Red Wine Braised Short Ribs

This recipe for braised short ribs is a delicious, satisfying meal that will warm you up on a chilly winter night. This classic dish is made with meaty, succulent short ribs that are cooked low and slow in a rich sauce made with red wine, vegetables, and herbs. The result is tender, fall-off-the-bone meat that will warm your soul!

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A fork cutting into a perfectly cooked braised short rib.

As soon as there's a chill in the air, I immediately pull out my recipe box and comb through for my favorite comfort dishes. Chicken parmesan, homemade sweet potato gnocchi, chicken pot pie... but this braised short ribs recipe always makes it to the top of the pile.

While you can enjoy braised short ribs any time of the year, they're especially comforting during the chillier months. A plate of these tender, red wine-braised short ribs is the epitome of cozy winter dining!

This beef recipe is also a perfect centerpiece for a festive holiday meal, such as Christmas or New Year's Eve, where you want to impress your guests with a delicious feast.

If you've ever thought making "braised short ribs" are complicated and time-consuming, let me assure you that it's not. With just a little bit of prep work and some patience, you'll have an incredible meal in no time.

What does it mean to "braise" meat?

Braised short ribs are a classic, traditional dish that originates from the art of French cooking!

They're a prime example of a technique called "braising," where the meat is first seared fat side down, then cooked in a pot that is covered with a small amount of liquid at low heat for a lengthy period of time.

This method allows for tough, inexpensive cuts of meat, like short ribs, to break down and become tender, fall off the bone and melt in your mouth.

The red wine provides a robust, complex flavor that beautifully complements the richness of the beef. Paired with the mirepoix of carrots, celery, and onions, and the aromatic bundle of herbs, the savory sauce is complex and earthy, yet smooth.

There are many variations of braised short ribs recipes out there, but this red wine braised short ribs recipe is a tried-and-true classic.

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Why This Recipe Works

  • Surprisingly easy to make at home.
  • Only 20 minutes of hands-on time.
  • An incredibly comforting dish that's been slow-cooked to perfection.
  • So fall-off-the-bone tender, the braised short ribs practically melt in your mouth!
  • The red wine sauce has a rich, deep flavor that can only be achieved through patient cooking.
  • The perfect recipe for entertaining or a date night at home!
Fresh ingredients for short rib recipe laid out on a wood surface.
Ingredient Notes

Short Ribs: You'll want to use bone-in beef short ribs for this recipe, as the bones add flavor and help keep the meat tender. Find high-quality ribs that have a high meat-to-fat-to-bone ratio, and ask your butcher to cut the ribs into individual pieces, not one big slab. The fat should be well marbled throughout so that it melts into the meat like butter.

Vegetables: The mirepoix (combination of diced carrots, celery, and onions) adds a delicious depth of flavor to the dish. Make sure to chop them into equal-sized pieces so they cook evenly.

Garlic Cloves: Garlic is a must-have in any braised dish. The cloves add a pungent, sweet note to the sauce and complement the other herbs and spices. You'll want to finely chop the garlic or use a garlic press so you don't end up taking a bite into a hunk of garlic.

Herbs: The herb bundle, made with thyme and bay leaf, adds a beautiful aroma to the dish. You can also use dried herbs if fresh ones are not available. If you want to add more herbs, rosemary also works perfectly with this herb medley.

Red Wine: The red wine is a key ingredient in this recipe and adds a deep, complex flavor to the sauce. Use a good quality red wine that you would also enjoy drinking. A dry red like Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot works best. If you don't have red wine on hand, beef broth can be used as a substitute.

Tomato Paste: Adding in a small amount of tomato paste helps to balance out the flavors and adds complexity and body to the sauce. Don't skip this ingredient!

*Find the full ingredient list in the recipe card below!

Helpful Equipment

Dutch Oven: A heavy-bottomed Dutch oven is perfect for this dish as it allows the meat to cook evenly and keeps the heat at a consistent temperature. If you don't have a Dutch oven, you can use any large, deep pot with a lid.

