Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Italian Braised Short Ribs

Italian Braised Short Ribs

Richly flavored comfort food that’s easy to make ahead

Ready for some fall fare? This deep-flavored dish will take the chill off.

Long, slow cooking tenderizes short ribs and extracts maximum flavor from them. And this dish is best if you make it a day or so ahead of time, then reheat it right before serving. That makes it perfect for company.

So get those dinner invitations ready. No engraving required.


Italian Braised Short Ribs

Recipe: Italian Braised Short Ribs

This dish shares similarities with our Wine-Braised Beef Short Ribs. But it’s less complicated to make (while still retaining nuanced flavor).

We like to serve this dish over polenta (especially Easy, No-Stir Oven Polenta). But it’s also good over pasta (we’d suggest a broad noodle shape, like pappardelle) or even over mashed potatoes.

Prep time for this dish is about 30 minutes (that includes browning the meat). Cooking time adds about 2½ hours (most of it unattended). But the dish is best if it rests overnight, so we suggest making it a day ahead (short ribs also generate a lot of fat, which is easier to remove if the fat solidifies overnight). Then you’ll need about half an hour to reheat the dish (you can work on side dishes while it’s warming).

This recipe serves 4 to 6, depending on how hungry your guests are. Leftovers keep for a few days if refrigerated in an airtight container.

Ingredients
  • ~4 pounds short ribs
  • salt for seasoning the ribs (about 2 teaspoons kosher salt; see Notes)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil for browning the short ribs
  • 1 large onion (or 2 medium ones – about 2 cups diced onions)
  • 5 garlic cloves (or to taste)
  • 1 to 2 carrots (optional)
  • 1 additional tablespoon olive oil, if needed
  • additional 1 to 2 teaspoons kosher salt (to taste; see Notes)
  • ½ can of anchovies (reserve the remainder for another use)
  • 6-ounce can of tomato paste (or a bit less to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 bottle of dry red wine
  • 1 to 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 to 2 cups beef stock, if needed (see Notes)
  • additional rosemary sprigs for garnish (optional)
  • chopped parsley for garnish (optional)
Procedure
  1. Brown the short ribs: First dry them (the meat won’t brown properly if it’s damp) and season to taste with salt. Place a large Dutch oven over medium stovetop heat. When the pan is hot, add enough oil to coat the bottom. When the oil is heated (about 15 seconds – it’ll shimmer), add as many short rib pieces as you can without crowding the pan. Brown the pieces for 3 to 4 minutes on each side. (Don’t rush – the browner the short ribs, the better the flavor.) After the first batch is fully browned, remove the short rib pieces to a plate while you brown the remainder of the ribs.
  2. Peel the onion and chop it into dice of about ½ inch. Peel the garlic and mince it finely or slice it thinly. Peel the carrots, if using, then cut them into dice of about ¼ inch. When the short ribs have finished browning, add more oil to the Dutch oven if necessary. Add the chopped onion and carrots, along with salt to taste. Brown for 5 minutes, then add the chopped garlic and brown for an additional minute.
  3. Add the anchovies (drain them first), along with the tomato paste and oregano. Sauté, stirring often, for 2 minutes. Then add the red wine and simmer until it’s reduced by about half. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
  4. Now add the browned short ribs back to the Dutch oven. Add the rosemary sprig(s) and the can of diced tomatoes. Add beef stock if you need more liquid (the liquid should just about cover the ribs). Bring the liquid to a simmer on the stovetop, then cover the pot with aluminum foil (push it down into the cooking pot so that it almost touches the ribs; the aluminum foil creates a seal and reduces the amount of space in the pot, making for a better braise). Cover the Dutch oven with a lid and place it in the oven. Braise for 2½ hours (3 hours if you want the meat to fall off the bone).
  5. Remove the short ribs from the oven and allow them to cool. Then place them in a lidded container, along with their cooking liquid. Refrigerate for a day (or two).
  6. When ready to serve, remove any solidified fat from the top of the container (the fat will have risen to the top). Place the short ribs in a cooking pot that’s large enough to hold the meat and cooking liquid, then bring it to a simmer. Cook until the meat is warm throughout. If the sauce isn’t quite as thick as you’d like: Remove the short ribs with tongs and place them on a plate; cover them with aluminum foil to keep them warm. Quickly reduce the sauce in the cooking pot until it’s the consistency you prefer. 
  7. Serve the short rib pieces over polenta (or mashed potatoes or pasta). Spoon some sauce over the top. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary or some chopped parsley, if desired, and serve.
Italian Braised Short Ribs

