Braised Short Ribs

Short ribs on a bed of polenta.

Anyone who knows me knows of my ambivalence towards meat, particularly meat that comes with an accompanying bone. Why, then, did I see this recipe from Food & Wine and simply have to make it? I have no explanation, other than to say that it was fantastic.

Things you need to know upfront:

  1. This is a two-day recipe, best suited to the weekend. It doesn’t require constant tending, but it does require you to be home.
  2. “Flanken-style” short ribs aren’t available in the meat case. You’ll need to either special order them, or ask your friendly local butcher to cut them for you.
  3. This is a good recipe for dinner guests, and serves 6. The house will smell fabulous when they arrive, and you really only need to tend to the ribs in the final 30 minutes before serving.

Ready for the recipe?


  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 6 flanken-style short ribs with bones, cut 2 inches thick (about 4 lbs total)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 3 celery ribs, sliced
  • 3-6 garlic cloves, thickly sliced
  • 1 750ml bottle Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 4 thyme sprigs or two large pinches of dried thyme
  • 3 cups chicken stock


The Night Before (About 1 hour prep and cooking)

Heat oil in a large skillet. Season the ribs with salt and pepper and cook them over moderate heat, turning once, until browned and crusty, about 20 minutes. Arrange the ribs in a single layer in a shallow baking dish.

Add the onion, carrots, celery and garlic to the skillet. Cook over very low heat, stirring occasionally, until soft and lightly browned, about 20 minutes. Add the wine and thyme and bring to a boil over high heat. Pour the hot marinade over the ribs. Allow to cool, then refrigerate overnight, turning once.

The Day Of (Begin about 3 hours before serving)

Short ribs, braising in their sauce.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Transfer the ribs and marinade to a large enameled cast iron casserole or dutch oven. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Cover and cook for 1 1/2 hours in the lower third of the oven. The meat should be tender but not falling apart.

Uncover and braise for 45-60 minutes longer, or until the sauce is reduced by half and the meat is very tender. Remove from the oven and preheat the broiler.

Transfer the meat to a clean, shallow baking dish, discarding the bones that should have fallen right off. Strain the sauce into a measuring cup or bowl, and skim off as much fat as possible. Pour the remaining sauce — about 2 cups — over the meat in the baking dish.

Broil the meat, turning once or twice, for about 10 minutes until they’re glazed and sizzling.

Transfer the meat to plates, spoon the sauce on top and serve with mashed potatoes or polenta.


Happy, happy carnivores.

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