Red Wine Braised Short Ribs in a Dutch Oven

By 10 m read

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Braised Short Ribs (Photo by Viana Boenzli)
(Photo by Viana Boenzli)

Braised Short Ribs in a Dutch Oven are irresistible, fork tender, fall-of-the-bone beefy goodness. 

 

If you’re thinking about learning one recipe to impress your friends, this is the one. Whether you’re a novice or an advanced cook, this dish will bring a big smile to your face when you watch your friends’ reaction to their first bite. It’s a dish that will elevate your cooking status in their eyes. You’ll get instant kitchen cred. 

 

And the best thing? Slow cooked short ribs are pretty darn easy to make. It’s not too hard on the budget either. We live in a lucky world where some of the more flavorful cuts of meats are also less expensive. Go figure. Filet mignon sure sounds sexier than short ribs, but hey, I’m not judging.

 

What are Short Ribs

Short ribs are a cut of beef from cattle. They’re a short portion of the rib bone, overlain with meat which varies in thickness.

 

So let’s bring out your inner Fred Flinstone and buy some beef on the bone, with some fat attached. Quite rustic. When you buy short ribs, look for the meatiest ones you can find. And make sure they’re bone-in. 

Braised Short Ribs (Photo by Erich Boenzli)
(Photo by Erich Boenzli)

How to braise meat

What actually is braising meat? It’s nothing more than cooking a tougher cut of meat slowly and gently in liquid until it’s tender and falls off the bone and makes your taste buds gasp – if done right.

 

The easiest way to braise meats is in a Dutch oven. A Dutch oven is probably one of the most versatile and underrated pieces of kitchen equipment you’ll ever own. We recently had the opportunity to try out a new Dutch oven. It’s from Uno Casa, looks stunning, and – according to Amazon reviewers – has hundreds of 5-star reviews

 

When you buy a Dutch oven, make sure you look for a couple of features: the body and lid should be cast iron. The knob on top of the lid is made of stainless steel and the entire oven (interior and exterior) should be coated in enamel. This will guarantee that you not only get even cooking but also heat resistance up to 500°F in the oven, super easy cleanup (non-stick), and longevity that will turn this beauty into an heirloom. 

 

Red-Wine Braised Short Ribs in a Dutch oven

It sounds like there are quite a few steps involved, but not really. Just make sure you have everything ready on the countertop and the whole thing will come together like a puzzle (we just finally finished a 1000-piece puzzle last night that took forever…this recipe is much easier… 

Last piece! Yesssss! (Photo by Erich Boenzli)
Last piece! Yesssss! (Photo by Erich Boenzli)

Clean and chop the celery, carrots, and shallots. It’s not necessary to have perfect cutting technique, they won’t end up on the plate anyway. Grab a head of garlic and cut it in half lengthwise.

 

Prepare a couple cups of beef stock and some tomato paste. Lay out some sprigs of rosemary, thyme, and oregano, and salt and pepper. 

 

Open a bottle of red wine that you like. A dry (less fruity, more acidic) red wine such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Zinfandel works well. 

 

Grab your short ribs and pat them dry. This is important. Moist meat just doesn’t brown well. It steams first. Makes sense, right? 

 

Generously apply kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper on all sides of the ribs. And when you think you’re done, add some more salt. If there’s one area where most cooks fail to bring the best out of cooking, it’s not using enough salt on meats that will be seared. 

Braised Short Ribs (Photo by Viana Boenzli)
(Photo by Viana Boenzli)

Heat a couple tablespoons of vegetable oil in your Dutch oven until it sizzles when you drop a drop of water into it. Sear the ribs on all sides (don’t forget the “corners”) for about two minutes per side or until it’s nicely browned. Don’t move them around while searing. And please don’t crowd the pan. They shouldn’t touch. If you make this recipe with double the amounts, sear the meat in batches. 

Braised Short Ribs (Photo by Erich Boenzli)
(Photo by Erich Boenzli)

When they’re all nice and brown, remove from the pan and set aside. If your ribs were very fatty, remove some of the liquid and leave about 2 tablespoons remaining in the pot. Add the two halves of garlic, cut side down, and let them sizzle undisturbed for 1 to 2 minutes.

