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These red wine braised beef short ribs cook low and slow in a Dutch oven until they’re tender, succulent, and full of rich flavor. Serve them over mashed potatoes with the red wine sauce and a side of roasted root vegetables, broccoli, or a crisp green salad. The classic dish is perfect for a cozy Sunday supper with family, and fancy enough for entertaining.

Bowl of red wine braised beef short ribs with mashed potatoes

Braised Short Ribs

My mom originally gave me this recipe for braised beef short ribs with a red wine sauce, and my mind was blown. The simple, rustic, and hearty dish is full of so much flavor! You might pay top dollar for this meal in a fancy restaurant, but there’s no need. It’s easy to prepare in your own kitchen, and your house will smell amazing when it’s done. The key is patience, as the ribs need plenty of time to cook slowly in the Dutch oven until they’re tender, luscious, and falling off the bone.

What cut of meat is braised short rib?

Short ribs are a cut of beef taken from the chuck or plate portions of the animal. They consist of a short portion of the rib bone, which is covered by meat — hence the name, “short ribs.”

Are beef short ribs the same as beef ribs?

Beef spare ribs are more accurately known as beef back ribs. These are taken from the cow’s rib section and are the long ribs most often associated with barbecued beef ribs. Short ribs, by contrast, typically have more beef than the back ribs, and come from a different part of the animal.

Taste

Short ribs have the rich marbling of rib steaks, with the deep, beefy flavor of a chuck roast. They’re decadent, succulent, and totally indulgent! If you enjoy a classic pot roast, then you’ll love this elevated entrée!

Short Rib Styles

Short ribs can be cut two main ways. The first way is called “English” style, where the meat is sold in small, 1-bone chunks of delicious meat. The other way of cutting short ribs is called “BBQ” style or “flanken” style, which I’ve shown here. In this case, the ribs are cut into strips containing 3 bones and the meat between those ribs. Either cut will work with this recipe.

Why are beef short ribs so expensive?

These ribs are more pricey than their pork counterparts (yet less expensive than steak). They come from a valuable section of the cow, are larger and meatier than pork ribs, and have a lot more flavor than other cuts of beef.

Side shot of braised short ribs served over mashed potatoes

Why You Should Braise Short Ribs in a Dutch Oven

Many folks prefer the convenience of a Crock Pot slow cooker or even an Instant Pot, but I find that the Dutch oven yields the best tasting beef short ribs every time.

Dutch ovens are made from cast iron, so they retain and evenly distribute the heat. Plus, the tight-fitting lid traps the moisture inside the pot — resulting in the juiciest meat that you will ever taste. Instead of dried-out beef that has been cooked to death in a slow cooker, you can easily control the cooking time when using a Dutch oven. Plus, you get all of those great browned bits at the bottom of the pot after browning the meat, which add tons of flavor to the sauce.

Ingredients for Braised Beef Short Ribs in Red Wine Sauce

This is a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for oven braised beef short ribs. As always, specific measurements and complete cooking instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Beef short ribs: about 5-6 lbs. total.
  • Kosher salt and pepper: to season the meat and enhance the other flavors in the dish.
  • Vegetable oil: to sear the ribs. The caramelized surface gives the beef extra flavor, while the browned bits and drippings in the pot add even more richness to the sauce.
  • Carrots, celery, onion and garlic: to flavor the meat and sauce as it cooks. You will strain off these vegetables at the end, since they’re mushy and cooked down.
  • All-purpose flour: to thicken the sauce.
  • Tomato paste: adds a rich tomato flavor.
  • Red wine: such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Burgundy or Cotes du Rhone.
  • Thyme, rosemary, parsley and bay leaves: give the sauce and ribs even more savory, earthy flavor.
  • Brown sugar: a hint of sweetness balances the acidity in the sauce and gives the dish a more complex flavor.
  • Beef broth or beef stock: additional liquid for braising the meat.
Process shot showing how to braise beef short ribs

How to Braise Beef Short Ribs

The key to tender, fall-apart short ribs is time. The low-and-slow cooking process allows the tough fibers and collagen (connective tissue) to break down, while the fat keeps the beef moist and juicy. Just be patient and let the oven do its job for a couple of hours!

