Homemade Braised Short Ribs That Feel Like Fine Dining
Here at the PWWB house Christmas dinner varies from year to year. The one thing that’s always on our holiday menu, though, is an impressive & celebratory beef dinner. And this Red Wine Braised Short Ribs recipe? It completely fits the bill!
Braised beef short ribs are one of my favorite things to make throughout the fall & winter months (as you may recall, from the epic Slowly Braised Short Rib Ragu recipe we shared earlier this year), but I especially love cooking them around the holidays. They’re the perfect combination of low-effort, high-reward, seriously delicious & comforting, & super impressive to serve.
Braising seems super fancy – if you feel intimidated, don’t worry! – but it’s actually a pretty straightforward, delightfully hands-off process that creates a special home-cooked meal with all the best flavors. It’s all about using high-quality ingredients & making them shine with a little TLC. Cooking with a slow braise makes the absolute BEST braised beef short ribs that are seriously rich in flavor & melt in your mouth tender. This is the kind of soul-satisfying meal that comforts you from the inside out.
And the best part? These red wine braised short ribs come together without much effort at all! With a long, almost completely inactive cooking time, this braised short ribs recipe is easy enough for any fall or winter meal, but it’s also special enough for the most celebratory occasions like date night in, Christmas, New Year’s, or even Valentine’s Day. Truly, what is better than that?!
This Red Wine Braised Short Ribs recipe is my favorite type of recipe to cook – a low-effort, high-reward comfort food dinner that will seriously impress anyone you share it with!
Red Wine Braised Short Ribs Recipe Highlights
You’ll love these red wine braised short ribs because they are…
- SLOWLY SIMMERED GOODNESS. It takes about 3 ½ hours for these short ribs to braise in an aromatic, herbaceous red wine sauce – just the right amount of time to create stunning flavors & completely fall-apart tender beef.
- SUPER VERSATILE. I like to make braised beef short ribs in a Dutch oven on the stovetop, but you can also make them in the oven, a slow cooker, or an Instant Pot – whatever works best for you! Check out the Recipe Notes, below, for details on alternate cooking methods!
- THE PERFECT SPECIAL OCCASION MEAL. Red wine braised short ribs are the perfect show-stopping meal for Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Valentine’s Day, date night in, or any other fall & winter meal when you’re looking to impress!
You are going to wow the crowd with this cozy, restaurant-quality meal! ♡ Read on to learn more about how to make Red Wine Braised Short Ribs, or jump straight to the recipe & get cooking!
Braised Beef Short Ribs Key Ingredients
Note: full ingredients list & measurements provided in the Recipe Card, below.
There are just are a few things you’ll need to make the absolute best braised short ribs recipe…
- Beef short ribs – These short ribs are going to transform into a completely tender, gourmet cut of meat by the time they’re done braising. For best results, visit the butcher at your local grocery & buy meaty short ribs with nice marbling. More short ribs info below!
- Dry red wine – Of course! My favorite wine for braised beef short ribs is a full-bodied & dry red like a Chianti or Merlot. The wine doesn’t need to be expensive but should be drinkable since it’s the base of the red wine sauce the short ribs braise in.
- Beef stock – Stock helps balance out the wine for a full-flavored braising liquid. If you don’t want to cook with alcohol, use more beef stock instead.
- Mirepoix – This classic combination of carrots, celery, & onion is the foundation of flavor for any braise (& other things that simmer like soup & stews).
- Aromatics – Garlic, bay leaves, & fresh herbs like rosemary & thyme simmer with the red wine braised short ribs, while rich tomato paste & an optional savory parmesan rind build an incredible amount of flavor over time. These aromatics do a lot of work, resulting in the best braised beef short ribs!
What are Beef Short Ribs?
There are typically two different types of beef short ribs to choose from: English-cut beef short ribs (hearty pieces cut along the bone) & flanken beef short ribs (long strips cut across the bone, which you may be familiar with from kalbi).
The best beef short ribs for braising? ⇢ Use English-cut short ribs for these red wine braised short ribs, as they’re a tougher cut that benefits from the low & slow cooking method in this recipe. As it braises, the connective tissues in the meat will break down & make the beef fall-apart tender. Bone-in beef short ribs work fabulously because the bones also add a lot of flavor to the red wine braising sauce.
Where to buy short ribs? ⇢ You should be able to find bone-in English-cut beef short ribs at most grocery stores with a nice butcher section. Boneless short ribs are fine if that’s all that’s available.