Braised Short Ribs (Photo by Erich Boenzli)
(Photo by Erich Boenzli)

Add chopped vegetables and 1/2 tsp each of kosher salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes while stirring occasionally. Adjust the heat so nothing starts to burn. Add a tablespoon of tomato paste and stir so that all vegetables will get lightly coated and caramelized, about 2 minutes. Add 1/2 bottle red wine and cook for about 2 minutes (now it’s time to use a wooden spoon and scrape all the delicious morsels from the bottom of the pan).

 

Add the seared ribs back into the Dutch oven, top with all the herb sprigs, and add beef stock. Add enough liquid so the ribs are just about covered. Place the lid on top and transfer it to the oven, leaving the lid on throughout the entire time it’s in the oven.

 

Of course, I forgot to preheat the oven again. Okay, next time, while chopping the vegetables, preheat the oven to 300°F.

 

Now that it’s in the oven, patiently wait for 3 to 3-1/2 hours for the aromas to slowly transfer your kitchen into olfactory paradise without lifting a finger (or the lid). 

 

How to make Gremolata

From Wikipedia:

Gremolata is a green sauce made of chopped parsley, lemon zest, and garlic. It is the standard accompaniment to the Milanese braised veal shank dish ossobuco alla Milanese. Gremolata is also used as a garnish.

Braised Short Ribs (Photo by Erich Boenzli)
(Photo by Erich Boenzli)

I do think gremolata is the perfect accompaniment to braised meats. But for braised short ribs, I like to add some orange zest as well. I believe it gives just a tiny hint of sweetness and doesn’t make the garlic too prominent in the sauce. Don’t forget, we already used a whole head of garlic for the sauce. 

 

To make gremolata, you can either use a food processor or just chop it all by hand. Depends on how smooth you like your herb sauce. Gremolata, to me, is the Italian version of chimichurri, which I like hand-chopped as well.

Braised Short Ribs (Photo by Erich Boenzli)
(Photo by Erich Boenzli)

Chop a bunch of flat-leaf Italian parsley and some garlic cloves and put in a bowl. It’s okay to use some of the tender stems from the parsley. Add about 2 tsp each of lemon and orange zest, and a 1/2 c of olive oil, and mix. Taste it before adding salt and pepper and see how you like the balance. If it’s too thick for your taste, add some more olive oil. Finally, add about 1/4 tsp kosher salt and 1/4 tsp freshly cracked pepper. Taste again and adjust accordingly. Don’t forget that this little herb sauce has to compete with big flavors, so make it count. 

 

Note: You can make this sauce in advance and store in a sealed container in your fridge for up to a week. 

 

How and when to serve the slow cooked short ribs

Here’s another wonderful thing about this dish, especially about a Dutch oven. While this meal is delicious if served immediately, it’s one of those dishes that gets even better the next day. Just let it cool, leave it in the Dutch oven with the lid on, and put it in the fridge overnight. There are two (or three or maybe more) advantages to this: 

  1. The fat will harden overnight and can easily be removed – if desired – before reheating it. If your ribs were quite fatty, it’s not a bad idea to remove some of that hardened fat to avoid a slightly greasy feel to your sauce. 
  2. When you reheat it the next evening, your kitchen will smell heavenly again. 
  3. You can focus on preparing appetizers and side dishes for your friends, instead of focusing on the main course. And – let’s be honest – last minute clutter clean-up around the house always takes longer than anticipated.
Braised Short Ribs - The fat will harden up in the fridge overnight, easily removed with a large spoon (Photo by Erich Boenzli)
The fat will harden up in the fridge overnight, easily removed with a large spoon (Photo by Erich Boenzli)

Either way, with the fat removed or not, reheat the dish over low heat until the sauce starts to simmer. Carefully remove the ribs (the bones will fall right off if you’re not super careful) and set aside. Now you have options again:

  1. Strain the sauce or 
  2. Remove the garlic head and herb sprigs and use a mixer to blend the cooked vegetables into the sauce. 

 

Plate some pappardelle pasta or polenta in a deep dish. Place a rib on top (hopefully with the bone still in, for presentation), spoon the sauce over everything, and top the meat with gremolata. 

 

Ideally, serve with a glass of the same red wine you’ve been braising your ribs with and enjoy the ohh’s and ahh’s from your friends that will follow after the first bite. 

