Braised Short Ribs: a step by step tutorial

In this next Project Food Blog challenge we were asked to create a step-by-step instructional photo tutorial demonstrating one of our favorite recipe. The photos need to guide the reader through many winding roads so i’m crossing my fingers that none of you will get lost in the jungle and get eaten by piranhas. One is never too careful around here. There are still a few readers unaccounted for from last time i attempted something like this so if you make it to the other side i hope you will consider voting for me so i get a chance to advance to the next challenge.

If you don’t make it to the other side.. err.. it was nice knowing you!

This is a good recipe. And i mean the jump-on-the-table-and-do-the-happy-dance kind of good but there are enough steps to give Sandra Lee a panic attack so i will need your full attention. Let’s see if we can make one of my favorite recipe work for you as well.

To make braised beef short ribs you need… [drumrolls] beef short ribs. If you don’t have them, go to your butcher now and while you’re at it have him trim them and cut them into 3-inches cubes on the bone. Two of those make a perfect portion, i think. Go ahead, i’ll wait for you right here. [tap tap tap]

Start by making a mirepoix of onions, celery and carrots and sweat them in a pot with olive oil and garlic heads cut in half. When they get all nice and comfy together (aka: sticking to the pot) you deglaze the pot with two bottles of wines. When choosing a wine for cooking remember to pick something that’s affordable, but good enough to drink.

Yes, go ahead. Have a glass. Nobody will notice.


“[hic] You.. you bring the boil..err.. [hic] to the wine.. [burp] and let it alcohol for ..err.. 10 minutes to burn the cook. [hic] I know, what a waste of perfectly good alcohol, riiiight? [hic]“

Next, you leave the wine mixture cool completely before submerging the beef short rib pieces in the liquid. You cover the pot and place it in the refrigerator overnight, or for a maximum of two days. That’s when the wine, the short ribs and aromatic vegetables get to know each other. And boy, i can tell you they have a lot of things to tell each other.

After a good hangover night of sleep, come back to your short ribs and remove them from the wine mixture and pat them dry. Strain the liquid into a large saucepan and keep the vegetable on the side. Place the saucepan with the wine mixture over medium-high heat and reduce for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat some oil in a large sautee pan. Season the short ribs with salt and pepper and sear them in the hot oil, a few at the time, until brown on all sides. Reserve them on a tray. Make a bouquet garni with leeks, parsley stems, thyme and bay leaves and tie them all up together in a bundle. Also cut a few slices of lemon skin and reserve a handful of olives.

Return the short ribs, the wine mixture, the demi-glace and veal stock to the pot as well as the lemon skin, the bouquet garni and the olives. Bring to a boil over high heat and cover with aluminum foil and place in an oven preheated to 325′F. Close the door and let them mingle together undisturbed for about 3 hours.

Yes, i know. Even beef short ribs need some privacy. No peeking!

While the short ribs are slowly braising you can work on garnishes such as potato puree and vegetables. Steam the vegetables separately and reserve them on the side until ready to serve. You can keep the potato puree warm on top of the stove. The vegetables need a quick sautee in olive oil at the last minute.

When the braised beef short ribs are ready (they will be falling-off-the-bone delicious at this point), remove them from the braising liquid. You can refrigerate them or serve them right away. Strain the braising liquid in a chinois and discard the vegetables, skim off the fat and return the liquid to the pot and reduce until it coats the back of a spoon.

At this point you should have a deep, robust and luscious wine sauce. You could enrich it even more by whisking a tablespoon or two of butter in it before spooning it over the braised short ribs. Evil, i know.

Are you still there? Alive and well? Pfewww..  What a ride!

Take a moment to feel very proud, my friends, but not too long because voting is only open from 6AM October 11th (Pacific Time) through 6PM October 14th (Pacific Time). Thank you and enjoy!

