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the end of me

Recipe: braised beef short ribs

I am so boned. No. Really.

It all started with the ginormous dump of snow that fell on our house starting Thursday night. The storm didn’t let up until Saturday afternoon. We lost power several times on Friday (I think people in Kansas could hear me scream when I lost all of my work on the computer for the second time in an hour – time to get a UPS) and then it was out Friday night through much of Saturday. Bored? Nah – we had about four feet of heavy, wet snow to shovel into 7-foot walls lining our driveway. That should be a sport – shoveling and throwing heavy snow over a 7-foot barrier. We were running out of places to put the snow.

kaweah was so frolicky and happy

That picture was “early” on in the shoveling phase (the handsome man there is about 6 feet tall). With no power in the house and lots of snow shoveling, my mind wandered and I began to think that perhaps I should grab my desired usernames on Twitter before someone else does – not because I have a desire to tweet (I don’t even like talking on the phone), but because I am a paranoid twit. After our power returned, I registered a couple of accounts. Wacky hijinx ensued (thanks Diane, love ya, girl!), but you can now follow my inanity my tweets at @userealbutter.

With this enormous mantle of snow upon us, I’m rather pleased that I decided to make one last cold weather dish before moving on (hopefully with the weather) to spring recipes. I was flipping back through several old issues of Fine Cooking and came across this gem.

herbs and spices

stuffed into a sachet about three times smaller than called for

Start the day before for maximum awesomeness. Orange peel, garlic, cloves, smashed allspice, peppercorns, bay leaves, and thyme were tossed in with a bottle of red wine (perfect use for a 2 buck Chuck) and set to boil for a few minutes. The house smelled great.

empty the bottle into a saucepan

get the short ribs ready

So a few posts back I complained that the butcher at Safeway didn’t know the difference between English-style and flanken-style short ribs. I made a second trip to Whole Foods and purchased some gorgeous short ribs there. In total, I came home with six pounds of short ribs, but after trimming huge slabs of fat (per the recipe) I was down to five pounds.

marinate the ribs up to 24 hours

Once the wine cooled, I piled the ribs into a gallon-size ziploc and poured the wine and sachet in. I had a big drippy saucepan in my hand, so I went to set it in the sink. Bad move. As I returned to the ziploc, I saw it slowly tilting over. I lunged for it, but not before a cup of wine spilled onto the carpet, my tripod, and me. That’s not part of the recipe – don’t do that.

pan sear those beauties

sauté the mirepoix with the fond

After marinating for 24 hours, I removed the ribs (reserving the liquid) and patted them dry. Pan searing the ribs on all sides brought Kaweah into the kitchen as if she were in a dream. The fond (those lovely browned bits) are highly desirable. Once the ribs were removed from the pan, I sautéed the mirepoix with the fond and then added the various liquids and seasonings: wine marinade, broth, tomato paste, vinegar.

i could dive right into that

arrange the ribs and the sachet in the liquid

When the sauce had thickened, I placed the ribs in a single layer (as best as I could) in the pot. The instructions said to crumple a large piece of parchment and then smooth it out and set it just touching the ribs. I hadn’t ever done that before, but I was game. With the lid set atop the pot, it went into the oven for 2.5 hours. I actually let it sit in the oven for 3 hours and then on the stove for another 30 minutes. Would a crock pot work just as well? I wonder.

place the parchment down into the pot

The short ribs were falling-off-the-bone tender and the flavor was heady and rich. I loved this recipe. I think it would be a fantastic dish to serve dinner guests in winter. Something to keep in my library of *wow* home-style meals. I just love a good slow-cooked dish. Totally worth the effort (but maybe not worth having to wash out the rug).

don’t forget the sauce

Red Wine Marinated Braised Short Ribs
[print recipe]
Fine Cooking issue #77

2 large cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
2 large sprigs thyme
2 strips orange zest (1-inch by 3-4 inches)
2 bay leaves
1/4 tsp allspice berries, coarsely crushed
1/4 tsp black peppercorns
4 whole cloves
1 750ml bottle hearty, dry red wine
4-5 lbs. meaty bone-in beef short ribs (English style)
1 1/2 tsps kosher salt, more as needed
3 tbsps extra-virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped
1 medium celery stalk, coarsely chopped
1 medium carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped
freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsps tomato paste
2 cups homemade or low-salt beef or chicken broth
2 tbsps red wine vinegar, more to taste