Can’t find beef short ribs? ⇢ If you can’t find any beef short ribs, you can also make red wine braised short ribs using beef chuck roast.
How to Make Red Wine Braised Short Ribs
First things first…what is braising? ⇢ Braising sounds very elegant but it’s a simple cooking method that involves slowly simmering ingredients to create bold, rich flavors. Braising is perfect for tougher cuts of meat (like short ribs) because a low & slow cook makes the meat fall-apart tender over time. The results are well worth the wait! I also love braising because it’s a completely inactive one-pot cooking method – super easy & super flavorful, every single time.
Making red wine braised short ribs is way easier than it may seem – just let the heat take over for hours! Here’s how to make this mostly hands-off braised beef short ribs recipe…
Full Recipe Directions, including step-by-step photos, are included in the Recipe Card, below.
First, prep & brown the beef short ribs. Browning the short ribs is an incredibly important step for building flavor in this recipe. Sure, it takes time…but if you’re wondering if you have to brown short ribs before braising, the answer is: absolutely YES! To prepare the short ribs for browning, bring them to room temperature, pat them as dry as possible (moisture is the enemy of a hard sear!), season with salt & pepper, & lightly dust each side with flour. To brown, heat olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven. You want the oil to be hot & simmering so that when the meat hits the pan, it starts to brown right away. The short ribs only need to be cooked a few minutes per side to get a deep golden brown color. Why brown short ribs before braising? ⇢ This step is all about flavor, flavor, flavor! Thanks to a magical thing called the Maillard reaction, beef short ribs take on a beautifully golden crust when they hit a hot pan, giving the meat a deeper, richer flavor. As the beef short ribs brown, they also leave browned bits on the bottom of the pan (the French call this fond) that add even more flavor.
Next, brown the mirepoix & aromatics. Those flavorful browned bits of short ribs left at the bottom of the pot are the perfect base of flavor for the braise – let’s put them to good use! Start by adding the celery, carrots, & onion into the same pot & cook the mirepoix until deeply browned, borderline caramelized. This process should take no less than 15 minutes. We’re looking for deep color & flavor here…so do not rush it! Once the mirepoix is browned, add the garlic & tomato paste to the pot & mix until the tomato mixture coats the mirepoix. This should also brown until fragrant & full of rich flavor. Why cook the aromatics so long? ⇢ Resist the urge to speed this step up – it’s worth the wait! These aromatic ingredients are the base of flavor for the entire red wine braising sauce. Taking the time to achieve deep browning helps 1) coax all of the amazing flavors out of each ingredient, & 2) leave beautiful browned bits (fond) at the bottom of the pot which builds even more flavor in the braising liquid.
Build the braise & braise the short ribs. We’ve built a crazy amount of flavor in the previous steps – now it’s time to get braising. Pour the red wine into the pot & stir constantly. The wine simmers immediately when it comes into contact with the hot pot, creating steam that releases any browned bits hiding at the bottom. We want to scrape these up for added flavor! Add the beef stock, parmesan rind (if using), bay leaves, and herbs. I like to use twine to tie the whole herbs together – it saves time chopping & makes it easy to remove them all at once before serving. Now all that’s left is to nestle the browned short ribs into the braising liquid, cover the pot, & let the red wine braised short ribs start cooking. How do you know when braised short ribs are ready? ⇢ The braised beef short ribs are ready when the meat is very tender & falls off the bone easily. Have patience – this takes a good amount of time! Plan for braising to take 3 – 3 ½ hours.
How to Serve Red Wine Braised Beef Short Ribs
The braised beef short ribs are ready when they shred very easily & fall off the bone. Open the lid of the pot & enjoy the warm, beautiful scent of red wine braised short ribs as you spoon them over your side of choice.
I suggest pairing these fall-apart tender braised short ribs with a cozy carb of your choice – this is comfort food, after all! Creamy mashed potatoes are always a winner at my house (I will never turn down the opportunity to serve mashed potatoes!). Braised beef short ribs are also delicious served over egg noodles, risotto, or polenta – basically, anything that gives a soft, luscious base for the red wine braised short ribs to rest in is perfect!
If you’re going low-carb, roasted veggies like asparagus, crispy roasted mushrooms, green beans, or Brussels sprouts also pair perfectly with the rich flavors of red wine braised short ribs. Drizzle a generous amount of braising liquid over everything before eating & enjoy every bite of the coziest restaurant-quality dish!
Red Wine Braised Beef Short Rib FAQs
What is the best red wine to use for red wine braised short ribs?
