Braised Short Ribs

by The Smitten Kitchen  

  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cooking Time: 3-4 hours 


  • 6 beef Short Ribs
  • 3 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves, and 4 whole sprigs thyme
  • 2 tbsp. cracked black pepper
  • butter for searing
  • 1 diced medium onion
  • 2 diced carrot
  • 2 diced celery
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 ½ cups Ruby port
  • 2 ½ cups red wine
  • 6 cups beef stock
  • 4 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
  • salt & ground black pepper


Once short ribs are at room temperature rub thyme and the cracked black pepper to coat the meat well. Cover, and refrigerate overnight.

Turn the oven to 275-300 degrees F.

Take the short ribs out of the refrigerator to come to room temperature and then season them generously on all sides with salt. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add butter and wait a minute or two, until the pan is very hot and almost smoking. Place the short ribs in the pan, and sear until they are nicely browned on all three meaty sides. Depending on the size of your pan, you might have to sear the meat in batches. Do not crowd the meat and take your time. When the ribs are nicely browned, transfer them to a plate to rest.

Turn the heat down to medium or lower, and add the diced onion, carrot, and celery. Stir and scrape up all the crusty bits in the pan. Cook 6 to 8 minutes, until the vegetables just begin to caramelize. Add thyme springs, bay leaves, balsamic vinegar, port, and red wine. Turn the heat up to high, and boil for a few minutes.

Add the stock and bring to a boil. Arrange ribs in the pot, lying flat in one layer.  The stock mixture should almost cover the ribs (you can add water to top it up). Arrange the parsley sprigs in and around the meat. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and a tight-fitting lid if you have one. Braise in the oven for about 3 hours to 4 hours.

To check the meat for doneness, pierce a short rib with a paring knife. When the meat is done, it will yield easily to a knife.

Let the ribs rest 10 minutes in their juices, and then transfer them to a baking sheet.

Turn the oven up to 400 degrees F. Place the short ribs in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes to brown. You can also grill the short ribs on the barbecue.

Strain the broth into a saucepan, pressing down on the vegetables to extract all the juices. Skim the fat from the broth and taste for seasoning.

If you have leftovers, you can make a French dip. Take the meat off the bone. In a sauce pan, heat it up with a small amount of broth (so it doesn't dry out the meat). Place the meat into a baguette with grainy mustard and a slice of mozzarella and dip it into the heated broth.