Braised short ribs

Do not let the directions for this one intimidate you. Yes, there are some steps involved for this, but it is oh-so-worth every bit! Your house will smell amazing for the entire time this is cooking—seriously.

The mushrooms are optional, but I love the earthy-meaty veggie addition. Inspired by Suzanne Goin’s short rib recipe.

3–4 pounds (2 kg) of grass-fed beef short ribs (flanken-style or English cut—both work fine)
2–3 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, minced
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons avocado oil
1½ cups (225 g) onion, chopped
½ cup (75 g) carrots, chopped
½ cup (50 g) celery stalks, chopped
4 sprigs fresh thyme
3 bay leaves
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 cup (250 mL) marsala wine
3 cups (750 mL) dry red wine
4 cups (1 L) beef stock (or veal if you have it)
6 ounces (150 g) thick-sliced portobello mushrooms (optional)

  1. One hour before you begin cooking, remove the ribs from the refrigerator and their packaging. Season with thyme, salt, and pepper.
  2. Preheat oven to 325°F (165°C).
  3. In a large Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium high heat. Place the short ribs meaty sides down in the pan, working in batches if needed to avoid overcrowding. Sear until they are nicely browned on each of the meaty sides (no need to brown the rib side). Transfer the browned ribs to a plate and set aside.
  4. In the same Dutch oven, reduce your heat to medium, and add in your onion, carrot, celery, thyme, and bay leaves. Stir with a wooden spoon to scrape up all the browned bits in the pot, and continue cooking until vegetables are softened and translucent.
  5. Add in the balsamic vinegar, marsala, and wine and stir, bringing heat up to high and letting the mixture come to a boil. Let the liquid boil until it is reduced in half.
  6. Pour in the stock and bring liquid back up to a boil.
  7. Place the short ribs back in the pan placing the mushrooms on top and cover.
  8. Braise in the oven for 3–3½ hours or until the ribs are fork tender and do not resist at all.
  9. Remove ribs and mushrooms from the Dutch oven. Increase temperature of oven to 400°F (205°C). Place ribs meat side up on a sheet pan and roast for 10 minutes or until browned.
  10. While the ribs are roasting, strain the braising liquid through a fine sieve placed over a bowl to retain all the strained liquid. Press down on the solids in the sieve to squeeze all the liquid out. If you want you can skim off the fat at this point.
  11. Return liquid back to the Dutch oven, and bring up to a boil. Simmer until sauce thickens slightly.
  12. Return the ribs and mushrooms back to the sauce and serve, spooning sauce over ribs.

Do Ahead—You can do the braising of the short ribs the day before; remove from braising liquid and refrigerate overnight. This will cause the fat to solidify in a layer on the top, which makes it very easy to then skim off.

Ingredients—There is a big difference between beef short ribs, spare ribs, baby back ribs, etc. When in doubt, ask the nice person selling you your ribs (hoping that’s a local farmer!). Tell them what you are making, and say what the recipe is. A local farmer and/or good butcher will be more than happy to help you out.