Port Wine Braised Short RibsCourse: MainCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Medium
I used to call this recipe the “fall in love with me” recipe. I’m only half kidding! This meal, strategically made within the first 6 weeks of dating, practically guarantees that he/she never leaves you alone (so use it wisely).
Short ribs are one of those cuts of meat that are unnecessarily intimidating. Unlike steaks or roasting cuts, they are practically impossible to ruin! After a quick sear, you will cook them low and slow until they practically fall off the bone. The hardest part is making the sauce, but armed with my method for removing fat from pan juices, you can’t go wrong!
For the braising liquid, I prefer a combination of ruby Port wine and red wine. The Port wine adds a little sweetness which I absolutely adore. Yes, you can make them without Port wine, and use regular red wine (I do this when I’m out of Port wine), but you may want to add a tablespoon of brown sugar to the sauce at the end.
It is also possible to braise the short ribs entirely in beef stock if you have no wine. The sauce will be lighter in color, but still very flavorful. If you do this, I suggest adding 2-3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and 2 tbsp of soy sauce to your beef stock. You may also want to add a tablespoon of brown sugar to your sauce at the end.
6 lbs. English cut short ribs, trimmed of excess fat and silver skin (about 8 short ribs)
1 1/2 cups ruby Port
2-3 cups beef broth
1 cup red wine (use something you wouldn’t mind drinking)
2 large onions, diced
4 medium carrots, sliced 1 inch thick (sometimes I substitute parsnips for half quantity)
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch chucks (russet or yukon work best)
3 ribs celery, sliced 1/2 inch thick
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp tomato paste
4-5 sprigs fresh thyme
1 tbsp fresh rosemary leaves, minced
freshly cracked black pepper
1 tbsp grapeseed oil
1/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees (F). Heat the grapeseed oil in a 6 quart Dutch oven (“pot”) over medium-high heat. Season the short ribs with 2 tsp Kosher salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper. When the oil is hot, brown the short ribs on all sides. Remove short ribs from pot and transfer to a large platter.
- Remove and discard all but 2 tbsp of fat from the pot and return to burner, reducing heat to medium. Add the onions, carrots and celery, and cook until the vegetables begin to soften and brown slightly, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the tomato paste and stir into vegetables, cooking for another 1-2 minutes.
- Add short ribs back to pot, nestling into veggies. Add potatoes, thyme and rosemary, then both wines to the pot. Add enough broth to the pot to come to the tops of ribs and bring to a boil. Place a lid on pot.
- Place pot in the oven, slightly tilting lid so a small amount of moisture can escape. Cook for 3-4 hours.
- Transfer the pot to stove top and proceed with Step 6 if serving immediately, or Step 7 if serving the next day (recommended).
- Transfer ribs from the pot to a large plate, removing any excess veggies that cling to them. Remove thyme sprigs and discard. Discard any loose bones that have fallen away from the meat. Allow the braising liquid to cool until it is safe to handle. Strain the braising liquid into a heat safe receptacle, keeping the veggies that remain in the strainer nearby (we will be using them to thicken sauce). Defat the pan drippings by using a gravy separator OR using my easy zip-lock bag method (watch this video for an easy reference on how to do this). Discard fat from braising liquid. Place braising liquid back into pot along with half of the vegetables. Using an immersion blender, carefully blend liquid and vegetables in pot. Bring to a low boil and simmer for about five minutes to thicken. If sauce isn’t as thick as you would like, add more vegetables and blend. Add Worcestershire sauce and season to taste with Kosher salt and pepper. Add short ribs, and any vegetables you didn’t use to thicken sauce back into pot and heat through before serving.
- If making short ribs to serve the next day: Allow short ribs to cool, then refrigerate overnight. The next day, remove pot from refrigerator, then using your hands or tongs, remove the large pieces of fat which have solidified at the top. Aim to remove as much as you can, although it is okay if small bits remain.
Over medium heat, bring short ribs and sauce to a simmer on stove top. Remove short ribs and any loose bones and set aside on a platter nearby (you can discard the loose bones). Using a strainer, remove about a half of the vegetables from pot. Using an immersion blender, carefully blend liquid and remaining vegetables in pot. Bring to a low boil and simmer for about five minutes to thicken. If sauce isn’t as thick as you would like, add more vegetables and blend. Add Worcestershire sauce and season to taste with Kosher salt and pepper. Add short ribs, and any vegetables you didn’t use to thicken sauce back into pot and heat through before serving.