Wine Braised Short Ribs over creamy polenta rivals the best restaurant meal. The beef ribs cook low and slow in wine and aromatics that create an insanely flavorful gravy. Put away your knife, this beef is fork tender!
Wine braised short ribs is the ultimate schmancy dinner.
Yes, short ribs are pricey, but I dare you to find a more delicious cut of beef. To me they’re more luxurious than steak, and the meat is meltingly tender. This is a meal made in heaven and absolutely restaurant quality.
I made these the other night and was reminded why short ribs are my favorites. I served them on a buttery, cheesy, polenta, but I could have just as easily done mashed potatoes, noodles, quinoa, or cauliflower rice.
What you’ll need:
- short ribs ~ you can use bone in, or boneless. Mine were bone in.
- aromatics ~ onion, carrot, garlic, bay leaves, and herbs like thyme and sage
- red wine ~ something you would drink, but nothing fancy. Mine was an $8.99 Merlot. Yes, two buck Chuck will work.
- beef broth
- flour, salt, pepper
It’s a simple lineup, but by the time it’s all done cooking you’ll be left with meat that yields to your fork and a powerfully flavored gravy that tastes like it came from a fine restaurant. When you start with red wine, you’re getting a HUGE head start in the flavor department. That’s what makes the difference in this recipe.
Short Ribs are the ideal meal prep recipe
It’s a cliche, but some dishes really are better the next day, and short ribs are definitely one of them. The flavors seem to mingle and develop overnight. Especially for the cook, whose senses are blunted to all the complexities of the dish while they cook. You can appreciate it so much better the next day.
Decisions, decisions…what to serve short ribs over:
These short ribs are so fully flavored that you really want to pair them with something neutral.
- mashed potatoes
- winter squash or root vegetable puree
- white beans
- wilted spinach or kale
- or all by themselves, with a vegetable side and crusty bread
I clearly have a weakness for short ribs
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Wine Braised Short Ribs
- 3 lbs bone in short ribs
- olive oil
- salt and fresh cracked black pepper
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 carrots peeled and diced
- 2 Tbsp flour
- 1 heaping tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 1/2 cups red wine (this is half a bottle)
- 1 small bunch fresh thyme
- 1 small bunch fresh sage
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 head garlic, cut in half horizontally
- 2 cups beef stock
- 3 cups water
- 2 cups milk
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup polenta or yellow cornmeal
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- Preheat the oven to 350F Season the ribs all over with salt and pepper.
- Lightly coat the bottom of a heavy braising pot with oil. Heat to hot and then, working in batches, brown the ribs on all sides. Give them a few minutes per side to make sure they get nice and brown. Remove the ribs to a plate.
- Add the onions and carrots to the pot and saute for a few minutes until they start to soften. Stir often, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
- Add the flour and tomato paste and continue to cook and stir. It's ok if it starts to stick to the pan, but stir constantly for a minute or two and don't let it burn.
- Add the wine to the pan and then the short ribs. Bring to a boil, scraping the bottom of the pan as it heats. Lower the heat and gently boil for about 15 minutes, or until the wine has reduced by about 1/3.
- Add the herbs, garlic, and beef stock to the pot stir well. Bring up to a boil, then cover, and transfer the pot to the oven and cook for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Tip: after about 30 minutes I check the pot, if it's gently simmering, great. But if it's rapidly boiling, turn down your heat to 325F.
- Remove the ribs, carefully, from the pot and set on a plate. They should be falling off the bone and fork tender.
- Strain the gravy and discard the solids.
- Serve the ribs, 2 per serving, on top of hot polenta and ladle with gravy. Garnish with fresh thyme (or parsley.) Tip: the gravy should be thin, but if you'd like it thicker, just boil it down in a saucepan until it reaches your desired thickness.
To make polenta
- Bring the water, milk, and salt to a boil in a saucepan. Slowly sprinkle in the polenta, whisking constantly.
- Lower the heat and cook, stirring often, for about 15 minutes, or until thick. You can partially cover the pot to protect against eruptions!
- Remove from the heat, add in the butter and cheese and stir until melted. Check the seasonings.