Tongs: A good pair of tongs will come in handy when browning the short ribs and when transferring them in and out of the pot.

Fine-Mesh Strainer: A fine mesh strainer is ideal for removing any excess fat from the sauce if needed. It's also great for straining out any small bits of herbs or vegetables that may have broken off during cooking.

Step-by-step instructions

Start by preheating the oven to 325°F.

1) Generously season the short ribs with salt and pepper on all sides, and give them a good 30 minutes at room temperature before cooking.

2) Heat up a large Dutch oven over high heat and add olive oil. Carefully place the short ribs in the hot oil and give them a good sear (around 5 minutes) on all sides. Remove them from the pot and let them rest.

3) Remove all but one teaspoon of fat, then toss in the carrots, celery, and onion. Cook over low heat until they become tender, for about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and keep cooking until the veggies start turning golden brown, for another 8 minutes.

4) Add in the tomato paste and give it a good stir until it gets all caramelized, around 3-4 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook for another 1-2 minutes until it soaks up all the goodness.

Herb infused short ribs in a large pot.

5) Pour in the red wine and use a wooden spoon to scrape all the delicious bits, or fond, stuck to the bottom of the pan. Add water, bay leaves, and thyme, and let it come to a boil.

6) Put the short ribs back in the pan along with their juices, then spoon some of the liquid and veggies over the top. Pop it in the oven, cover it, and let it cook for 1 ½ hours.

7) Remove any fat that collects on the top. Flip the short ribs to the other side and add some more water if it's getting dry. Cook for another 1 ½ - 2 hours or until the meat is tender and falling off the bone.

8) Take it out of the oven, skim off any extra fat, then let it rest in the pot until you're ready to serve.

Braised beef short rib cooking in a Dutch oven.

How to cook tender short ribs in the slow cooker

If you don't plan to cook the ribs in a Dutch oven, a slow cooker is a great alternative. Simply follow these steps:

  1. Preheat your slow cooker on the low setting.
  2. Season the ribs with salt and pepper, then sear them in a hot skillet until browned on all sides.
  3. Place the seared ribs in the slow cooker.
  4. In the same skillet, sauté chopped onions, garlic, carrots, and celery until softened.
  5. Pour in a cup of red wine to deglaze the skillet and scrape up any browned bits.
  6. Add the vegetables and drippings to the slow cooker with the ribs.
  7. Add herbs like thyme and bay leaves for extra flavor.
  8. Cook on low for 5 hours.

Tip: It's very important to brown the ribs first rather than just throwing them into the pot raw. This is what's going to help develop a deep, meaty flavor and absolutely shouldn't be skipped.

How to cook red wine braised ribs in the Instant Pot

To make this beef recipe in an Instant Pot, here is what you need to do:

  1. Turn the Instant Pot on and select the "Sauté" function.
  2. Brown the short ribs on all sides in the Instant Pot.
  3. Remove them from the pot and set aside.
  4. Sauté chopped onions, garlic, carrots, and celery until softened.
  5. Pour in the red wine to deglaze the pot and scrape the bottom of the pan for browned bits on the highest sauté setting.
  6. Next, return the short ribs to the pot with the water.
  7. Add herbs like thyme and bay leaves.
  8. Once it is boiling, close the lid of the Instant Pot and set it to cook on high pressure for 45 minutes.
  9. After the timer goes off, allow for a natural release of pressure for 15 minutes before manually releasing any remaining pressure.

Tip: When you take off the lid, be careful! Skim off any excess fat from the top, and you're ready to serve.

Braised beef dish served with savory sauce.