Marinate the ribs: place the garlic, thyme, orange zest, bay leaves, allspice, peppercorns, and cloves in a sachet and tie closed with twine. Pour the wine into a medium saucepan with the sachet and bring to a boil on high heat. Reduce to simmer for 10 minutes. Let cool. Trim excess fat from the top of each rib down to first layer of meat. Don’t remove connective tissue. Place ribs in a ziploc bag or a dish large enough to hold them in a single layer and season with 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt. Pour the marinade and sachet over the ribs. Cover with plastic wrap (or seal the bag) and refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours. Turn the ribs a few times.

Cook the ribs: Remove the ribs from the marinade and pat dry. Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a dutch oven or large heavy pot with lid over medium heat until hot. Add the ribs in single layer with enough room to avoid steaming and sear until nicely browned on all sides (3-4 minutes a side) using tongs to turn them over. Do this until they are all seared. Remove the ribs to a plate and drain off any fat from the pan (there was almost none in my pan) and add one more tablespoon of olive oil to the pan on medium heat. Sauté the vegetables (onion, celery, carrots) and season with salt and pepper until slightly browned (about 8 minutes). Stir in the tomato paste and half of the marinade, raising the heat to high. Try scraping up bits of fond from the bottom of the pan and reduce the liquid to about half (2-4 minutes). Add the rest of the marinade and reduce by half. Add the broth and vinegar, boiling for about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 300°F. Place the ribs in the pot in a single layer along with any juices and the sachet. Crumple a large sheet of parchment and then smooth it out. Place it over the pot and press it down so that it just touches the ribs. Smooth out any overhang allowing it to extend up and over the edge of the pot. Set the lid on top and place the pot in the oven. Braise, turning the ribs with tongs every 45 minutes, until meat is fork-tender and pulling away at the bones. Transfer to a serving dish and cover with foil to keep warm.

The sauce: Strain the braising liquid through a fine mesh sieve into a vessel, pressing liquid out of the solids. Let the liquid cool a little and pour it into a gallon ziploc bag (this is how I did it – they say to spoon the fat off – I hate doing that) and seal. Set a bottom corner of the bag over the vessel and pierce the corner with a sharp knife. Allow the juices to flow into the vessel and then pinch the corner of the bag when only fat remains in the ziploc. Discard the ziploc (hey, it’s my favorite kitchen trick). You can reduce the sauce by simmering over medium-high heat in a saucepan if the flavor isn’t intense enough. Season as needed and spoon over the ribs to serve.

60 nibbles at “the end of me”

  1. Pearl says:

    i always stay up late for your posts because i know that i’m in for some gorgeous photos, delish recipes, and witty humor.

  2. soopling says:

    what does the crumpled parchment do?

  3. Lisa says:

    The piled snow reminds me of the days when we were in Syracuse, NY, but I sure don’t miss it now. While you had 4 feet snow dumped, we have had dogwood blooming everywhere here since two weeks ago. Sorry for the extra clean-up, the short ribs look wonderful and homely, It will be served to some of our dinner guests next winter. I am sure that it’d be a hit. Will let you know.

  4. SimplePleasure says:

    Reading this made me hungry

  5. Michelle says:

    Oh wow, this is my kind of dish. And served over smashed potatoes and seasonal asparagus…I don’t care if it’s spring, I’m totally making this as soon as I get those ribs. But you’re right, that *would* be a perfect winter dinner or lunch or breakfast!

  6. amy says:

    What a perfect meal for a snowed in day…I just bought some short ribs at the farmer’s market but have never cooked them — I’m looking forward to giving them a try.

  7. Tartelette says:

    I don’t care of it is 100F outside, where there are ribs, there is *moi* :)
    These are splendid!! All that snow…I am a little envious of a few flakes…although I would have been glad to help with the shoveling. Seriously!

  8. winfu says:

    *drool* That looks SOOOO good!
    I think I read somewhere that the parchment is for sealing in the moisture.
    Seeing all that snow makes me nostalgic for all the beautiful snow I used to get in the UP of Michigan but I think I can live without all the shoveling ;P

  9. Phoo-D says:

    Short ribs are one of our favorite winter meals. I will have to keep this in mind for next fall! It looks delicious. (Sorry about your rug, what a mess!)