 

Uno Casa Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven

And how did our new Dutch oven from Uno Casa perform? All the Amazon 5-star reviewers were correct! Not only does it look gorgeous, but the heaviness also gives it a badass feel, and cleanup was a breeze. And one more unique feature that we enjoyed with Uno Casa’s Dutch oven: it has these little bumps under the lid which distribute the accumulated moisture evenly back into the dish, self-basting it! Nifty stuff. 

Braised Short Ribs (Photo by Viana Boenzli)
(Photo by Viana Boenzli)

Love easy, delicious dinner ideas? Check out a few more of our recipes now:

 

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Braised Short Ribs (Photo by Viana Boenzli)

Red-Wine Braised Short Ribs in a Dutch Oven

Braised Short Ribs in a Dutch Oven are irresistible, fork tender, fall-of-the-bone beefy goodness. And the best thing? Slow cooked short ribs are easy to make.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 3 hrs 30 mins
Total Time 3 hrs 50 mins
Servings 2

Ingredients
  

  • 2.2 lbs beef short ribs, bone-in
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 head of garlic, unpeeled, cut in half lengthwise
  • 3 medium shallots or onions, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 3 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 bottle dry red wine
  • 2 sprigs oregano
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 2 c beef stock (or as needed)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper

Gremolata

  • Bunch of flat-leaf Italian parsley (about 1 c chopped)
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 tsp orange zest
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 c extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper

Instructions
 

  • Pat dry short ribs.
  • Generously apply kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper on all sides of the ribs.
  • Heat a couple tablespoons of vegetable oil in your Dutch oven until it sizzles when you drop a drop of water into it. 
  • Sear the ribs on all sides (don’t forget the “corners”) for about two minutes per side or until it’s nicely browned. Don’t move them around while searing. And please don’t crowd the pan. 
  • When they’re all nice and brown, remove from the pan and set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 300°F.
  • If your ribs were very fatty, remove some of the liquid and leave about 2 tablespoons remaining in the pot. 
  • Add the two halves of garlic, cut side down, and let them sizzle undisturbed for 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Add chopped vegetables and 1/2 tsp each of kosher salt and pepper.
  • Cook for 5 minutes while stirring occasionally. Adjust the heat so nothing starts to burn. 
  • Add a tablespoon of tomato paste and stir so that all vegetables will get lightly coated and caramelized, about 2 minutes. 
  • Add 1/2 bottle red wine and cook for about 2 minutes (now it’s time to use a wooden spoon and scrape all the delicious morsels from the bottom of the pan).
  • Add the seared ribs back into the Dutch oven, top with all the herb sprigs, and add beef stock. Add enough liquid so the ribs are just about covered. 
  • Place the lid on top and transfer it to the oven, leaving the lid on throughout the entire time it’s in the oven.
  • Patiently wait for 3 to 3-1/2 hours. 

Gremolata

  • Chop a bunch of flat-leaf Italian parsley and some garlic cloves and put in a bowl. 
  • Add about 2 tsp each of lemon and orange zest, and a 1/2 c of olive oil, and mix. 
  • Taste it before adding salt and pepper and see how you like the balance. If it’s too thick for your taste, add some more olive oil.
  • Finally, add about 1/4 tsp kosher salt and 1/4 tsp freshly cracked pepper. 
  • Taste again and adjust accordingly. Don’t forget that this little herb sauce has to compete with big flavors, so make it count. 

Serving

  • While this meal is delicious if served immediately, it’s one of those dishes that gets even better the next day. Just let it cool, leave it in the Dutch oven with the lid on, and put it in the fridge overnight. Reheat the dish over low heat until the sauce starts to simmer.
  • Plate some pappardelle pasta or polenta in a deep dish. Place a rib on top (hopefully with the bone still in, for presentation), spoon the sauce over everything, and top the meat with gremolata. 

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Recipe Rating




2 Comments
  • Maria
    January 2, 2021

    5 stars
    Out of the park… every morsel was noteworthy. I love cooking in a Dutch Oven, and this recipe makes such beautiful use of one as all the ingredients marry to create the amazing flavors of this dish. My whole soul felt warm. Happy New Year! This recipe is a definite keeper.

    • maplewoodroad
      January 4, 2021

      Wow, thank you so much Maria for your beautiful review of our recipe! We’re so glad you enjoyed it! 🙂