  1. Sear the ribs in batches, then remove to a plate.
  2. Sauté the vegetables.
  3. Add flour, tomato paste, and garlic.
  4. Stir in red wine and browned short ribs.
  5. Bring to a boil; simmer for 20-30 minutes until the wine is reduced by about half.
  6. Add the herbs, brown sugar and beef broth.
  7. Bring to a boil, cover with the lid, and transfer to the oven.
  8. Cook in a 350°F oven for about 2–2½ hours, or until the meat is tender.
  9. Strain the cooking liquid through a fine mesh sieve, discarding the solids. Skim the fat, then taste and season with salt and pepper if desired.
Pouring red wine into a Dutch oven with beef short ribs
Braised short ribs in a Dutch oven

How to Serve Braised Beef Short Ribs

Serve the short ribs with the strained red wine sauce. They’re delicious on top of sour cream and chive mashed potatoes, but they’re also excellent alongside au gratin potatoes, twice baked potatoes, or Aunt Bee’s 3-ingredient cheesy potato casserole. Alternatively, try pairing the meat and red wine sauce with egg noodles, a crusty loaf of bread, flaky biscuits or skillet cornbread.

For a lighter vegetable to round out the meal, I recommend a simple green salad with red wine vinaigrette, a classic Caesar salad, roasted root vegetables, Parmesan roasted cauliflower, or sautéed asparagus.

Pouring red wine sauce over braised beef short ribs

Make Ahead

Allow the braised short ribs and sauce to cool completely. Store the ribs in the strained sauce in a pot or other airtight container in the refrigerator overnight. The next day, scrape off all of the solidified fat that rises to the surface.

How to Reheat

Once you scrape the solidified fat off of the top of the cold short ribs and sauce, place the pot on the stovetop. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook until warmed through.

Recipe Variations for Braised Beef Short Ribs

  • Straining the sauce at the end of the cooking time is optional. Since the veggies are mushy and broken down, I prefer to discard them for a smoother sauce. You can also simmer the sauce on the stovetop to reduce and thicken the consistency, if desired.
  • For a non-alcoholic option, replace the red wine with 1 additional cup of beef broth or stock, 2 cups of water, and 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce.
  • Slow Cooker Method: instead of a Dutch oven, cook the short ribs in a Crock Pot. To do so, sear the ribs in a skillet, cook the vegetables as instructed, add the flour, tomato paste and garlic, and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the red wine and simmer to reduce by half. Transfer everything to the slow cooker, along with the ribs, thyme, rosemary, parsley, bay leaves, brown sugar and beef broth. Cook on LOW for 8 hours or on HIGH for 5 hours.

Tips for the Best Braised Beef Short Ribs Recipe

  • Brown the meat. This is an extra step, but it’s worth the effort. The caramelized surface gives the beef extra flavor, while the browned bits and drippings in the pot add even more flavor to the sauce.
  • To make the short ribs tender, it’s important to cook the beef long enough to break down the tough connective tissue and fibers. If your meat is still tough after about 2–2½ hours, return it to the oven for a little bit longer. When it’s done, the rib meat should be fall-apart tender when pulled with two forks.
  • Use a dry red wine such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Burgundy or Cotes du Rhone. Nothing too sweet!
  • Keep the Dutch oven covered while braising in order to trap moisture in the pot. You should end up with a lovely, rich sauce at the end. If you find that the strained sauce is too thin, just transfer to a saucepan and simmer until reduced and thickened.
Side shot of the best braised beef short ribs recipe in a handmade bowl

More Dutch Oven Beef Recipes to Try

Bowl of red wine braised beef short ribs with mashed potatoes

Red Wine Braised Beef Short Ribs

4 from 1 vote
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 3 hours 20 minutes
Total: 3 hours 35 minutes
Servings 4 – 6 people
Calories 583 kcal
These red wine braised beef short ribs cook low and slow in a Dutch oven until they're tender, succulent, and full of rich flavor!