  10. Manggy says:

    Mighty Fine Cooking, indeed ;) I know it’s totally different, but I’m reminded of Chinese-style braised beef. No red wine (I think), but probably still a pain to clean out of the rug!
    I think after the first power outage I would’ve switched to using the laptop, just in case… I remember I was talking to a friend via Skype, and then the lights went out! I told him, “oops, wait, the power went out…” then after a few seconds… “Why am I still talking to you?” HA HA HA! Of course the modem and router had gone out too. I normally would never have been so dumb, but having a laptop on when everything else is down is so counter-intuitive :)

  11. tara says:

    My goodness woman, that looks delicious. It is grey and raining here, and shortribs would be a fabulous way to counteract the gloom. I almost hope the weather stays like this so I can try your recipe!

  12. jennywenny says:

    I love that you’ve captured kaweah completely airborne!

    We’re going through a surprise heatwave today, so its really funny to see you’re up to your neck in snow!

  13. sara says:

    These look SO tasty! Your photos are really beautiful. :)

  14. TheKitchenWitch says:

    You photos are just mouth-watering! My husband saw the photo over my shoulder and wants to marry you. This is “man food” at its best.

    I admit that I had to laugh about the rug mishap; it sounds like something that would happen in my house.

  15. allison says:

    Those look amazing!

    Did you get the wine out of your carpet?

  16. Ginny says:

    Delicious! This looks amazing! :)

  17. Caitlin says:

    Maximum awesomeness indeed. I totally want to dive right in. As for the snow? Yeah, it snowed here today too, after being 80 degrees just two days ago. Grrrr.

  18. Eesh says:

    Yummy! My favorite short ribs recipe is from Suzanne Goin’s Sunday Suppers at Lucques, but I might have to try these while there is still a lingering chill in the Illinois air. On another note, I really love your dog pictures. Our dog died in December, so looking at pictures of Kaweah makes me think of my puppy and all his funny, quirky little habits :). They really become family, don’t they?

  19. Marta says:

    Winter is about to come back to this part of Canada as well. It’s nice and sunny today, but they forecast snow for tomorrow. So, I know I’ll be making this recipe to warm and comfort my soul!
    Thanks for sharing it!

  20. Steph says:

    Did the parchment do anything? Is it just to keep the moisture in? hm.
    And are all of Kaweah’s feet off the ground in that first picture? haha :)

  21. Aran says:

    oh my! that is what i want for dinner now!

  22. charlane says:

    I would be in heaven…oh yum

  23. Brittany says:

    yummy! these look so good…I can’t wait til a rain(ier) day so I can make them!

  24. Amy says:

    You inspired me to set mine up too haha! I was like oh snap Jen’s following my twitter, better start making it interesting. :D

  25. thecatskillkiwi says:

    Now i’m very hungry and i’m also very jealous of the snow! i just packed up my snowboard for the season….

  26. Asianmommy says:

    Cool–I’m going to follow you on twitter!

  27. Kate says:

    I braised short ribs last week when it was cold, and it’s a good thing, too because it’s 95 degrees here today. In SANTA MONICA. (Not trying to rub it in — prefer to avoid extreme weather in either direction, thank you.)

  28. Fiona says:

    All four paws *off the ground* – excellent.

    AND, that shot of the browned ribs makes me hungry even though we just had dinner. Beautiful. I love short ribs. They fall into that category of food that takes lots of steps but isn’t actually difficult. And they make a wonderful meal for guests that looks very impressive but costs not-so-much.

  29. Mrs Ergül says:

    Yum Yum! I love falling-off-the-bone tender! This is just gorgeous!

    So much snow in Apr?! Is that the way it should be?

  30. Laura says:

    Wow that looks good. I am planning to do a braised chuck soon but I am not sure if my breastfeeding sister in law is ok with the booze. If she is I am keeping this in mind.

  31. JessW says:

    Oh yes, I think a crock pot would be great for these. I think I need to try that and soon!