Tips for Success

  • You can throw in whatever you fancy with braised short ribs, but personally, I think simplicity is key. Let the flavors do the talking; no need to complicate things with a bunch of spices and extra stuff.
  • If you don't have a Dutch oven, you can use a large, deep pot with a lid that seals in the steam. Just make sure to keep an eye on it and adjust the cooking time as needed. A deep cast iron skillet can also work well for searing the ribs and retaining the heat.
  • The oven is better than the stovetop when it comes to cooking the ribs. The heat in an oven is more evenly distributed and allows for a slow, steady cooking process. This is important for tough cuts of meat like short ribs. In contrast, the stovetop provides direct heat from below, which can lead to uneven cooking or even scorching.
  • A low and slow cooking method is key here. The meat should be simmering at a gentle temperature; the liquid should just barely bubble, never at a hard boil. This ensures that the meat becomes tender without overcooking or drying out.
  • Resist the urge to increase the heat to speed up the process; this can lead to tough, chewy meat.
  • Check the liquid level periodically. It should be kept at about halfway up the meat, but not covering it fully. You can add more liquid if necessary, but remember, we're aiming for a gentle simmer, not a full-on boil.
  • Let your braised short ribs rest before serving. This allows the flavors to meld together and the meat to reabsorb some of the cooking juices, making it even more delicious.

Serving Suggestions

Braised short ribs pair well with creamy mashed potatoes, wild mushroom risotto, polenta, or egg pappardelle. The rich and flavorful sauce from the braising liquid is perfect for spooning over the side dishes.

I love the unique flavor of celery root and parsnips - they make a lovely combination when paired together (like in this celery root and parsnip gratin) and they make a lovely celery root and parsnip puree to go with the short ribs..

Roasted veggies like crispy Brussels sprouts, sauteed broccoli rabe, and escarole also make great accompaniments. The greens offset some of the richness and add a nice contrast of textures.

Don't forget some crusty bread or homemade focaccia for sopping up all that amazing sauce.

And, of course, a glass of the same red wine you used in the braising liquid is a must! It's the perfect compliment to this hearty and comforting dish.

Leftover suggestions

If you have any leftover red wine-braised short ribs, don't let them go to waste! They can be used in a variety of dishes, such as:

  • Shredded and added to a pasta dish.
  • Chopped up and used in a hearty stew or soup.
  • Made into delicious tacos with your favorite toppings.
Herb-garnished beef short rib serving on a plate.

FAQs

Are braised short ribs on the bone?

Yes, traditionally braised short ribs are cooked with the bone-in. This allows for a richer and more flavorful broth as the bones add depth to the dish.

Are these ribs beef or pork?

These ribs are beef short ribs. Pork can also be used for braising, but it will have a different flavor and texture compared to beef.

Should I soak short ribs before cooking?

No, there is no need to soak the short ribs before cooking. However, you can choose to marinate the beef in red wine and herbs for extra flavor.

How can I tell when my short ribs are cooked?

When the meat easily falls off the bone, you will know that your short ribs are cooked to perfection.

Can you braise short ribs too long?

Although braising is a forgiving cooking method, you can overcook short ribs if left in the oven for too long. This will result in dry and tough meat. It's best to keep an eye on them and use a timer to ensure they are not overcooked.

Why are my short ribs chewy and dry?

If your short ribs end up chewy and dry, it could be because they didn't cook long enough, the heat was too high, or there wasn't enough liquid in the braising liquid. Just make sure to follow the recipe instructions carefully and keep an eye on those ribs while they're cooking.

How do I store and reheat braised short ribs?

To store braised short ribs, let them cool completely before transferring them to an airtight container and placing them in the fridge. They will keep for about 3-4 days.

To reheat, you can place them in a pot with some of their braising liquid on low heat until warmed through or microwave them.

Scooping up a bite of beef short ribs with a fork.

