), and a perfectly made Manhattan. You can see why my job is so hard, I mean seriously, the pressures sometimes! It can overwhelm a girl.
I'm not entirely sure when I decided that I should be crowned the authority on short ribs, but if I had to guess, it was probably about the 60th time that I ordered short ribs for dinner. After spending that much quality time with a piece of meat, I think I know it pretty well. Seems legit, right?
I take my job very seriously because I know that everyone is waiting on the edge of their seat for my stamp of approval. As a connoisseur, there's a moral obligation to order these things every time I seem them on a menu, especially since I love to compare one chef's take on a dish to another. And of course, then I have to go home and try to make my recipe even better.
There are a lot of things to consider when you are taste-testing beef short ribs.
- The texture and flavor of the meat are critical of course – when you make a dish with simple ingredients, you have to make sure that you are starting with the best quality ingredients.
- Seasoning – I think knowing how to season is one of the most significant differences between cooking versus cooking something really delicious. Most home cooks do not use enough salt in their food.
I want to expand on the topic of salt because it's kind of a pet peeve of mine.
ALL SALT IS NOT CREATED EQUAL!
If you are still using iodized salt, please stand up right now, go into your kitchen and toss it in the garbage. Iodized salt is gross and not good for you – when doctors tell you to cut down on salt, they really mean iodized salt. When cooking you should stick to Kosher salt, Himalayan salt, or sea salt.
Natural salt is good for you, you need it, and it makes food taste good. Iodized salt is aggressively salty on your palate. I swear if you change your salt you will wonder why you have been using iodized salt your whole life. <<mind blown>>
So, after we have had that little lesson you should feel good about adding salt and pepper to your beef short ribs and then browning then well in a dutch oven. Mine usually look that this after they are browned. Then I take them out of the pan and set them aside while I sauté my mirepoix.
Now back to those braised short ribs.
I've never had anything but beef short ribs, so my expertise falls off if we are talking about any other kind of short rib. I like my beef short ribs to be falling off the bone, melt in your mouth, tasty, meaty, juicy, and tender. You know what I mean, right?
Most of the time, short ribs are braised in a wine-based sauce which is also magnificently delicious, but I love the flavor that a rich Guinness Stout adds to this classic dish.
This recipe is a definite keeper because braising meat is a traditional technique, and you can use this same technique to braise other cuts of meat like a nice chuck roast or a pork shoulder. You can expect that you will come back to this technique again and again.
This reminds me... I really need to share my Milk Braised Pork Shoulder. That recipe is to die for... I'm gonna get on that this weekend.
It's always a home run in my house. If you want to impress someone, even if it's just yourself, this is THE recipe that you'll want to try. Once plated, your braised short ribs seriously look like they came out of a five-star restaurant.
I love making this dish for a romantic dinner. Served with a nice bottle of wine and some fantastic roasted potatoes. This is the perfect meal to make for a Valentines day dinner.
For the wine: I recommend serving this with a Cabernet Sauvignon, a Cabernet Franc, or a Zinfandel.
You can keep it yourself that this recipe is effortless. I'm not kidding: you basically add all the ingredients to a dutch oven or slow-cooker and then cook the whole thing for a really long time.
A little science-geek tidbit coming at you: the 'bone-in' status of this cut of meat is what gives this dish all that meaty flavor. There are rumors that fat is what adds flavor to meat, but in reality, the flavor bomb comes from connective tissue breaking down in the cooking process. Braised meats are slow cooked in liquid, such as Guinness. As this liquid heats up, the steam cooks the beef short ribs, and the connective tissue gets broken down and incorporated into the liquid. This process allows all of that flavor to present itself in the form of a great sauce.
I hope you will make this recipe for someone that you love, and then try it again with wine, instead of Guinness. Once you have made this dish, you are automatically added to the short-rib-connoisseur club. There really aren't any great newsletters or anything like that in this club, but knowing that you need to go out in the world and sample all the braised beef short ribs of the world can be pretty motivating. It's a pretty important contribution to mankind. Just saying, I expect to hear about the most amazing short ribs that you find and where to get them.
Guinness Braised Short Ribs
- 3 lbs bone-in short ribs 4 equally sized ribs
- 2 large carrots rough chopped
- 3 stalks celery rough chopped
- 1 lb cipollini onions peeled
- 4 cloves garlic smashed
- 2 cans Guinness
- 1 ½ cups tomato juice
- 4 cups beef stock
- 4-6 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons oil I prefer coconut or bacon fat
- 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter cubed
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- ¾ teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 450℉
- Season the short ribs well with salt and pepper.
- Add the oil to a dutch oven, heat to medium-high heat.
- Sear the short ribs on each side until a deep golden brown is achieved. Remove them from the pan and set aside on a plate.
- Add the mirepoix (carrots, celery, and onions) cook in the pan for 3-5 minutes.
- Add Guinness to the pot to deglaze. Scrape off any golden crunch bits. These will all incorporate into the sauce later.
- Add the short ribs back to the pot.
- Add the tomato juice, stock, garlic, thyme and bay leaves.
- Cover with lid. And place in oven for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes reduce the heat to 325℉
- Cook at 325℉ for another 2 ½- 3 hours. (Oven temperatures vary) About half way through you can check the liquid. Make sure there a sufficient amount of liquid in the pan. There should be no less than ¼ of the liquid left.
- Continue to cook until the meat is falling off the bone. Add more liquid if needed.
- Remove from the oven and let rest 20 minutes.
- Remove the short ribs from the pot and set aside on a large plate.
- Strain the liquid and vegetable mixture into a large bowl so that you reserve the liquid. You should have about 1 ½ - 2 cups of liquid left over.
- Return the liquid to the pan and bring it to a boil. If you don't have enough liquid you can add a little water or broth.
- Reduce the heat and then whisk in cold butter to finish the sauce.
- Serve with mashed potatoes or roasted smashed whole potatoes.