These easy Red Wine Braised Short Ribs with Parsnip Celery Root Puree are a delicious and comforting winter dinner that’s gluten free, Paleo friendly and perfect for a cozy night in.
Wintertime was made for cozy meals like these red wine braised short ribs. They fill the house with warmth and a savory scent, then fill your belly with stick-to-your-ribs comfort.
The key to making a good pot of short ribs is to start with good short ribs. I know I sound like the Barefoot Contessa when I say that, but hear me out. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve bought short ribs at the grocery store – for A LOT of money – then came home, cooked them, and wound up with a pot of greasy bones with just a tiny bit of meat floating around.
Once upon a time short ribs were a cheap cut of meat that butchers had a hard time selling, but these days they’ve become so trendy that the price has skyrocketed. They’re worth it, though, as long as you make the effort to find high quality ribs that have a high meat-to-fat-to-bone ratio. You can see how meaty mine were in the photos below. I happened to spot these at my local grocery store (Galloway ShopRite for anyone interested), but if you don’t see them the case, it never hurts to ask. Even if they’re not in stock, you can always place an order to pick up at a later date.
Of course, there should still be a reasonable amount of fat. They are ribs, after all. The fat should be well marbled throughout so that it melts into the meat like buttah. That marbling is key for making your short ribs exceptionally tender, succulent and fall-off-the-bone delicious.
You can add anything you want to a pot of braised short ribs, but I find that keeping it simple is best. A bit of red wine, some carrots, celery, onion, garlic, and a few herbs is all you need. Let the flavors speak for themselves, there’s no need to muddy them up with a bunch of spices and extra stuff. Maybe throw in some mushrooms if that’s your jam. Otherwise, resist the urge to doctor this up too much and you’ll be rewarded with a really tasty meal.
I serve these over a bed of creamy celery root and parsnip puree, but you can easily substitute with mashed potatoes, polenta, egg noodles or whatever other starch you prefer. 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 from my archives). I use an immersion blender (affiliate link) to get the puree silky smooth, which makes the most incredible base for the meaty, saucy short ribs.
I like to make this in a dutch oven so I can do it all in one pot, but there’s no reason why this couldn’t be cooked in a crock pot or slow cooker (or an instant pot, I just can’t tell you the directions for that because I don’t have one… yet). That said, it’s very important to brown the ribs first, rather than just throwing them into the pot in raw. This is what’s going to help develop a deep, meaty flavor and absolutely shouldn’t be skipped.
If you want to do this in a slow cooker you’ll need to brown the ribs and saute the vegetables on the stove first, then deglaze the pan with wine (because you don’t want to lose all that goodness!), and then transfer everything to the slow cooker. For my money, I’d rather just do it all in the same pot. But if you don’t have the luxury of being home all day to babysit the dutch oven, the slow cooker is absolutely a great way to go.
It’s supposed to drop to SEVEN degrees here on Sunday night, so you can bet I’ll be keeping my butt inside, cozied up with a bowl of these tender, fall-apart red wine braised short ribs.
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Easy Red Wine Braised Short Ribs with Parsnip Celery Root Puree is a delicious winter comfort food recipe that’s gluten free, Paleo and perfect for a cozy weeknight dinner.
For the Short Ribs:
- 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 1/2 cups dry red wine
- 2 cups water
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 large sprig fresh thyme (sub 1/2 teaspoon dried)
For the 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
- 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.
- 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.
- Drain all but one teaspoon of oil, 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 1/2 hours.
- 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 1/2 – 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 while you make the celery root and parsnip puree.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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).
- To serve, place a big dollop of celery root and parsnip puree on a plate or bowl, top with a short rib and spoon sauce over top.
*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.
Keywords: dinner, short ribs, parsnip, celery root, braised, meat, beef, red wine, comfort food