Notes
  • Short ribs have a lot of bone and fat. So we always figure on a pound of short ribs per person. If that’s too much – and it may be for some people – leftover short ribs are delicious.
  • Don’t like anchovies? We suggest using them anyway – you really won’t taste them in the finished dish. But they add a lot of umami.
  • We usually don’t need to add beef stock to this dish (Step 4). If we don’t use it, we sometimes stir 2 to 3 teaspoons of beef base into the cooking liquid to heighten the flavor of the dish. Beef base is concentrated soup stock – you can find it in the soup aisle of your grocery store.
  • We use dry Italian red wine for making this dish – something with a bit of fruit.  Sangiovese is a nice choice (use something that sells for about $10 – you don’t need a fine sipping wine.) If in doubt, ask your friendly wine merchants what they recommend.
  • Salting the beef before browning (Step 1) and the onions and carrots before cooking (Step 2) helps add layers of flavor. And by salting early, you often end up not needing much, if any, salt at the end.
  • We use kosher salt for cooking. It’s less salty by volume than regular table salt (the crystals are larger and more irregular, so they pack a measure less tightly). If you use table salt, start with about half the amount we suggest. But always season to your taste, not ours.
Italian Braised Short Ribs

Stick to Your Ribs

“Love me some short ribs,” said Mrs. Kitchen Riffs. “These are buono to the bone.”

“Fall weather brings out the meat-and-potatoes guy in me,” I said.

“Or meat and polenta in this case,” said Mrs K R.

“Yeah, polenta rocks,” I said. “Definitely meats my expectations.”

“Anchovy those cheesy puns yet?” said Mrs K R.

She likes to rib me.

You may also enjoy reading about:
Wine-Braised Short Ribs
Easy No-Stir Oven Polenta
Itaian Pork Ragu for Pasta or Polenta
Wine-Braised Beef Pot Roast
Green Chile Stew with Pork
Moroccan Beef Tagine
Coq au Vin
Or check out the index for more

64 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Hi Natalia, it is! Or was, I should say. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  2. YUM! My kind of comfort food.

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    1. Hi Pam, this is SO good! LOVE short ribs. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  3. My idea of comfort food. It looks great John.

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    1. Hi Gerlinde, we love comfort food! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  4. Replies
    1. Hi R, we want some more! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  5. The meat looks so juicy, flavourful and wonderfully delicious. I wish I could have some!

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    1. Hi Angie, I wish you could, too! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  6. I really need to make short ribs more often. These short ribs look heavenly and that fluffy polenta looks amazing! My kind of meal!

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    1. Hi Laura, we really like polenta with dishes like this -- nice understory of flavor. Thanks for the comment.

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  7. Another great combination of hearty flavors. I’m happy though that the sun is still shining and we won’t need fall food for a little while longer!

    best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

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    1. Hi Mae, it's still rather warm, isn't it? Soon, though, this sort of dish will be totally necessary. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  8. Oh my goodness John, we must have been reading each other's minds. Take a wild guess what we just posted yesterday? LOL Great minds think alike. Love this made with tender and delicious short ribs.

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    1. Hi Bobbi, :-) I'll have to go check out your recipe! Thanks for the comment.

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  9. Love short ribs! Can I come over for dinner tonight?! :)

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    1. Hi Ashley, you can indeed. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  10. Short ribs are not a cut often seen or used in Australia but you present a drawcard of a dish. I have been well known for my osso buco all my life and there are many similarities present . . . must see whether can find the ribs for a change . . .

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    1. Hi Eha, osso buco is SO good! Haven't made that in ages. Short ribs are definitely worth seeking out -- really luscious flavor. Thanks for the comment.

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  11. this looks incredibly hearty and warming to the soul KR. we on the other hand are into the salads already as Spring has sprung! Plenty of bushfires already too. It's going to be a long hot summer i think. cheers sherry

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    1. Hi Sherry, we're still having warm days, so salads are still on the menu. But looking forward to more and more dishes like this! Thanks for the comment.

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  12. These short ribs look like the perfect comfort food for this fall. They look delicious!

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    1. Hi Dawn, they're wonderful comfort food. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  13. John, short ribs are absolutely one of my favorite cuts. And I remember, before chefs suddenly rediscovered them, that they were a cheap cut of meat. This looks absolutely delicious, in any case.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Terry, short ribs have gotten so popular that they're sometimes difficult to find during the cold months. And you're right about no longer cheap whenever you find them. :-( Thanks for the comment.

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  14. Hello from Antwerp! Love short ribs they look awesome. Glad you are curious for our series. Épisode 1 premier today on the stufr channel

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    1. Hi Evelyne, you do some fun travels! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  15. I have a couple packages of short ribs in the freezer. I asked for them the last time we bought half a cow. I knew I must have been waiting for just the right recipe to get them thawed.