  32. Melissa says:

    This is one of my and Steve’s favorites yet I have never done the two-day process with them. Thanks for reminding me to get to it. Sorry about your power. And as for Twitter, I don’t really Tweet much either (and I don’t like talking on the phone but had to adapt after moving away from all friends and family), but I figure I’ll nab my place and just keep the account open until I get sucked in…

  33. Liz says:

    Yum scrum on the short ribs!! What a perfect meal for a snow-in at 4 feet. Glad that didn’t happen last week when I was out there! But spring is just around the corner just begging you to cook some delectable spring recipe. Your pics are amazing. So glad I found you and your beautiful blog. :-)

  34. cindy says:

    holy snow!

    this looks like heaven…definitely bookmarking this one for said winter dinner guests.

  35. susan says:

    holy cow – that is one fantastic looking dish. i LOVE (LOVE) dishes with wine sauces – which reminds me of a funny about the time i was a dumb american tourist in Par-ee, one hot august day. we had finally decided on a streetside bistro that had coq au vin on the menu, after looking at countless others. i ordered the chicken wine dish because as I mentioned, i love these types of dishes. upon ordering, the garcon saunters off. we were a bit confused as to whether or not he had taken our orders or was coming back to finish. after several minutes, we flagged the garcon to ask if he had our orders and in his most condescending, nasally voice, he says

    “thet deesh ees ah ween-tah deesh, eet ees so-mir!” (translation: that dish is a winter dish, and it is summer!) and stalks off again. we were at first embarassed and then we were annoyed. needless to say, i didn’t get any good wine dishes while in Par-ee but the good food we had on the trip made up for the otherwise lousy time we had there. your dish is the best looking beef dish i’ve laid eyes on. Thanks!

  36. evenlyn says:

    wow!!!! nice to go with the snow!! so yummy!!! I have to try one day.

  37. SallyBR says:

    Crockpot worked fine for me – I made a very similar recipe in it once, but the problem is that my crockpot won’t fit that many ribs, so I rather make it in my big Le Creuset (like you did, I guess) and have plenty of leftovers for later, they freeze so well

    FC also has a great recipe for short ribs with an Oriental twist, using star anise, ginger. It is one of my favorites….

    Your pictures are gorgeous, as usual…

  38. Lindsey says:

    Oh my, oh my, oh my. This looks delicious. And of course here in New England, spring has supposedly sprung, so now all I want to do is grill and eat salads, but I will SO save this one for a cold day (which could be next week, for all I know).

  39. kathryn says:

    Good Lord that looks so good!! I wonder if any old beef rib would do…i’ve never seen beef ribs in Norway, now that I think about it! As usual, thanks for the food porn.
    Hope you are well!!

  40. Debra says:

    Made these for dinner last night, *awesome*. Thanks for the great (and easy!) recipe :)

  41. Mary says:


    1) Do you speak Mandarin?
    2) How bad is it for whites to learn Mandarin? Do they get made fun of by Chinese?

  42. Diana Banana says:

    MMMMMMMMM! Your delicious posts consistently turn what should be a heavenly swoon into an audible snort! I’m just glad no one was around to hear how loud it was….

  43. KatieC says:

    I LOVE this picture of J & K. Such joy, such love…a man and his dog.

    And the ribs look pretty good, too.

  44. LizzieBee says:

    Twittered!! :)

  45. jenyu says:

    Pearl – thanks :)

    Soopling – I think it keeps moisture in?

    Lisa – thanks.

    SimplePleasure – ;)

    Michelle – it was delish, I hope you enjoy it too.

    Amy – nice!

    Tartelette – ha ha, I wouldn’t have been surprised if you had shown up at the door. We could have used your help with the shoveling ;)

    Winfu – that’s what I was guessing, but good that you read it. Yeah, being without the shoveling would have made the snow even better!

    Phoo-D – oh well, at least the ribs were good!

    Manggy – That is another version they had in the article. Mmmm, maybe I should try it? Yeah – I did eventually switch to the laptop. Our power company is soooo flaky.

    Tara – I’m sure the ribs would be great on a nice day too ;)

    Jennywenny – isn’t she so cute?! It’s that ridge and trough system…

    Sara – thanks!

    TheKitchenWitch – ooops! Well hurry up and make some ribs, girlfriend ;)

    Allison – yup! I had to drag it out to the deck and hose it off then let it dry for a day. Luckily, we own cheap stuff.