I suggest using a bold red wine that stands up to the rich flavor of the braised beef short ribs. I love a nice, medium-bodied Chianti or Merlot for this recipe. Don’t worry about buying anything fancy, but do make sure it’s drinkable. If you prefer not to cook with alcohol, you can swap wine for more beef stock – just know that the braising liquid might be a little less aromatic without the red wine!
Can I make these braised short ribs in the oven?
Yes! To make red wine braised short ribs in the oven, prepare the recipe the same & then braise everything in a covered pot in the oven, rather than on the stovetop. See the Recipe Notes, below, for more detail on cooking short ribs in the oven!
Can I make these braised short ribs in a slow cooker or Crockpot?
Yes! This is a great slow cooker recipe, especially if you don’t have a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven. After you brown the short ribs & aromatics & deglaze the pot with red wine, transfer everything to the slow cooker for braising. If your slow cooker has a searing/browning feature then you can use it to cook the entire recipe! There’s more detail on using your slow cooker to make red wine braised short ribs in the Recipe Notes, below.
Can I make these braised short ribs in an Instant Pot?
Yes! Low & slow is typically the mantra for red wine braised short ribs, but you can use your Instant Pot’s “Sauté” setting to achieve the same flavor-filled, fall-apart tender meat in about a third of the time. See the Recipe Notes, below, for more detail on cooking braised beef short ribs in your Instant Pot.
How do I store & freeze red wine braised short ribs?
Braised beef short ribs store & freeze beautifully because the braising liquid gets even better as it sits (if you can believe it!). As the flavors in the braising liquid have the chance to meld together, the rich red wine, browned aromatics, & fresh herbs really start to shine. Check the Recipe Notes, below, for full storage & freezing details!
Whether you’re feeling festive, celebrating a special occasion, or craving a cozy Sunday dinner, these Red Wine Braised Beef Short Ribs are the absolute best “something special” to serve to your loved ones.
If you do give them a try, be sure to let me know! Leave a comment with a star rating below. You can also snap a photo & tag @playswellwithbutter on Instagram. I LOVE hearing about & seeing your PWWB creations! ♡ Happy cooking!
More Recipes Like This:
Stunning Special-Occasion Meals
These Red Wine Braised Short Ribs are seriously show-stopping comfort food! Beef short ribs slowly simmer in a red wine sauce infused with garlic & fresh herbs until they are completely fall-apart tender. Serve over creamy mashed potatoes, risotto, pasta, or polenta for a boldly flavored & super comforting meal!
Stovetop braise as directed, refer to the Recipe Notes, below, for oven-braised, slow cooker & Instant Pot directions.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 English-cut beef short ribs (about 3 pounds – see Recipe Notes, below)
- kosher salt & ground black pepper, for seasoning
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 3 large carrots, peeled & diced
- 2 ribs celery, finely diced
- 1 large yellow onion, peeled & finely diced
- 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 2 cups dry red wine (see Recipe Notes, below)
- 2 cups beef stock
- 2 bay leaves
- 3–4 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 10–12 sprigs fresh thyme
- optional: 1 parmesan rind
- Prep the short ribs: About 30 minutes – 1 hour before you’d like to begin cooking, pull the beef short ribs from the refrigerator & allow them to come up to room temperature. Just before cooking, use a paper towel to pat all sides of the beef short ribs as dry as possible. Season liberally with 2 teaspoons kosher salt & plenty of freshly cracked black pepper. Place the flour on a large plate or in a shallow dish. Dredge the short ribs in the flour, coating each side with a light dusting of flour. Set the short ribs aside & reserve the excess flour for the braising liquid.
- Brown the beef short ribs: Add the olive oil to a large, heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven (at least 5-qt capacity) over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot & simmering, after 2-3 minutes of heating, carefully add the dredged & seasoned short ribs. Cook 2-3 minutes per side until deeply browned. Work in batches, as needed, to avoid overcrowding the pot. Once browned, transfer to a plate & set aside.
- Brown the mirepoix: Add the finely chopped mirepoix mixture from Step 1 to the same pot used to brown the short ribs, adding in an extra drizzle of olive oil as necessary. Season with ½ teaspoon kosher salt, and stir to combine. Cook, stirring occasionally, until deeply browned & fragrant, 15-20 minutes. If the veggies begin to brown too quickly, reduce the heat to medium-low or low.