  • Braised Short Ribs: the recipe

  • Serves 4
    • For the braised short ribs:
    • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
    • 1/2 cup celery, chopped
    • 1/2 cup carrots, chopped
    • 2 heads of garlic, split in half
    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • 2 bottles red wine
    • 8 pieces beef short ribs, trimmed and cut in 3 -inches cubes
    • 1 bouquet garni
    • 2 cups veal stock
    • 2 cups demi glace
    • 1/2 lemon peel
    • handful of nicoise olives
    • salt and pepper, to taste
    • For the garnish:
    • mashed potatoes
    • steamed vegetables such as carrots, radishes, artichokes and asparagus
    • olive oil
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • For the braised short ribs:
    • Dice the onions, celery and carrots. Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven and add the vegetables and garlic heads cut in half. When the vegetables are translucent and softened (about 10 minutes later) deglaze the pot with two bottles of wines. Let the wine come to a full boil and cook it down for 10 minutes to burn the alcohol. Let the wine cool completely.
    • Add the short ribs pieces to the cool wine mixture. Cover and refrigerate overnight, or for up to 2 days (the longer, the better).
    • Remove the short ribs from the wine mixture and pat them dry on paper towels. Strain the liquid into a large saucepan and keep the vegetables on the side. Place the saucepan with the wine mixture over medium-high heat, bring to a boil and reduce for 30 minutes.
    • Meanwhile, heat some oil in a large sautee pan. Season the short ribs with salt and pepper and sear them, a few at the time, until they’re brown on all sides. Place them on a tray. Make a bouquet garni with leeks, parsley stems, thyme and bay leaves and tie them all up together. Slice the zest of 1/2 lemon and remove as much of the white pith as you can.
    • Return the short ribs, the wine mixture, the strained vegetables, the demi-glace and beef stock to the pot as well as the lemon zest, the bouquet garni and the olives. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cover with a tight-fitting lid or aluminum foil. Place in an oven preheated to 325′F. Braised for 3 1/2 hours to 4 hours, or until meltingly tender.
    • When the braised beef short ribs are ready, remove them from the braising liquid. Strain the braising liquid and discard the vegetables, skim off the fat and return the liquid to the pot to reduce over medium-high heat until it coats the back of a spoon.
    • If not serving the dish the same day (recommended!) you could let the short ribs cool in their braising liquid, the next day scoop out and discard the solidified fat on top. Remove the short ribs. Strain the liquid. Reduce the sauce and heat-up the short ribs in the sauce until glossy, rich and very tender.
    • To assemble:
    • Place some mashed potatoes on a plate. Top with two pieces of braised short ribs. Add vegetables and sauce and serve.
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  • Debi (Table Talk)

    Creating a photo step-by-step for a lengthy recipe like this one was an excellent choice. Your beautiful photography leads the reader through the recipe, and ends with a hero shot of the finished dish.
    Another great post.

  • http://www.highlowfooddrink.com/ Andrea @ High/Low

    Beautiful! I don’t know what I crave more right now – a few bottles of red wine or your delicious looking short ribs! Just voted for you!

  • http://www.eataduckimust.com alice

    what do you mean, i can’t just make this dish by opening a box of powdered potatoes, a can of veggies and microwaving the meat?
    –yours truly, sandra lee

    jk!

    love love love your ultra sharp photos. stop trying to give us a run for our money!

  • http://www.passion4food.ca jen cheung

    Excellent post – you got my vote for this! Good luck :) Feel free to hop over to leave a comment :)

    Have a wonderful day!
    jen @ http://www.passion4food.ca

  • http://www.youfedababychili.com/ Ben

    Everything: the marbling, the potatoes, the garnish. Just gorgeous. Short ribs are my all-time favorite cut. Wish I could demolish it for you.

  • Marc

    This looks spectacular. Glad to see you were able to come up with an entry in time after getting back. I fly back tomorrow and still don’t have challenge 5 ready yet. Gonna be a late night.

  • http://twitter.com/JunBelen Jun Belen

    Mouthwateringly delicious! It’s so picture perfect that you want to grab the photograph and eat it. Wonderfully done, Chef!