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A bowl of slow cooked short ribs falling apart with a fork.
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Red Wine Braised Short Ribs

This recipe for braised short ribs is a delicious, satisfying meal that will warm you up on a chilly winter night. This classic dish is made with meaty, succulent short ribs that are cooked low and slow in a rich sauce made with red wine, vegetables, and herbs. The result is tender, fall-off-the-bone meat that will warm your soul!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours 40 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 149kcal

Ingredients

  • 4 big meaty short ribs (about 3 lbs total) excess fat trimmed
  • kosher salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium carrot scrubbed (no need to peel), diced
  • 1 stalk celery diced
  • 1 very large onion diced
  • 6 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons flour use a gluten free flour or omit for gf/Paleo
  • 1 ½ cups dry red wine
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 large sprig fresh thyme sub ½ teaspoon dried

Instructions

  1. Take the short ribs out of the refrigerator, season them generously on all sides with salt and pepper, then let them sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before cooking.
  2. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.* Add olive oil to a large dutch oven over high heat, then carefully lay the short ribs down in the hot oil. Let cook until deeply browned (about 5 minutes), then turn and brown on all remaining sides. Don't rush this step. Be sure the ribs are very browned on all sides in order to achieve the best flavor. Remove and let rest on a plate to collect all the juices.
  3. Drain all but one teaspoon of fat, then add the carrots, celery and onion. Lower the heat and let cook, stirring occasionally until softened, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and continue cooking until the vegetables start to just barely brown, another 8 minutes.
  4. Add the tomato paste and stir around until it gets caramelized, about 3-4 minutes. Add the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes until it's totally absorbed.
  5. Add the red wine and use a wooden spoon to scrape up all the bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Add the water, bay leaves and thyme, then bring up to a boil.
  6. Place the short ribs back in the pan along with their juices, then spoon some of the liquid and vegetables over top. Cover and place in the oven for 1 ½ hours.
  7. Skim off any fat that accumulates on the top. Flip the short ribs onto the other side and add a bit more water to the pot if it's getting dry. Cook for an additional 1 ½ - 2 hours or until the meat is falling off the bone. Remove from the oven, skim off any additional fat, then let rest in the pot until ready to serve.
  8. Serve the short ribs over mashed potatoes, polenta, risotto or egg noodles and be sure to spoon plenty of sauce over top.

Notes

*You can also make this recipe in a slow cooker. Brown the meat, cook the vegetables, then deglaze the pan with wine and water, then transfer to the slow cooker along with the meat. Cook on low for 5 hours or until the meat easily pulls away from the bones.
*To prepare in an instant pot, brown the short ribs, cook the vegetables, add the tomato paste and red wine on the highest sauté setting. Add the water, herbs and short ribs and bring up to a boil. Close and seal the lid securely, then pressure cook on high for 45 minutes and allow it to release on natural for an additional 15 minutes. Be careful when removing the lid. Skim excess fat off of the top and serve.
*short ribs will naturally render off a lot of fat. To keep the sauce from being too fatty, you can place the pot in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight so the fat solidifies on top. Then it can be removed easily. Reheat the short ribs and serve.

Nutrition

Calories: 149kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 52mg | Potassium: 158mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 2617IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 1mg
5 from 17 votes (1 rating without comment)

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33 Comments

    1. I'm flattered you caught this! I recently removed the puree so that I could make a separate post for it, since it's a great side on its own. That said, I am a bit behind in getting it posted. Here it is:

      Celery Root + Parsnip Puree:
      * 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 lbs parsnips (3 medium), peeled and cubed
      * 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 lb celery root, peeled and cubed
      * 4 tablespoons butter (use grass fed for Paleo)
      * 1/2 - 1 cup whole milk (substitute a non dairy milk for Paleo)
      * kosher salt, to taste
      * white pepper, to taste
      *

      1. Add the parsnips and celery root to a medium pot and cover with cold water. Bring up to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until tender, about 15-20 minutes. Drain and let sit in the colander for a few minutes to dry (too much liquid will make your puree watery).
      2. Add the vegetables back to the pot along with the butter and 1/2 cup milk. Use an immersion blender to puree until very smooth. Alternatively, you can do this in a food processor or blender, but the immersion blender makes it so much easier. I don't recommend hand mashing because you won't get as nice of a texture.
      3. Add more milk a little bit at a time to achieve the right consistency. Season with kosher salt and white pepper to taste. It took a whole tablespoon of salt for mine to taste seasoned, so don't be shy (the total amount will depend on whether or not you used salted butter and if so which brand).