- Build the braise: Add the garlic & tomato paste to the pot, stirring to coat the mirepoix. Cook, stirring occasionally, until deeply browned & fragrant, 3-4 minutes. Sprinkle the reserved flour from Step 1 over the veggies, allowing to brown 1-2 minutes longer. Pour the red wine into the pot, stirring constantly to scrape up any browned bits that may have formed at the bottom of the pot. Add in the beef stock, bay leaves, rosemary, thyme, parmesan rind (if using), & browned beef short ribs from Step 2. Bring the mixture up to a boil & reduce heat to low or medium-low to maintain a gentle simmer.
- Braise the short ribs: Cover the pot & braise for 3 – 3 ½ hours, until the short ribs are tender & falling off the bone. If desired, remove the lid & increase heat to medium-high, to thicken the braising liquid a little. Taste & season with additional kosher salt & ground black pepper as needed.
- Serve immediately. I serve short ribs over mashed potatoes, with the braising liquid over top. Garnish with fresh herbs, as desired. Enjoy!
- Ingredients Notes:
- Short ribs: There are 2 common cuts of beef short ribs: flanken beef short ribs (long strips cut across the bone, which you may recognize from Korean kalbi) & English-cut beef short ribs (hearty pieces cut along the bone). These days, you can find English-cut beef short ribs at most conventional grocery stores with a nice butcher section. If you have trouble finding beef short ribs, you can make this braised beef recipe using beef chuck roast.
- Best red wine to use: For red wine braised short ribs, use a bold red wine that stands up to the rich flavor of the beef short ribs. You don’t have to use the nicest wine here, but it should definitely be drinkable since it provides the base flavor of the braising liquid. I suggest a nice, medium-bodied Chianti or Merlot for this recipe. If you do not want to cook with alcohol, you can swap the wine for more beef stock, noting that the braising liquid may be a little less aromatic.
- Make-Ahead, Storage & Freezing:
- Storage Instructions: Braised beef short ribs store incredibly well – the braising liquid gets even better as it sits & its flavors have the chance to meld together! Transfer cooled short ribs & red wine sauce to an airtight container & store in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. Reheat the short ribs with the red wine sauce on the stovetop or in the microwave until warmed through.
- Freezing Instructions: Leftover braised beef short ribs also freeze beautifully! To freeze, transfer cooled short ribs & red wine sauce to a freezer container (or divide it up between multiple freezer containers for smaller portions). Freeze up to 3 months. To thaw, place the frozen short ribs in the refrigerator overnight or submerge the freezer container in room temperature water for a quicker thaw. Reheat the short ribs with the red wine sauce on the stovetop or in the microwave until warmed through. If the thawed red wine sauce is a little watery at first, simply allow any residual water to simmer out. If the thawed red wine sauce is too thick, simply add in a splash of water or stock until your desired consistency is reached.
- Alternate cooking methods:
- Oven-Braised Beef Short Ribs: Prep the recipe according to Steps 1-4, above. Rather than braising on the stovetop, transfer the covered pot to a 325 degree F oven. Braise in the oven for 3 – 3 ½ hours, until the beef short ribs are fall-apart tender, then finish the red wine braising sauce as directed in Steps 5-6.
- Crockpot / Slow Cooker Braised Short Ribs: Prep the recipe according to Steps 1-3, above. Brown the aromatics & deglaze as directed in Step 4, above, then transfer the mirepoix mixture to the slow cooker, along with the aromatics, broth/stock, & browned beef short ribs as directed in Step 4. Slow cook on high for 4-5 hours or on low for 7-8 hours, stirring occasionally. If your slow cooker has a searing/browning feature, you can use it to cook the entire braised beef short rib recipe (Steps 1-5) in the slow cooker.
- Instant Pot Braised Short Ribs: Use your Instant Pot’s “Sauté” setting to cook the recipe according to Steps 1-4, above. Cover & seal the pressure cooker and cook on manual high pressure for 50 minutes. Allow the pressure cooker to naturally release pressure for 10 minutes before carefully flicking the valve to its “venting” position to vent out any residual pressure. If the red wine sauce seems a little too liquid-y, feel free to turn on the Sauté setting again, letting the sauce simmer down a little as directed in Step 5.
Keywords: red wine braised short ribs, braised beef short ribs, slowly braised, slow cooker-friendly, instant pot-friendly, main dishes, Christmas dinner, Valentine’s Day recipes, date night, comfort food recipes, best, simple
Recipe by Jess Larson, Plays Well With Butter | Photography by Eat Love Eat