Braised Short Ribs with Red Wine Sauce
- 5 - 6 beef short ribs , 300-400g/10-14oz each (Note 1)
- 1.5 tsp each salt and pepper
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves , crushed
- 1 large onion , chopped (brown, yellow or white)
- 2 celery ribs , chopped
- 2 carrots , chopped
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 cups (500ml) dry red wine (Note 2)
- 2 cups (500ml) beef stock/broth, low sodium
- 2 sprigs thyme (optional)
- 2 bay leaves
Preheat oven to 160C/325F.
Sprinkle beef all over with salt and pepper.
Heat oil in a large ovenproof pot over high heat. Add half the ribs and brown aggressively all over (~5 - 7 min in total). Remove and repeat with remaining ribs, then remove.
Turn heat down to medium. Add onion and garlic into the same pot and cook for 2 minutes.
Add carrot and celery, cook for 5 minutes until carrot is softened and sweet.
Add tomato paste and cook for 1 minute.
Add wine, broth, thyme and bay leaves. Stir until tomato paste is dissolved.
Return beef into liquid, arranging them so they are submerged (Note 3).
Cover with lid and transfer to oven for 3 hours, or until the meat can easily be pried apart with forks. (Note 4 Other cook methods)
Remove beef carefully, keeping the meat on the bone. (Note 4) Cover to keep warm.
Strain all liquid in the pot, pressing juices out of the onion, carrot etc. Return sauce into pot, bring to simmer and stir. Adjust as necessary - simmer to reduce/thicken, add water to thin, season with salt and pepper if needed.
Place beef on serving plate, spoon over sauce. Serve!
1. Beef Short Ribs - 300g/10oz bone-in weight raw should be enough per serving as they are rich. But recipe makes enough sauce for up to 400g/14oz ribs.
This recipe will also work great with any slow cooking cut of beef, even a whole beef pot roast. Chuck beef (cut into tennis ball size pieces), shanks, beef osso buco, even a whole brisket piece. Just bear in mind the size of the meat so it cooks in around the same time, though it's easy to adjust: if beef cooked before sauce reduced, just remove then reduce sauce. If it needs longer, just add water and keep cooking.
2. Red Wine - Use a good value full bodied red wine, like cabaret sauvignon or merlot. Shiraz is ok too. No need to use expensive wine for slow cooked recipes like this (and the New York Times agrees). Use discount end of bin specials (I get mine from Dan Murphey's). Pinots not suitable, too light.
99% of the alcohol in the red wine evaporates during cooking. The sauce does not taste winey at all, it completely transforms.
Non alcoholic sub: Use non alcoholic wine OR use 0.5 extra cup of beef broth (must be low sodium), 1.5 cups water, 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce in place of 2 cups wine.
3. Cooking vessel / liquid level - the liquid should cover the meaty side of the ribs, if necessary, top liquid up a bit with water, then at the end if Sauce is too thin, just simmer it to reduce. If you don't have an ovenproof pot large enough, transfer everything to a casserole dish that the ribs fit in snugly, place the ribs meat side down and pour the liquid over.
4. Other cook methods:
Stove - 2.5 hours on low simmer, lid on
Slow cooker - 8 hours on low, 5 hours on high. Sear beef and sauté vegetables in a skillet, add the liquid, bring to simmer then tip it all into a slow cooker. When beef is fork tender, strain liquid into a large skillet and simmer liquid rapidly for 10 minutes or until it reduces down to a syrup consistency. Optional: spray beef lightly with oil and grill/broil on high for 5 minutes to brown.
Pressure cooker - 1 hour on high, follow slow cooker directions above. Depressurise naturally for 10 minutes, then release valve.
Instant Pot - Follow slow cooker directions above but do the searing in your Instant Pot. Cook using slow cooker or pressure cooker function using above times.
5. General notes:
- Sauce: reduces by half so should be thickened to syrup consistency. If not, simmer on stove for a bit.
- Sauce excess fat: If the sauce is too fatty for your taste, pour it into a jug and leave for a bit so the fat rises to the surface, then scoop it off.
- Bone attachment: In order for the meat to be fork tender, it needs to be cooked far enough so that the connective tissue holding the meat to the bone becomes tender. So the meat is not really attached. But if you handle it carefully, it stays together.
- Remove bone: At some fine dining restaurants, beef short ribs are served without the bone. The bone is removed, the fatty bit on the underside of the meat that was attached to the bone is cut off and the meat is served by itself. It looks quite posh!
6. Nutrition assumes all sauce is consumed which it probably will not be. Does not take into account any fat discarded from sauce.