  1. 5 stars
    Substituted the short ribs for 3.24 lbs chuck roast and subbed the parsnips with polenta ( what was in the fridge during our snow storm!). It worked perfectly! I ensured to brown the meat until it had a nice crust on it. The sauce was lovely and the chuck roast worked well over a polenta, although, it would have been amazing with the parsnip puree or mashed potatoes. Fantastic flavor with the beef. This has officially made it into our family rotation!

  2. 5 stars
    I'm having a hard time finding short ribs where I am located at the moment. Not in the US. Do you think a chuck roll would work on this recipe also? More like a roast?

    1. 5 stars
      Was looking to make something different to make for dinner. This recipe sounded perfect! In the oven now, smells amazing. Just tasted the purée it’s delicious! Doesn’t make much though I’ll probably double it next time. Thank you!!

  3. 5 stars
    I am currently cooking this meal in my crock pot! It smells amazing, and I can't wait to taste this!!
    Thank you!!!

      1. 5 stars
        They were so delicious!! My brother and his wife still talk about them, and their 2 and ahalf year old son enjoyed them so much!! Thanks again, this is an amazing recipe.

  4. Hi! I'd like to do this meal tomorrow, can I do it with Lamb instead of pork and would that affect the cooking time? Thank you! 🙂

    1. Sure! Follow all directions for searing the meat and sautéing vegetable (either in your instant pot or on the stove). Cover and cook on high pressure for 45 minutes, then Natural Release for 15 minutes. Finish the recipe as directed!

  5. 5 stars
    I just made this and was a little nervous about the red wine reduction but it turned out great! I ended up putting the meat and sauce in the slow cooker and will make mashed potatoes later. I am subbing out mashed because my kids are super picky. I think they will eat this though! Love your site!

    1. 5 stars
      Personally the purée was a bad taste kind of ruined the dish to me. Will be doing mashed potatoes next time for sure other than that the meat turned out great!

  6. 5 stars
    This was excellent. I used boneless ribs because that is what I had purchased when I started searching for this recipe and I doubled the carrot and celery because I like lots of veggies but it turned out perfect. For reference, I used a $15/bottle Cabernet Sauvignon as the wine. I also could not find celery root and did all parsnips instead. I would proudly serve this to company and for a holiday meal but it was easy enough for Sunday dinner.

  7. 5 stars
    They look amazing! I can’t wait to cook it. My mouth is watering. Thanks Nicole, I’ve pinned it 😊

      1. 5 stars
        One year later, but I'm curious if you could help to insert the instructions for a slow cooker into these. I'm having trouble fitting it all together.

        1. Start by searing the meat and sautéing the vegetables as directed - either in your slow cooker if it allows or on the stove top. Add all ingredients to slow cooker and cook on high for 5-6 hours or low for 6-8 hours. Finish as directed. Hope this helps!

          1. 5 stars
            Question -
            I’m planning on making this for Christmas dinner. Are the carrots, onion and celery part of the purée? You don’t mention discarding them yet they don’t seem to be mentioned in the purée either..I’ve braised short ribs before just not this recipe. Thanks.

          2. I'm not sure I totally understand the question. The carrots, onion and celery stay in the pot with the short ribs, while the celery root and parsnip puree is made separately as a side - think of it as a mashed potato replacement. The carrots, celery and onion that are used to braise the short ribs will cook down and soften to create a rustic sauce for the meat. I hope this answers your question!

      2. 5 stars
        OMG, so delicious! I used my food processor on the onion and celery (hate the taste of celery) to make very fine, doubled the Tomato, garlic, flour, wine and used 1 cup beef bone broth. I also added a few sprigs of rosemary. Added another cup of bone broth at the 2 hour mark. Served over mashed potatoes! Used my Wife’s Grandmother’s 100 year old cast iron Dutch Oven. Oh and I also used my 3 pound cast iron bacon press on top of the ribs when browning on all sides!