Beef Short Ribs
Yield: about 6 servings
If you like the convenience of advance prep, you may cook the short ribs the day before you plan to eat them. The flavors will meld and continue to improve as the beef continues to soak in the braising liquid. The fat will also rise to the surface and harden as the liquid chills in the refrigerator. This makes it easy to remove the solid fat prior to reheating and may be especially helpful for those who are watching their saturated fat intake.


  • 2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
  • 4 to 4½ pounds bone-in short ribs, at least 1½ inches thick
  • 1 teaspoon each kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium to large yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 ribs celery, chopped
  • 2 to 3 medium carrots, chopped
  • 5-6 garlic cloves, lightly smashed but kept whole (more is fine for garlic lovers)
  • 3 tablespoons (45g) tomato paste
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can reduced-sodium beef broth
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can reduced-sodium chicken broth*
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme (or a sprinkle of dried)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Optional for serving: a drizzle of red wine or sherry vinegar, chopped fresh parsley and or chives, finely grated lemon zest
  • Complementary side dishes: polenta, mashed potatoes, baked potatoes, rice, crusty bread, cauliflower, green and orange vegetables, salad


  1. Preheat the oven to 300℉. Sprinkle the beef all over with the salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or ovenproof pot over medium-high heat. Half at a time, sear the ribs until nicely browned on both sides, about 6 to 8 minutes total per batch. (Helpful hint: This is a good time for a splatter guard if you have one.) Transfer the browned short ribs to a large plate and repeat with the remaining ribs.
  2. Pour off all but about 2 tablespoons of the remaining fat in the pot. Reduce the heat to medium, and add the onion, celery, carrots, and garlic cloves. Toss to coat and cook until the vegetables are starting to soften but not browned, 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook, stirring regularly, until the paste begins to caramelize slightly on the bottom of the pot, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add both broths and ½ cup water (this will make about 4 cups total braising liquid), scraping up any browned or caramelized bits on the pot. Add the thyme and bay leaf, and then nestle the short ribs back into the pot. The liquid should all but cover them. (It’s okay if the surface isn’t covered, but the ribs should be mostly submerged. If a good bit of the ribs are showing, add a little more broth or water.) Bring the liquid to a simmer, and then cover the pot and transfer it to the oven.
  4. Cook, undisturbed, until the short ribs are very tender and fall off the bone easily, 2½ hours, give or take 15 minutes depending on thickness of ribs. At this point, the meat should pull apart easily with two forks and all but fall off the bone.
  5. Day before prep option: At this point, you may cool the short ribs in the braising liquid and then cover and refrigerate overnight. The next day, the fat will have risen to the surface and hardened, and it can easily be removed and discarded. Warm the ribs in the liquid, covered, in a 325℉ oven for 30 minutes, give or take, or until just hot. Proceed with sauce options in the next step.
  6. Serving and sauce options: Using tongs, remove the ribs from the pot. For presentation purposes, you may wish to keep the bone intact, but it’s not critical. If skipping the overnight cooling step, separate the fat from the sauce and strain out the solids, if desired. At this point you have a few options. 1) Simply season the “au jus” to taste with salt, pepper, and an optional drizzle of red wine or sherry vinegar and serve alongside the ribs. 2). Simmer the liquid to reduce/thicken it somewhat, and then season to taste. 3). Finally, if you prefer a thicker gravy, remove the bay leaf and thyme stems, and use an immersion blender (or transfer to an upright blender, being cautious to allow the steam to escape) and puree the vegetables into the liquid to make a smooth, thick sauce. Season to taste. If you have leftover gravy, it may be frozen for future use on a variety of meats, potatoes, etc. When plating, a dusting of fresh, chopped parsley or chives, a sprig of thyme, or a grating of lemon zest are all lovely options—although the ribs will be delicious without.
  7. What to serve alongside? I love to serve the short ribs over mashed potatoes with a ladle of the sauce. The vegetables are well cooked, but we enjoy them, so I serve with the sauce. When eating, I peel off the fat cap (and don’t eat that) and then pull apart the tender meat. I enjoy a little bit of everything in one bite. Polenta or a baked potato are good options as well. I also enjoy a crisp green vegetable as a counterpoint to the richer meat.


*Instead of chicken broth, you may fill the beef broth can with red wine or a dry white wine (up to two cups). If using wine, add it after sautéing the tomato paste and before adding the beef broth. Bring it to a simmer for about 2 minutes to mellow the flavor, and then proceed with the beef broth, etc.

A few more things:
Instead of canned or boxed broth, you may use stock. If unsalted, simply add a little extra seasoning to taste.
For added depth of flavor, you may add ½ ounce dried porcini mushrooms, chopped, along with the thyme and bay leaf.

More recipes at