Ingredients
  

  • 5-6 lbs. beef short ribs
  • Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 5 carrots, peeled and sliced diagonally ½-inch thick
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 3 cups dry red wine (such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Burgundy or Cotes du Rhone)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, plus extra for garnish
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 4 cups beef broth or beef stock
  • Optional, for serving: mashed potatoes

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Season short ribs all over with salt and pepper.
  • In a large cast iron Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Cook ribs in batches until browned on all sides. Remove to a plate or tray. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of drippings in the pot.
  • Add carrots, celery, and onions to the drippings in the pot. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until browned (about 5 minutes). Add flour, tomato paste, and garlic. Cook, stirring constantly, until completely combined, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Stir in the red wine and the short ribs, along with any accumulated juices from the plate. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium. Simmer for about 20-30 minutes, or until the wine is reduced by about half.
  • Add the thyme, rosemary, parsley, bay leaves, brown sugar and beef broth to the pot. Bring to a boil, cover with the lid, and transfer to the oven.
  • Cook until the short ribs are tender, about 2–2½ hours.
  • Transfer short ribs to a plate. Strain cooking liquid through a fine-mesh sieve, discarding solids. Skim fat from cooking liquid. Taste the sauce and season with salt and pepper, if desired.
  • Serve short ribs on top of mashed potatoes. Spoon or pour the sauce over the ribs and potatoes. Garnish with fresh parsley.

Notes

  • Straining the sauce at the end of the cooking time is optional. Since the veggies are mushy and broken down, I prefer to discard them for a smoother sauce. You can also simmer the sauce on the stovetop to reduce and thicken the consistency, if desired.
  • For a non-alcoholic option, replace the red wine with 1 additional cup of beef broth or stock, 2 cups of water, and 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce.
  • Slow Cooker Method: instead of a Dutch oven, cook the short ribs in a Crock Pot. To do so, sear the ribs in a skillet, cook the vegetables as instructed, add the flour, tomato paste and garlic, and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the red wine and simmer to reduce by half. Transfer everything to the slow cooker, along with the ribs, thyme, rosemary, parsley, bay leaves, brown sugar and beef broth. Cook on LOW for 8 hours or on HIGH for 5 hours.
  • Brown the meat. This is an extra step, but it’s worth the effort. The caramelized surface gives the beef extra flavor, while the browned bits and drippings in the pot add even more flavor to the sauce.
  • To make the short ribs tender, it’s important to cook the beef long enough to break down the tough connective tissue and fibers. If your meat is still tough after about 2–2½ hours, return it to the oven for a little bit longer. When it’s done, the rib meat should be fall-apart tender when pulled with two forks.
  • Use a dry red wine such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Burgundy or Cotes du Rhone. Nothing too sweet!
  • Keep the Dutch oven covered while braising in order to trap moisture in the pot. You should end up with a lovely, rich sauce at the end. If you find that the strained sauce is too thin, just transfer to a saucepan and simmer until reduced and thickened.
  • Mom’s recipe is originally adapted from Bon Appetit.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/6 of the recipeCalories: 583kcalCarbohydrates: 12gProtein: 47gFat: 28gSaturated Fat: 14gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 134mgSodium: 508mgPotassium: 1297mgFiber: 1gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 255IUVitamin C: 9mgCalcium: 45mgIron: 6mg
Keyword: beef short ribs, braised beef short ribs, red wine braised beef short ribs
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Author: Blair Lonergan
blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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Comments

  1. 4 stars
    Actually a 4 1/2 *** …. very rich but out of the 4 other short rib recipes I’ve tried hubby likes this one the best!!! Thanks for all the tips/notes. Made as written with the exception that I actually cooked them in the oven for 3 hours because the ribs were very meaty. Served with rice vs potatoes since that is what hubs asked for. Great “fancy” meal!! Thanks Blair!!!!