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    1. Hi Rosemary, good to hear from you again! Hope things are going well. And this recipe would be a wonderful use for those short ribs. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  16. Once the weather cools, I'll make this for a Sunday dinner! The boys join us and these ribs will be a hit with all!

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    1. Hi Liz, it's a bit too warm for this dish today, isn't it? But soon! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  17. We are such short rib fans around here ... pinning this one. It's a "must try soon". :) And I agree about making this a day ahead. So many recipes like this are better the next day. Thanks for a great recipe John.

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    1. Hi Lea Ann, we really like dishes that you have to make ahead. Flavor is usually better, as you suggest. Thanks for the comment.

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  18. Braised short ribs are amazingly tender and this recipe sounds perfect for a chilly fall evening! :)

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    1. Hi Judy, short ribs are great, aren't they? Perfect fall food. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  19. Kelsie | the itsy-bitsy kitchenSeptember 19, 2019 at 9:25 AM

    This really is perfect fall fare--hearty and so, so cozy! Those ribs look totally perfect!

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    1. Hi Kelsie, they're really good. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  20. This looks divine John, a hearty perfect meal. Thanks for the recipe

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    1. Hi Amira, isn't this nice? Short ribs are one of our favorites. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  21. Oh I love short ribs, but do not cook often...yours look absolutely mouth watering...what a great comfort food...it is a must try...
    Thanks for the recipe John, I hope you are having a fabulous week!

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    1. Hi Juliana, short ribs are great, aren't they? Love 'em! Thanks for the comment.

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  22. This looks delicious and would be keto as long as I served it on cauli rice

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    1. Hi Anne, cauli rice would be wonderful! Thanks for the comment.

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  23. Yes, we are ready for some fall food... but have quite a bit of warm weather still in our forecast! That said, we have good AC and I don’t mind a little heat in the kitchen when it produces something this good. Thanks, John... this will be on the menu soon!

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    1. Hi David, we're totally ready for fall food! We also have good AC, so can enjoy dishes like this throughout the year. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  24. The next time I see my mom I will treat her to these. She is a short rib fan and this will certainly put me in her good graces.

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    1. Hi Abbe, always wise to be in the good graces of your mom. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  25. Yum! This sounds delicious, and just the thing as the evenings start getting chilly. I love ribs, the most flavorful meat you can eat, in my opinion. And yes, some polenta for me...

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    1. Hi Frank polenta is good stuff, isn't it? As are short ribs, of course. :- Thanks for the comment.

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  26. John, what a wonderful recipe for short ribs and so much flavor! Love how you've served them on polenta. I've learned that when a recipe says it tastes better the next day, to be patient and make it a day in advance. Some things really are better the next day.

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    1. Hi Kelly, short ribs really ARE best made a day ahead of time. Or two days, even, but who can wait that long?! Thanks for the comment.

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  27. This dish is calling my name. It's everything I love in a comforting fall/winter meal. I especially love serving braised meats/stews over polenta. It soaks up the excess sauce to perfectly. What a fabulous recipe!

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    1. Hi Valentina, polenta is a nice base for saucy food, isn't it? Perfect use for it! Thanks for the comment.

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  28. Just hand me a glass of red wine and this dish, and I am good to go. Love short ribs when the weather turns cool. Total comfort food.

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    1. Hi Carolyn, wine is good with this. Ask us how we know. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  29. These short ribs look SO good. What a delicious autumnal recipe.

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    1. Hi Caroline, this is a wonderful dish! And SO lovely for cool weather. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  30. Fall has arrived here and your Italian Braised Short Ribs would look mighty pleasing sitting on our dinner table. But, beef short ribs are not a cut of meat we see here. We do however have Tjocka revben which is a thick meaty pork rib bone. I think it would suit your recipe just fine. Your recipe is now on my must-make list and a pork version will be on our table soon. Oh, polenta does rock, especially the crusty part at the top of the pot.

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    1. Hi Ron, I'll bet Tjocka revben would be wonderful in this dish! Don't know that cut of meat at all, but your description makes it sound wonderful. And isn't polenta SO good? Love it! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  31. John, these short ribs look sensational! Glad to see I'm not alone in using a full bottle of wine in the braising liquid. Your easy oven polenta intrigues too.

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    1. Hi Brooks, gotta use a full bottle -- more flavor. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  32. I'm usually not a fan of anchovies but after going through the recipe I can see how they add to this recipe and complement all of the other ingredients. These ribs look like they would melt in your mouth. Nice recipe!

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    1. Hi MJ, you really don't taste the anchovies. Well, not directly, but you know there's something really savory going on in the background. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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