  • http://www.thedailyspud.com DailySpud

    It’s ok, I’m still here. A little drunk after all that, but still here. When do we go again? :)

  • http://twitter.com/kitchconfidante Kitchen Confidante

    This is one of my favorite dishes in the fall and winter, and your photos are just luscious and tasty! Can’t wait till our Indian Summer is over so I can start braising!

  • http://www.tastewiththeeyes.com/ Lori Lynn

    Your cooking photos are awesome, so perfect! Good luck, happy to lend my support.
    LL

  • NorGour

    Thank you! Made this on Saturday (starting Friday) and it was a huge success. Defo my favorite short-rip recipe!!
    Appreciate all the inspiration on your site!

  • Jacktel

    You were for me the winner of the Food Blog Projects.
    Unfortunately, this time was not gourmet quality and level of demand. If everything has degenerated into a women’s match where poor quality will be presented …
    I admire your work and your level ..

    Greetings from Nuremberg Jacktel

  • http://www.mattikaarts.com/blog Matt

    absolute perfection mate. Clean, elegant and robust. Fantastic.

  • http://www.noorishme.blogspot.com Latoyams01

    Looks delicious. Hands down, braised short-ribs are one of my favorite dishes to cook……and eat!

  • Lisadoricchi

    Looks delish! I will certainlly give it a whirl. Thank you for posting.

  • Katharina

    Hi, just to be on the safe side: the mirepoux vegies go back into the braising pot yes? It’s not clear in the receipe! Can someone clarify please! Thanks do much.

  • Katharina

    Mirepoix and so…sorry for the typos

  • Anonymous

    Yes, they do go back into the braising pot. I will fix the recipe. Thanks!

  • Katharina

    Thanks so much for the swift reply. It’s in the marinade now. Will braise Saturday. Un festin! Can’t wait…

  • Anonymous

    Let it braise long and slow. It’s gonna be delicious. Let me know how it goes. 

  • Katharina

    will do :) one more question though. No tomato paste here. Why?

  • Anonymous

    The lemon zest and olives takes it’s place. I think this recipe has great balance. Also I just realized I forgot to write the short ribs have to braise for 3 to 3 1/2 hours. Will fix that.

  • Katharina

    Got it thank you! Also wanted to let you know that I made your ‘better than momofuko’ porkbelly recipe a couple of times now, it is a big hit, thanks for that,

  • Kathleens85

    I am looking forward to making this Friday for our Saturday dinner party.  I always like the food to taste good and look beautiful.  What do you think about substituting the Farro, black rice and spinach in lieu of the potato puree.  Would the flavors work?  Is there a way to make it beautiful or would the whole meal be too dark.  I absolutely love your work. 

  • Anonymous

    I’m about to make this for easter but I’m cooking for 20 ppl everyone is getting one piece, what are the differences in time and temp? don’t wanna mess it up! thank you :)

  • Anonymous

    I would start at a temperature of 350′F and lower it down to 325′F after an hour. Cook them for a total of 4 hours. Cool luck and Happy Easter! :)

  • Anonymous

    Thank you! I think it would work but I prefer a puree with braised short ribs. 

  • m.porritas

    Hi similar question to the person below except I’m cooking this for 8 people, should I just double it, and keep the temperatures and time the same? or should I make adjustements? Thank you and I love all your recipes!

  • zenchef

    Hi, you probably should do 1 cup each carrots, onions, celery, 3 heads garlic, 3 bottles of wine, 16 pieces short ribs, 3 cups veal stock, 3 cups demi glace, a bigger bouquet garni, a little more lemon. Start at 350′F and when the mixture is bubbling lower to 325′F for 4 hours. Good luck!

  • http://www.facebook.com/erbain1 Elizabeth Rose Bain

    Do you trim the membrane off after cooking to serve?

  • reed

    I’m doubling the recipe so does that mean I need 4 cups of demi glace ? 32oz.? It cost $23.00 for 16oz. Do you usually dilute it with water?