    Ginny – thank you.

    Caitlin – crazy weather, we keep going up and down and up and now… down ;)

    Eesh – Aw, thanks. I’m sorry about your pup :( That’s heartbreaking. Yes, they really are family. *hugs*

    Marta – you’re so welcome.

    Steph – I think it helped… I hope it helped ;) yup! All four paws off the ground! I love that.

    Aran – if you came over, I would have fixed you a plate!

    Charlane – yum indeed (and food coma…)

    Brittany – definite comfort food.

    Amy – awww, you’re interesting without having to try, dear.

    Thecatskillkiwi – I had to pack my skis up too.

    Asianmommy – :)

    Kate – ugh, 95?! in Santa Monica?! Early and freakish heat wave. I prefer snow to heat any day.

    Fiona – I know! I kinda loved that. agreed on all counts!

    Mrs. E – me too. Um, it’s not normal to have snow all the time in April, but it isn’t uncommon to get a freak storm :)

    Laura – cool. I hope she’s okay with it (does the alcohol burn off during the cooking phase?)

    JessW – okay, I’d rather crock pot than oven it if possible.

    Melissa – This is the first time I’ve tried them, so I was jazzzzzzed. well, I’m followin’ ya, hon :)

    Liz – the weather was perfect when you were here, eh? Thanks!

    Cindy – they will love it, I’m *pretty* sure.

    Susan – heh heh! I’ve never been to Paris, so I wouldn’t know. I’d probably take one of my favorite French people with me to Paris if I ever went :)

    Evenlyn – I hope you do :)

    SallyBR – good point about the size of the crock pot. Also, that recipe was in the same article as this one. Thanks.

    Lindsey – well, if it’s any consolation, I won’t be revisiting this until… October!

    Kathryn – hello love! How is the bun? :) I’m sure if you ask your butcher you can get some short ribs cut for you?

    Debra – cool!!

    Mary – 1) yup. 2) Not bad. I have several friends who speak Mandarin and I think Chinese people are generally thrilled to find out that a white person speaks! :)

    Diana – ha ha! Sorry! :)

    Katie – isn’t she hilarious? thanks!

    LizzieBee – ;)

  46. SallyBR says:


    not sure you will see this, but if you do and want to drop me an email, I’ve been studying Mandarin for a little over 2 years, and would be glad to share my experience about it with you

    sallyparis2002 at

  47. Kevin says:

    Braise short ribs are always good. The meat picks up the flavours from the sauce and the sauce is flavoured by the meats juices.

  48. jenyu says:

    Kevin – you said it! It’s like… sinfully good :)

  49. Lizzie says:

    Today would have been my Mom’s 100th birthday, and she loved short ribs, so that’s what we’re having for dinner tonight. We’ll even upgrade from Two Buck Chuck in her honor!

  50. jenyu says:

    Lizzie – that’s so awesome, what a great way to celebrate her.

  51. Marina says:

    My parents love ribs and have them very often, so I guess I’m just gonna have to tell my mom about your reciepe :D

  52. jenyu says:

    Marina – hope they like it. Great flavor.

  53. Lisa says:

    I just had to let you know that this recipe is a new favorite in my home. The first time we used it was when we received short ribs in our CSA box and didn’t know what to make with them. I came across this recipe in a google search and was salivating over your pictures. The dish was such a hit that I ordered extra short ribs from the farmer at the following pickup. I’ve also used the marinade/sauce for a beef and lamb stew just this week – easily the most flavorful stew I’ve ever made. Thanks for the recipe, this one’s a keeper!

  54. jenyu says:

    Lisa – oh, how awesome is THAT?! I’d love to get some short ribs in a CSA box! Sounds wonderful (and now you have me thinking of braising short ribs in the dead of summer!) :)

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  57. Bob Shy says:

    Sure love your recipes. How do I copy and paste

  58. jenyu says:

    Bob – thanks! You can use your mouse to highlight the recipe, press ctrl C or apple C, then paste into your favorite text editor.

  59. Charlotte Reid Besaw says:

    This is now my go-to recipe for short ribs. We get 1/4 of a local, grass-fed cow each year, and there seemed to be a lot of short ribs this year. I love this recipe, and so does the hubby. Thank you!

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